This Wyoming River Turns On & Off Naturally
Don't waste that water kids. Turn the faucet off.
Near Afton, Wyoming there is a river that turns on and off every 15 minutes or so. A true natural intermittent spring.
You can see a video of how this works below.
This Intermittent Spring, or Periodic Spring, is located in Swift Creek Canyon in Star Valley near Afton, Wyoming.
It's like Old Faithful at Yellowstone but without the steam, and this one flows down from inside the mountain.
If you visit between August and May, the flow cycles begin. They turn on and off at regular, predictable intervals.
You'll see about 100 cubic feet per second of clear, ice-cold water for about 18 minutes.
The water then begins to subside and gradually ceases altogether for 15-20minutes.
Don't worry, I did not forget to give you directions. Just click here for a map on how to get there.
How this works is amazing.
It's almost like a plumber got in there and set up a pressure flow.
The main tank fills and then overflows down a pipe pushing water in a smaller flow tank out.
That makes me wonder how many plumbers have visited the site just to see nature do what they had to go to school to learn.
There are only about 100 springs like this known in the world. The one near Afton Wyoming is thought to be the world's largest.
A more famous intermittent spring is located in Jerusalem. But over time that one became simply a flowing waterway. So the people there installed a plumbing system to bring it back to doing what it once did naturally.
Now is a good time to go and see the spring in action. The weather is warming. The snowpack is melting, and the tourists are not here yet.