My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Wandering Weekend: Part Two, Periodic Spring

July 28, 2018

Note: This has a lot of pictures. Get your coffee first. 

I had set my GPS for Afton, Wyoming from which I would navigate to Periodic Spring, aka Intermittent Spring. The mostly one business street town of Afton is famous for having the world's largest elk horn arch. It was easy to find,  right on Highway 89. I stopped and took a picture of it from the neutral ground in the middle of the street before turning back to turn on the road labeled Periodic Spring.





The road itself offered fantastic views and required a lot of stopping.




In a few minutes, I was in Bridger-Teton National Forrest.  The road continued into an ever narrowing canyon.  The well lit scenes were almost all to my right, as was Swift Creek and the falls.




This was an electricity generating plant- most of the water to run it was in a large tube

I enjoyed the rocky outcrops

The road was on the floor of the valley - I expect it floods in early spring when the snowmelt makes the creek overflow

A closer look at a rocky outcropping

One of my favorite views

I didn't take a picture of the sign naming this falls

Janee Falls - the largest falls I found

The  road ended in the parking lot for the trailhead to the spring.


End of the road and beginning of the trail

I was impressed on the education offered on noxious weeds. We are fighting the first two species at the refuge. 


The creek was was very visible from the trailhead

View upstream from the last picture

The road just narrowed into the trail - most of it was nice and wide

And the creek provided a little water music


And showed what it was capable of doing in the spring thaw

Views didn't stop

Found lots of these butterflies muddying

The creek bed narrowed as the trees got closer

I didn't find out that the flow was constant for most of the summer until I read the sign - The spring is supposed to operate by a syphon effect. 

The trail took a sharp left, and got steeper and much narrower.  It was also in deep shade

Almost there - and the trail is that narrow piece to the left side

I found a group of either good friends, or an extended family, enjoying it

The actual spring.  It has been covered to keep rocks from falling into it and stopping it up.

I traded taking pictures with the group

This western tanager and a robin were foraging on the rocks by the spring

The view downstream from near the spring

Back to the parking lot

There was no dispersed camping on this road, so I went back to town and continued to a road that had three campgrounds listed on it. I found a lovely dispersed campground between the road and the creek.  It was warm enough that I risked hanging my hammock. I added my Big Agnes pad, partially blown up, my summer sleeping bag, and hung my water bottle on a hook conveniently left by a previous camper. Set up took about fifteen minutes.





The next morning, I continued to Cottonwood Campground and found it was near a lake. The day use area was on the lake itself. The cost to add a table and vault toilet was $10. ($5 with a Golden Age Pass)  I used the vault toilet and enjoyed the view. I think someone had camped illegally in the day use area and had built a fire, then left it.  I took it apart and hauled water from the lake to completely put it out.

Lake view from the line of picnic tables

The lake empties through this waterfall

This rabbit posed for me when I stopped to take the next picture

Had to stop for this outcrop on the way out


My next stop was to get a cup of coffee. I had food with me but never bothered to get out my stove. By 8:30 A.M I was off to Grand Tetons National Park.

To be continued...