I passed through the pretty town of Afton, located in western Wyoming, on a recent road trip. I enjoy small communities like Afton as they remind me of the town I grew up in.
Afton has a population of just under 2000 people. The town is located in a picturesque remote valley but is within 90 miles of Fossil Butte National Monument (to the southeast) and Grand Teton National Park (to the northeast).
Afton's main claim to fame is that it's home to the world's largest Elk Antler Arch, made of 3,011 antlers together weighing 15 tons. The antler arch spans 75 feet across all four lanes of Highway 89 and stands 18 feet tall. It's an impressive sight, as you can see:
The town's downtown has interesting shops and restaurants, such as "Dog Eared Books" and Ford Theater.
I am fond of chainsaw carvings and there were some cute ones in the downtown stretch along Hwy 89.
Alton is home to a beautifully constructed Mormon church, situateded at the southern end of town.
I did not know about this when I visited, but Afton is near a Periodic Spring (Intermittent Spring). This is an uncommon geological feature wherein a spring starts and stops at unpredictable times, sometimes with no flow for several minutes at a stretch before it starts again. The reason for this is not well understood but is likely due to some type of underground siphon activity. You can hike to the spring, located in a pretty small canyon.
(The Intermittent spring, photo courtesy the Visit Afton website)
The area around Alton is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise, with all sorts of activities ranging from hiking to biking to fishing and camping.
I think I'll make Alton my home base the next time I head to Grand Teton. I find it a more interesting and less touristy community than nearby Jackson Hole.