The World's largest intermittent spring

Nestled in the picturesque Star Valley of Wyoming, the town of Afton boasts a natural wonder that's as captivating as it is rare: the world's largest intermittent spring, also known as the Periodic Spring. This geological marvel, often referred to as "the spring that breathes," offers a mesmerizing display of nature's rhythmic patterns.

What Makes the Intermittent Spring Unique?

Unlike most springs that flow continuously, the Intermittent Spring cycles through periods of gushing water and complete stillness. For roughly 15-20 minutes, the spring releases a torrent of crystal-clear, ice-cold water, reaching a flow rate of up to 100 cubic feet per second. Then, just as suddenly, the flow subsides, and the spring falls silent for another 15-20 minutes before the cycle begins anew. This captivating phenomenon repeats itself throughout the day, mesmerizing onlookers with its predictable yet mysterious rhythm.

The Science Behind the Spring

While the exact mechanisms behind the Intermittent Spring remain a subject of ongoing research, scientists believe it's likely due to a siphon effect within the underground cave system that feeds the spring. As water fills the cavern, it eventually reaches a tipping point, triggering a siphon that rapidly drains the water until the pressure equalizes. The cycle then repeats as the cavern slowly refills.

Witnessing the Wonder

A visit to the Intermittent Spring is a unique and unforgettable experience. A short, family-friendly hike leads to a viewing area where you can witness the spring's rhythmic flow firsthand. The surrounding landscape is a stunning backdrop, with towering mountains, lush forests, and the tranquil Swift Creek adding to the allure. The best time to visit is from late August to May when the intermittent flow is most pronounced.

Beyond the Spring

While the Intermittent Spring is undoubtedly the star attraction, Afton and the surrounding Star Valley offer plenty more to explore. Enjoy hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and a charming small-town atmosphere. The area's rich history and friendly locals add another layer of appeal to this hidden gem in Wyoming.

Plan Your Visit

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a geology buff, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, the Intermittent Spring in Afton, Wyoming, is a must-see destination. Make sure to include this natural wonder on your next Wyoming adventure and witness the captivating rhythm of the spring that breathes.

Tip: Check online or with local resources for the most up-to-date information on the spring's flow cycle and trail conditions before your visit.