Many people in Central Oregon remember the flood of people who came to Madras and surrounding areas in 2017 for the total solar eclipse. A similar event is coming to other parts of Oregon in October and people traveling to it will want to plan ahead.
An annular solar eclipse is coming on Oct. 14. In an annular eclipse, the moon is at its furthest point from Earth. This creates a “ring of fire” effect as it passes in front of the sun. It’s different from the 2017 event in which the moon appeared larger than the sun, leading to two minutes of total darkness.
While many in Oregon will see at least a partial version of this eclipse, only a few places in Oregon will get to see the full effect. An interactive map of the eclipse’s path and eclipse-viewing information can be found at this link.
RELATED: Views of 2017 eclipse from Madras
The Oregon Tourism Commission — aka Travel Oregon — says visitors are encouraged to book their accommodations and other arrangements early — as hotels and campsite reservations are anticipated to sell out quickly. Also expect traffic — lots of traffic. And it’s something you may not think about, but have cash on hand.
Here is more from Travel Oregon on what to expect and how to plan ahead:
The eclipse will commence its visibility in Oregon shortly after 8 a.m. with annularity beginning at 9:14 a.m. This astronomical event will be visible across Oregon’s skies but the best viewing will be in the path of annularity which includes parts of the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley, a concentrated area within Central Oregon, and much of Southern Oregon – drawing visitors and eclipse-chasers to these areas for excellent visibility, as well as guided tours and events.
If skies are clear on the Oregon Coast, viewers with an unobstructed view of the sunrise between Langlois and Gleneden Beach will see the eclipse first before it traces a southeastward trajectory through Albany, Eugene, Springfield, Crater Lake National Park, Roseburg, Medford, and Lakeview before heading further southeast. The eclipse will reach maximum coverage at 9:16 a.m. over the Eugene area, producing near-total darkness. The moon will then begin to clear the sun, completely restoring daylight at about 10:39 a.m.
- Reserve lodging early: Many hotels and campsites in the path of annularity will likely sell out.
- Be prepared for traffic: Many small communities in the path have only one road leading in and out. These could get backed up, making traffic an issue. There are also home football games on eclipse day in both Corvallis and Eugene, which will add to potential backups on I-5 and in those urban areas. To reduce congestion, avoid highways and other popular attractions in the path of the eclipse. Plan to arrive at least one full day, and ideally several days, in advance of the event — and don’t attempt to travel home immediately after the eclipse. If possible, avoid traveling entirely in the path of annularity on October 14, 2023.
- Bring a map: Cell phone and GPS reception can be unreliable in rural Oregon. The increase of cell phone usage will overwork services and make connections tougher. Know where you’re going, and don’t expect to rely on your phone or online maps. Order a highway map online at TravelOregon.com or pick one up at a Welcome Center.
- Fuel up: With long distances between gas stations in rural areas, visitors should make sure to calculate their fuel needs.
- Pack provisions: There are a limited number of restaurants in some of Oregon’s beautiful, remote places, and these eateries may run out of food. Stock up on picnic supplies, snacks, water and other essentials in advance.
- Don’t forget to use eclipse glasses: To watch the eclipse safely, viewers will need eclipse-viewing glasses, which block harmful light from damaging vision.
- Carry some cash: The ATMs in many small-to-medium towns are often limited in funds. Most services in Oregon take credit cards; however, there are places in rural areas that only take cash.
- Prepare for variable weather: Fall in Oregon can bring dramatic swings, particularly at elevation where it could be snowing. Visitors should check forecasts and be prepared for all types of weather.
- Be respectful. Don’t trespass: Always respect private property boundaries. Stay on public land, be kind to local communities and wildlife and don’t tread on sensitive habitats.
- Wildfire Prevention: Wildfires are a serious threat in Oregon, so visitors should be vigilant about extinguishing campfires and properly disposing of cigarettes. In addition, visitors should be aware of fire risks and restrictions, including campfire bans. Avoid parking or driving on dry grass, as vehicles can spark a wildfire.
- Avoid Excessive Waste: Consider packing large water containers and refilling them with tap water. Many places in Oregon enjoy excellent tap water, so there’s no need to buy it bottled.
- Pro Photo Tip: Instead of trying to capture images of the eclipse, capture shots of family and friends, as well as the shadows and trees that may look different during the event.
- For more information on viewing the annular solar eclipse in Oregon, tap here. For images, see here.