visit one of star Valley's star attractions:

The intermittent spring

 


Head east on Second Avenue through the town of Afton to reach one of western Wyoming's most awesome natural features this side of Yellowstone. The largest of only three fluctuating springs known in the world can be found 5 miles up the road, which is gravel upon entering the National Forest. Now alternately called Periodic Springs, the Intermittent Spring was called "the spring that breathes" by Native Americans who frequented the area before settlement by Mormon pioneers.

Though not intermitting during the winter, spring, and early summer months, the Spring puts on a good show starting in late summer through the fall when groundwater tables are lower. The fluctuation in flow, which seems very mysterious, is caused by the siphon effect of a cavern that fills with water and the crevices that feed and expel it.

Below you can view the spring's activity, which has approximately a 15-minute on-off cycle. No picture can match the experience of visiting the Spring, which is only a 20 minute hike up a well-maintained trail along Swift Creek.

So, on your next tour through Star Valley, be sure to take the side trip up Swift Creek (Second Avenue in Afton) to the Intermittent Spring. Wear good hiking shoes as the trail gets a little tricky at the top.
 

     

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