FALL CITY, Wash — In the tree-covered hills of Fall City, find the tallest of the tall. There it is, a centuries-old Douglas fir, jutting out above the canopy. Six feet wide, it is home to squirrels and bugs and birds...and the ski-house treehouse.
"Don't you just love the atmosphere with all the moss on the tree limbs and everything?" says Randi Brazen, a Windermere Real Estate Broker.
We climb the 68 steps...we counted...from the ground to the treehouse. With its snowshoes on the back deck, chairs made of skis on the front deck and its lodge-like interior, it is known as the "Apres Ski-House Treehouse."
Designed by Pete Nelson, host of "Treehouse Masters" on Animal Planet, the Fall City treehouse floats in the forest behind a mansion on the market for $2,850,000 "This little treehouse cost $200,000 to build. There are some houses in other parts of Washington that don't cost that much," Brazen says.
And it comes with surprises throughout. Like on your way up, hanging from the support beams below is a chairlift. "It's for swinging. Want to give it a whirl?" Which we, of course, do.
Right next to the chairlift swing, the giant fir that supports it all with the help of two smaller, red cedars. "They estimate this one is 400 years old."
Brazen's seen a lot of homes in her two decades in the real estate business, but this is a first. "This is the first one we've actually ever had like this. And it's really more than a treehouse. It's kind of like a house in the trees."
It sleeps four, comfortably. A loft bedroom with a bunkbed overlooks the main entrance with its dining area for six and see-through fireplace. Then there's a secret next to the kitchen. "You gently pull and look at that!" she says, as a "ski" on the wall opens a door to about the coziest bedroom we'll ever see. "I think that's fun when you kind of pull the ski and suddenly the door appears out of nowhere. It took a lot of thought to put this house together."
Not that you'd need it, but there's a little house about 50 yards down the path that could be yours too. "You get an extra 7600 square feet. And ten acres and a lot a house." The sleek, modern main house features an angelic ceiling above the grand entry. "When you look up, you almost feel like you're talking to God."
In the kitchen, there's a built-in espresso machine. Downstairs, we find a swanky, home theater with its own concession stand. There's a library, exercise room, elevator, hot tub and wine cellar. The sport court outside, on your way to the treehouse, comes with a trampoline.
It's a getaway, not far away. "Once you're off the freeway, it's really close. But yet you feel, when you look around here, like you're in another place, like another country."
But mansion aside, the ski-house treehouse, with its dream deck, secret bedroom and chairlift swing, is the thing. "When you're in here, it's like you have time to be together. The rest of the world is kind of gone and you feel like you're 100-feet in the air in the trees. It's pretty magical."