Tucked in a grove of birch trees in Talkeetna, Alaska, this treetop sauna makes the perfect relaxation retreat. While saunas and treehouses may seem like a strange combination at first glance, they truly are a perfect match: both are specialized, small spaces that tend to be lined with aromatic cedar wood. And they both are known for being healing, comforting environments!
We relished the opportunity to bring a sauna to the trees! Read on for a closer look at this inviting backyard getaway…
Our clients for this project love the outdoors and longed for a treetop getaway where they could rest after a long day spent hiking and climbing. The crew kept the aesthetic of the treehouse rustic, bringing the outdoors in for the perfect après-mountaineering retreat.
Many of the materials for the treehouse, including the live-edge paneling, came from within a few miles of the site. Sourcing materials locally helped us keep the build budget-friendly.
Four trees (with four TABs) and one log post support the treehouse.
The treehouse is shaped like a circle with a small rectangular room off the back that holds the sauna. The frame for the main room is round – see the photo below for reference (it was taken by Nelson Treehouse carpenter Devin Hanley during construction).
This photo shows the circular framing and the joining of the rafters – what is not visible here is the underside of the rafters, which kept their natural, live-edge texture.
At its highest point, the treehouse roosts about 13 feet off the ground.
A sturdy staircase weaves to the deck. The climbing rope between railing posts came from the clients’ own collection.
The crew added a funky spire atop the roof – they framed it with lumber and capped it with copper. They gave the copper the green patina by mixing simple vinegar with muriatic acid. The front door to the treehouse was reclaimed.
The deck winds about two-thirds of the way around the treehouse.
The main body of the treehouse holds a cozy seating area.
A wood stove keeps the space warm and toasty all year round. LED lights beneath the roofline gently cycle through a rainbow of colors, mimicking the aurora borealis.
The custom wood cutout that runs along the top of the curved walls matches the actual outline of the Alaska mountain range.
At the back of the treehouse, a door leads to the small steam room.
The sauna is lined with cedar and fueled by an electric steamer. During winter months, the warmth inside this room provides therapeutic contrast to the snowy world beyond the treehouse walls
All that cedar smells terrific!
The crew completed the build in ten days onsite. Not counting deck space, the treehouse encloses about 100 square feet.
We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a closer look at this rustic and restful treetop sauna!
Stay tuned each weekend for our photo tours from Friday-night episodes of Treehouse Masters.
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To the trees!