Best places to see the eclipse in Oregon
The entire Beaver State will get Totality for 12 minutes from 10:15 am PDT on August 21, 2017
Touchdown! Want to be the among the first people in the USA to see the eclipse? Reaching the Pacific coast just after breakfast at 10:15 AM PDT, the first total solar eclipse to be visible from the continental US since 1979 is, for the first 9 minutes, completely owned by Oregon.
Although Totality here is a little shorter than in the Midwestern states at just under two minutes, the big reason for heading west to see the eclipse is weather. In fact, there are no better places to almost guarantee a clear view of the sun during Totality than in Oregon, specifically at Madras and areas in eastern Oregon, such as the Painted Hills.
Here’s a great map of the Path of Totality in Oregon.
Totality can be glimpsed in Oregon at 10:15 am PDT on August 21, 2017 in the far west of the state, with the moon shadow leaving Oregon for Idaho at 10:27 am PDT. However, there is significant risk of cloud cover on the coast here, so if you’re of a nervous disposition, it’s worth straying far inland.
Three places to see the eclipse in Oregon:
1 – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, Salem
If you want to see the eclipse surrounded by scientists, OMSI in Salem is organizing a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, which will include science lectures, astronomy-related community groups, and entertainment ($8 Adults; $6 Youth/Seniors). Tickets include a seat in the L.B. Day Amphitheater, a solar eclipse viewer, and a ticket to the 2017 Oregon State Fair. Doors open at 6 am ready for the start of the Partial Eclipse phase at 09:05am!
2 – 2017 Solar Celebration, Madras
Staged from August, 18-22 With space for over 10,000 on a farm on land above Madras, this area has a great view of the seven mountain peaks, and a clear view of the total solar eclipse. As well as music, there will be food, beer, T-shirts and eclipse glasses. You can find out more about tickets here.
3 – Painted Hills, Mitchell
The Painted Hills multicolored badlands north of Mitchell famously glow at sunrise and sunset, so this fossil-strewn area in the heart of Eastern Oregon’s desert will be a favored spot for photographers. Shadows sharpen and the light drops In the last few minutes before Totality, so the rocks may capture and reflect back the weird light. It’s a technical feat and you don’t want to miss Totality while fiddling with a camera (especially if it’s your first experience of a Total Solar Eclipse), but how about actually capturing the event of the century? This area in Oregon also has one of the best chances of clear skies in the entire USA. Beautiful patterns and ever-changing colors in the 35 million years old rocks should look awesome in the fast-fading light just before the Total Solar Eclipse that goes exactly overhead.
Photo credit: Christian Heeb/Travel Oregon/Oregon Tourism Commission