Log on and book a log cabin near a national park, a high-design backcountry hut in the mountains, an haute home on the range, or a fancy tent in the desert. There is no shortage of cool accommodations in the West.
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
The problem with the private Thelma Hut (pictured at top) is that you might never want to leave its killer-view perch on Red Mountain Pass. This architect-designed haven puts you right where the action is for amazing backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in winter and first-rate hiking and mountain biking in summer. The super-stylish off-grid hut (yes, there’s a bathroom) is powered with photovoltaic electricity, the floor heat is solar hot-water radiant, and the woodstove makes everything cozy during cold winter days and cool summer nights. As remote as it is, this heavenly hut is easy to get to from U.S. Highway 550. It sleeps eight in modern-rustic style (king bedroom, queen loft, four single bunk beds).
River Front Resort
Boredom will never be an issue at this estate near Yosemite Park and Bass Lake thanks to grounds outfitted with natural waterfalls, a swimming pool, spa, private tennis court, outdoor kitchen, and personal campgrounds. Inside, the 4,000-square-foot house boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms (five en suite), a huge kitchen, and a tiki bar decked out with a television, foosball table, and arcade games that are sure to please players of all ages.
Deluxe Cabin at the Suttle Lodge
Located on the banks of Suttle Lake in the Deschutes National Forest, this 15.5-acre site offers guests the opportunity to boat, hike, and take on creative pursuits. Even better, there’s the Skip Bar, the perfect spot to take five with a drink and a snack after a long day of boating, hiking, and creating. When it comes to finding a place to lay your head, you can stay in the main lodge and warm your hands around the communal fireplace or book a variety of private cabins ranging from rugged to refined. Four-legged guests are also welcome here.
Elk Refuge Ranch
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
There will be no roughing it when you book this 4,000-square-foot log cabin situated on 5.5 acres bordered by the Elk Refuge, Teton Mountain Range, and the national forest. Located just 60 miles from Yellowstone and 10 minutes from the airport, the beautiful four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is just as stunning as the views. The lodgelike décor includes cathedral ceilings, custom lodgepole furniture, and antler chandeliers throughout. Step outside and experience a sculpture garden featuring 16 life-size bronze animals posed among the wildflowers; outside, you’ll see the real deal roaming about.
Big Sky Manor
Big Sky, Montana
Memories are sure to be made at 321 Great Horn, which sits atop a sunny hillside and borders a spring that leads to the Ousel Falls, a tributary of the Gallatin River. Activities abound here, thanks to direct access to Ralph’s Pass, a trail system ideal for running, hiking, and mountain biking. Post-exercise, there’s plenty to do in this two-story, five- bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home. Relax tired muscles in the private hot tub, get things cooking in the premium-equipped kitchen, get down to business in the office, or host happy hour in the outdoor living area around the fireplace.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Built in 2022, this 3,000-square-foot home is well-appointed and ideally located—it’s close to town, skiing, and trails for mountain biking and hiking. Professionally decorated, the home boasts large windows, beautiful furnishings, and three king suites and a fourth with adjoining bathroom. Take in the stunning views from virtually anywhere in the house—lounging in the bedrooms, making breakfast in the gourmet kitchen, hanging out in the great room, relaxing on one of the huge decks, or chilling in the hot tub. While you recharge, kids can have a blast in the downstairs “hang-out” zone.
You’ve probably seen this 1,100-square-foot A-frame on Instagram, and now’s your chance to add a few photos of it on your personal feed. Located in the private cabin community of Timber Lane Village, the getaway offers access to great hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin is fully furnished with a queen bed in the upper loft, a twin daybed in the living room, and a foldaway single. Enjoy high-speed wireless, as well as a selection of board games, more than 100 classic-movie DVDs, and a hot tub just off the new deck.
Head south and treat yourself to the breathtaking views of the Chisos and Christmas Mountain Ranges and The World's Largest Dark Sky Reserve while staying in one of the Ocotillo Campground’s four luxury tents. Amenities include private shaded decks, fire pits, small-but-well-appointed kitchens, and luxe bathrooms stocked with Aesop products. All tents also come with air-conditioning, solar power, Wi-Fi, and Coyuchi towels and linens on the king-size beds.
Taos, New Mexico
Perched below New Mexico’s two highest peaks, Kachina and Wheeler, this five-bedroom, five-bathroom home’s exterior is crafted with 150-year-old reclaimed timbers and siding sourced from a shed once owned by the Winchester Rifle Company in Massachusetts. Interiors were done by hotel designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who layered in an eclectic array of furnishings sourced from Europe and Africa. Note: A vehicle with four-wheel drive and snow tires or chains is mandatory to get to Wilderness Lodge in the winter as it’s located at 10,000 feet above sea level.
Images of Thelma Hut courtesy of owners. All other images courtesy VRBO.com.