Imagine living in a home that’s not just unique, but also living proof of human ingenuity and a love for nature.
This is the story of Grant Johnson, a man who transformed a massive desert cave into a breathtaking 5,700 square foot off-the-grid home.
This isn’t just any ordinary dwelling; it’s a marvel of craftsmanship, featuring a music studio and stylish modern decor.
Grant’s journey began when he moved to Utah in his 20s, purchasing a large piece of land that would eventually be surrounded by a national monument.
His property, an inholding, remained private, giving him the freedom to develop it as he wished.
Over 20 years, Grant dedicated himself to building this incredible cave house, ingeniously incorporating running water and electricity to ensure all the comforts of a modern home.
The uniqueness of this cave home has not gone unnoticed.
In fact, you can experience its wonder firsthand by renting a private room through Airbnb.
A previous renter shared their awe: “There is nowhere on Earth quite like the Boulder house. It is one of the wonders of the modern world – a fully functional, modernized house carved into a giant Boulder. The drove across the stream to get to it was harmless, but thrilling. The horses and cows surrounding the place were charming, and the views in every direction magnificent. Don’t miss your chance to stay here!”
Grant’s connection with nature began when he moved to Moab at 17 for school.
While pursuing his education, he also explored hiking and worked in local mines.
His experiences led him to a profound appreciation of the wilderness.
“I got involved in stabilizing Indian ruins, and I got more and more into the wilderness. And then I didn’t see any news. Didn’t read anything. I completely got away from it,” he recounted to Tiny House Giant Journey.
Embracing an off-the-grid lifestyle, Grant sought a spot in the canyons to grow his own food.
The result was his sprawling cave home, a vision he could hardly have imagined decades earlier.
But creating this home was no small feat.
It required not just minor equipment, but dynamite.
“I started blasting in ’95, blasted a little tunnel here first. From the first blast, I was committed, and then it was like eight winters probably of blasting,” Grant explained.
After the blasting phase, the property sat unused for a few years as Grant pondered its potential and gathered the necessary funds.
“I didn’t know what I wanted. You know, how I wanted to finish it,” he said.
But finish it he did, and the result is nothing short of spectacular.
The cave, surprisingly filled with light, features windows blasted into the rock, reinforced with steel, and fitted with glass, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Living off the grid in a desert environment requires ingenuity, especially when it comes to essentials like power, food, and water.
Grant tackled these challenges head-on.
“I planted the orchard right away. And we had a water wheel, big 22 foot in diameter water wheel that ran the pump. We put in about 6,500 feet of pipeline from the pond that ran the water wheel because I always knew if we could afford to do it, we’d have gravity flow because we’re a mile below the pond…So I just plugged into it and put a turbine,” he detailed.
Grant’s self-sufficiency extends beyond just growing vegetables.
He’s created a mini-ecosystem to include a variety of crops and livestock.
“The biggest crop is tomatoes and peppers and corn potatoes, lots of garlic, but then, you know, all sorts of little stuff, greens and carrots and beets. I love bacon, sausage, and that pork. So to raise pigs, we have to have a cow that’s milking because the pigs eat the milk. Otherwise, it’s not worth it. You know, it costs so much to feed them. So we’d feed them milk. You know, you have to get the milk cow bread and then you have to milk it. And then you have to have a way to feed the milk cows. And so that’s what all these fields are for is feeding the animals, the horses, and the cows,” he explained.
Twenty years on, Grant’s land is not only beautiful but sustainable.
He loves his home and lifestyle, though the house’s size led him to rent it out to guests, a great way to meet new people.
“People get inspired by it. I didn’t expect that so much. And it really is the case,” he reflects.
Indeed, Grant Johnson’s cave home is a remarkable example of alternative living, inspiring us all with its blend of nature, innovation, and sustainable living.
Get the full tour of Grant’s incredible home in the video below.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.