Tetonscapes: Snack Up, on the Side of a Mountain
Enjoy locally made treats during a hike or bike ride on Snow King.
By Lila Edythe
The deck at the Flying Squirrel Snack Shop. Photo by Duncan McLaurin/Courtesy Photo
FIVE HUNDRED VERTICAL feet above the base of Snow King Mountain’s Cowboy Coaster is a postage-stamp-sized cabin with a wraparound deck exploding with blooming geraniums. Take a seat at one of the tables on the deck and enjoy the view of the Town of Jackson, Flat Creek, and the Tetons. It’s a lovely spot made even lovelier once you discover you can get s’mores and Rice Krispies treats from Persephone Bakery and Cream + Sugar ice cream sandwiches inside the cabin.
“I wanted to give people on the King a destination that wasn’t as difficult to get to as the summit, and have snacks they could buy once they got there,” says Sue Muncaster, one of the founders of Slow Food in the Tetons. With Christian Santelices, a longtime Exum Mountain guide, Muncaster was a driving force behind the establishment of the Treetop Adventure at Snow King. “The goal was to have as many locally made products as possible,” she says. And so, in July of 2019, the Flying Squirrel Snack Shack opened just off the popular Sink or Swim trail that cuts across the mountain.
For anyone familiar with the huts that dot many of Europe’s mountain ranges, the Flying Squirrel will feel a little familiar, albeit on a much smaller and simpler scale. This is exactly what Muncaster was going for when she planned its look and feel. She and Santelices once spent a summer in Switzerland’s Vaud Alps. “We’d hike all over the mountains and find these places that served wine and cheese and salami,” she says. “They were all so unexpected and amazing.” The Flying Squirrel doesn’t serve alcohol (unless you book it for a private event; then Muncaster can apply to the county for a special-use, one-day alcohol permit); nor does it have a kitchen that prepares hot foods like most European huts do. But it is an idyllic place accessible only by foot or ski lift where you can rest and get a snack on the side of a mountain, while soaking up gorgeous views. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. JH