First ever ice sauna in Canal Park

Updated: February 10, 2021 07:33 PM
Created: February 10, 2021 07:12 PM

DULUTH, Min. – One small business has brought a very “cool” new historic experience to Canal Park.

An ice sauna! It’s located right behind The Inn on Lake Superior, and built by Cedar and Stone Nordic Sauna Company.

"I feel like I get to do the one thing that I am built for, in the city that I love." explained Justin Juntunen the Owner of Cedar and Stone Nordic Sauna. 

Juntunen grew up building saunas with his father and grandfather. Along the way, he began recognizing that the world was a little stressed out. To him, he knows no better way to help, than to relieve stress in a sauna. 

"We are just trying to serve anybody with stress relief and wellness in any way we can. The world has been a bit stressed out this year. So we've watched our little company, get a little bigger." said Juntunen.

And a little cooler, with the brand new ice sauna that opens to the public on February 15th, 2021.

"In this city of Duluth, we are proud of being in the cold." laughed Juntunten. "We saw this and said hey we can do that here! We could do that in Duluth."

Inspired by places in the Arctic Circle, where they build with ice and snow. He took an old Scandinavian and Nordic tradition and built what looks like, an igloo.

Their team of builders immediately began harvesting ice out of a Minnesota lake, just like his great great grandfather used to do. They stacked 200lbs ice chunks up, like Legos. The walls are 18 inches thick and 8 feet tall. The next step was building a cedar floor, benches and an insulated roof to prevent it from melting. 

“When we were building this, it felt like the coolest snow fort we ever got to build as kids, you know? The tradition of sauna, it's not just a place, it's a practice. And so what we do is we walk people through the process of hot, cold, rest, rehydrate, repeat." explained Juntunten. 

First you start in the 160-200 degree hot sauna. "The wellness benefits don't come in the first ten minutes. That's the hardest part, when your body is adjusting to the heat. Your veins open up and your heart pumps faster. But it's an exercise that you get to relax into, which is really fun. You don't have to work super hard."

Then it’s time to head over to the ice sauna.

"It’s time to slowly cool down, don’t go outside and sit in negative twenty degrees, go into the ice sauna, you get tea, get to relax for a few minutes, it's nice, calm and cool in there,” explained Juntunten.

Then the process repeats itself. You get a 75 minute session to go back and forth between the two. You will have a guide to educate you on the health benefits, stoke the fire, and answer any questions. Each session is private and the saunas are cleaned before and after each guest.

All you need to bring is a bathing suit and flip flops, the rest is provided, such as hot towels, tea and more.

You can book your reservation now by clicking here

“There is this playful joy of being in a room where all the walls are ice. You are going to get a great night sleep, you're going to get a little bit less stress than you walked in with," said Juntunten. 

Enjoy the morning sunrise on the lake shore, watch the rays of the midday sun beat through the ice, or book a time in the evening when it is lite up with LED neon lights.

“It’s described as magical and whimsical,” said Juntunten.

It will only be here for a limited time, after all, it is truly made of ice.

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