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Former 1930s dude ranch becomes off-grid community

“Sitting by the creek with the waterfalls under the shade in the cool temps,” Debbie Olsen said. “It’s just priceless.”

The Cold Creek subdivision is in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Located approximately 45 minutes north of Las Vegas, Cold Creek residents enjoy an off-the-grid, self-sustainable lifestyle. According to Angie Tomashowski of Mt. Charleston Realty Inc., who has the property listed for $525,000, Cold Creek began as a dude ranch in the 1930s. The subdivision was established in the early 1980s.

At the center of the oversized property at 117 Rudin Ave. is a rustic two-story, 1,344-square-foot, alpine-designed cabin. Self-sustaining, the two-bedroom cabin offers homey secluded living.

Debbie Olsen, a retired educator, recounted memories of the couple enjoying a cup of coffee while relaxing on the front deck, which overlooks the valley floor, with the continual, relaxing ambient sounds of the rushing creek flowing over the landscape.

“It’s like your glamping,” she said. “You’re able to sleep inside yet feel like you’re out in the middle of nature.”

The waterway attracts abundant wildlife to the Olsens’ property. The couple have encountered elk, mustangs, deer, owls and hawks.

When their two boys were young, in 1985, the Olsen family purchased the property with another couple, the late Rick and Jean Penko. Rich Penko, a longtime pastor for Upland Bible Church in Las Vegas, discovered the property during a hike with friends.

“Rich came up over the rise and saw the cabin,” Debbie Olsen said. “He thought a millionaire owned it. Never in a million years did we ever think we could buy it.”

The couple, originally from the Pacific Northwest, discovered the property was for sale while exploring other properties in Cold Creek.

“Being able to split it with the other couple made it so affordable for us,” Debbie Olsen said. “It was one of those things we never expected, that God had this little treasure spot for us in the mountains.”

Over the years, the families spent a great deal of time on the property creating special memories of hiking,

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