Intermittent Spring

Intermittent Spring

Welcome to Intermittent Spring or as the Native
Americans called it “the spring that breathes”. This unique land feature is located just five
miles east of Afton, and is definitely worth the hike to check out. Periodic springs are relatively uncommon compared
to continuously-flowing springs and the one located here in Star Valley is the largest
in the world. According to University of Utah researchers,
the theory to how this works is: ground water flows continuously into a cavern underground,
and as it fills, it pours over a high point in a narrow tube, which creates a siphoning
effect. This sucks the water out of the chamber, but
eventually air rushes in and breaks the siphon. Here at Intermittent Spring, water flows for
12-18 minutes and then stops for approximately the same amount of time. In the spring, the flow never stops due to
increased water supply from melting snow pack. At full flow this spring discharges 285 gallons
per second and is Afton’s chief water supply. So the next time you are in the Star Valley
head east on Second Avenue through the town of Afton to reach one of the world’s only
rhythmic springs. From the University of Wyoming Extension I’m
Ashley Garrelts, Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.

4 thoughts on “Intermittent Spring

  1. It's quite the sight. Just remember not to go until July or later, otherwise it flows continuously with spring snow melt.

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