Locals refer to it as the Cave House and the nickname is apt. Sitting on 37 acres just outside of Bisbee, AZ, a mining town-turned-Baby Boomer retirement haven about 80 miles from Tucson, the Chulo Canyon Cave House is carved into an outcropping of granite boulder, extending more than 2,000-square feet into a desert grotto. This home was featured on the homepage of Yahoo's website on January 17, 2012 by way of Forbes' website. The home is built in the side of the Mule Mountains. The Mule Mountains are a north/south running mountain range located in the south-central area of Cochise County, Arizona. The highest peak, Mount Ballard, rises to 7,500 ft (2,300 m).
The strange and unusual dwelling is up for grabs and could be yours for $1.5 million. It occupies 2,890-square feet of living space and comes with a 890-square foot guest house, a subterranean game room underneath the guest house, a library building, a stand-alone workshop space, a separate home office, and a carport. The main house features rough petrous walls, rock and cement ceilings, and potable wall water seep that is collected from a natural spring. There's a glass-walled sunroom, a commercial-grade kitchen with stained glass cabinets and mosaic tiling, an-eight person dining room, a sunken living room, two full bathrooms, a sleep loft with walk-in closet tucked below underneath the loft stairs, and a back room that is currently used as an exercise and yoga room. The desert abode was built by the current owner, specifically the current owner's late husband who recently passed away. "It's technically a man made cave that was actually blasted out of the rock existing there," explains Jean Noreen, a Realtor with Bisbee Realty and the listing agent for the Cave House. "But it has all of the good qualities of a cave for living like it stays the same temperature all year round." Maintaining a so-called 'rock temperature,' the house never slides below 66 degrees Fahrenheit or above 72 degrees.
Creating this man-made cavern home meant recruiting a mining engineer who, using the Swedish straight wall mining technique, injected the ceilings with roof bolts and excavated blasted rock with ammonium nitrate.
But as attention-grabbing as the stone-forged main lair is, the property's zaniness doesn't end there. Starting with the pools, which are not your typical chlorinated in-grounds; rather, the home's natural pools are a short hike away, up the side of a nearby mountain and fed by a freshwater creek for six to eight months out of the year. The higher up the mountain you climb the more pools you have to choose from. The owners also installed a carefully camouflaged hot tub.
The other buildings on the premises peddle some secretive amenities, too. Lying below the two-story guest house is a game room with a separate entrance. The subterranean space is constructed of cement blocks and fluorescent lighting. The nearby library building, also constructed of cement blocks, doubles as a safe house, with a back room accessible through a roll-down metal security door hidden behind a sliding glass door. The back room is equipped with a Murphy bed, an air conditioner, an antique vault and a climate-controlled gun safe.