Tucson. Set on 3.6 arid acres at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this property is self-sustaining, with solar panels, a private well, an orchard, and a vegetable garden. The 7,080-square-foot contemporary house has five bathrooms and four bedrooms, including a master suite with city views.

The grounds feature a covered portico, cactus and other native gardens, and a rock-bordered pool, spa, and waterfall. $4,500,000. Susanne Grogan, Russ Lyon/Sotheby's International Realty, (520) 241-8099.

Palm Desert, California. The oversize windows of this four-bedroom home look out on desert and mountains. The 1968 house has a living room with beamed cathedral ceiling; a large kitchen with breakfast bar; and a master suite with walk-in closets, a den, and two patios.

The property, an hour from national and state parks, is landscaped with palms and includes a pool and Jacuzzi, a putting green, and a basketball court. $1,125,000. Gale Stuart, Coldwell Banker Realty, (760) 219-4364.

Oro Valley, Arizona. Award-winning architect Marc Soloway designed this three-bedroom home with 10-foot windows and glass doors for 360-­degree views of the Pusch Ridge. The open, airy layout features a modern kitchen with oversize island and a master suite with private patio.

The cactus-studded 1.4-acre property has a firepit, Jacuzzi, fountain, and succulent garden and includes access to the community's golf links, spa, and clubhouse. $1,295,000. Matt James, Long ­Realty Company/Luxury Portfolio International, (520) 888-8844.

Santa Fe. Architect Rob Ritter built this minimalist tribute to the city's Spanish Pueblo Revival in the Tesuque Hills neighborhood. The two-bedroom main house features glass walls, sandstone floors, walls burnished with beeswax, an indoor fountain, mahogany and padauk-wood cabinets and doors, and a rooftop mezzanine.

The 6-acre grounds include a garden courtyard with sculpture, a fireplace, and a one-bedroom casita. $2,595,000. Neil Lyon, Sotheby's International Realty, (505) 660-8600.

Scottsdale, Arizona. This four-bedroom home is located in DC Ranch, a private community with access to a golf course, pools, and tennis courts. Details include reclaimed-hardwood floors, brick halls, beamed ceilings, and a great room that leads to a covered outdoor living room with stone fireplace.

The landscaped backyard has a private pool, a spa, and mountain views. $2,500,000. Bob Nathan, Engel & Völkers Scottsdale, (480) 695-6031.

Pioneertown, California. Casa Mami is a fully solar-powered house created by Los Angeles designers Whitney Brown and Carlos Naude. The two-bedroom turnkey home has been showcased in design magazines and comes with all hand-selected contemporary furnishings and household items. Features include French doors, a Malm fireplace, and a front porch and back patio.

The 2.65-acre desert property is 25 minutes from Joshua Tree National Park. $475,000. Courtney ­Poulos, Acme Real ­Estate, (323) 596-0006.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.