Did you know that this summer will bring North America’s biggest astronomical event in nearly 40 years?
On Monday, August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will darkening skies, first reaching Oregon on the west coast, before sweeping across the Midwest and southeast, eventually spanning across the Atlantic in the east.
If you want to have the best opportunity to witness this rare and spectacular celestial event that’s been called the “Great American Total Solar Eclipse, you’ll need plenty of time to prepare so that you can be sure you’re in the right place to see it.
There will be a number of places to watch it along the path of totality, which is the area where viewers will be able to see the total solar eclipse, and several are right here in the Northwest.
A total solar eclipse is when the moon appears to completely block out the sun – day suddenly turns into night and darkness falls upon certain areas of the planet with no sunlight reaching the planet’s surface.
Here’s where you should plan to go for the best viewing:
The Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is where the phenomenon will begin – so by visiting the picturesque towns here, like Lincoln City and Newport, you may get a great view. However, the coast is also prone to lots of clouds, and the sky needs to be clear, so that could be a problem. Still, August is generally one of the better months, so it may be worth the risk if you want to enjoy some awesome beach scenery too.
The Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon
Central Oregon is a great place to be there are wide open skies, and lots of sunny days, meaning your odds of being able to experience the solar eclipse are very good. And, it’s hard to beat the backdrop of the colorful painted hills.
As Bend is located in Central Oregon, it’s another outstanding spot to travel to for the solar eclipse. And, even better, you can join the 2017 Solar Eclipse Adventure offered through americashubworldtours.com. Taking place over August 20-22, 2017, it includes time to explore the cool city of Bend, located just east of the Cascade Mountain Range, renowned for its outdoor adventures and multiple breweries as one of the country’s top brew towns. You’ll be taken to the Path of Totality in Central Oregon, where the solar eclipse will begin on August 21 at 10:20:16 am, PDT.
The trip also includes stops at Smith Rock State Park and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, where you’ll get up close to many of the region’s most magnificent waterfalls, like Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Falls.
Snake River, Idaho
The Snake River Valley in eastern Idaho, made up of farmland and lava fields, is another spot – the mountains to the west should make for an especially dramatic backdrop.
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.