How to plan a last-minute road trip or camping trip to the eclipse

With some planning there are still plenty of ways to get to the Path of Totality

Fretting about finding somewhere to stay for this eclipse? Thinking of calling the whole thing off and staying at home? Don’t – our research shows that there is literally an infinite number of places to camp. Here’s how you go about securing a campsite inside the eclipse Path of Totality in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina:

In summary? Untold ABUNDANCE. But only if you plan ahead. Here’s how you do it:
Get some accommodation booked or planned

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2 – Check HipCamp for first-come-first-served campsites

It’s a nice-looking interactive map, but in practice it’s only for a limited kind of campsite – the kind that will probably fill-up early in the day. But it could prove very handy.

3 – Contact local tourism organisations, who WILL help you find an eclipse campsite.

4 – Check for private campsites (so many on there).

5 – Consider wild/dispersed camping on public land like National Forests or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas:

This could be REALLY helpful. In fact, even if you have a map of BLM land in the State you are in (and the States either side) it could prove decisive.

Remember to put provisions (food, water) in your vehicle for 48 hours, just in case you need to relocate because of cloudy weather.

Check the weather for your intended location

The National Weather Service 2017 Solar Eclipse page will give you a useful 7-day Eclipse Forecast for any place in the U.S., and it has the Path of Totality marked upon it.

However, if you wake-up on Monday, August 21 to cloudy skies, it’s a tough call. Roads where you are may be choked with traffic, and if you have to leave the Path of Totality, you may not get back in.

Plan the journey

1 – Check eclipse visitation estimates, and which roads are likely to be busy around August 21.

2 – Xavier M. Jubier’s Interactive Google Maps: these maps are wonderfully easy to use and let you check the duration of totality with the Path of Totality (and the % of partial eclipse), though be careful – it uses Universal Time, not local time.

3 – Road Atlas for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 by Fred Espenak ($18.99): a comprehensive series of 37 full color maps of the path of totality across the USA. The large scale (1:700,000 or 1 inch = 11 miles) shows both major and minor roads, towns and cities, rivers, lakes, parks, national forests, wilderness areas and mountain ranges.


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