Those wanting a wilderness eclipse experience have four stunning US National Parks to choose from in Wyoming, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina
With 230 million people about to make plans to see the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, it’s time to start planning your trip – and what better place to head with family or friends than to a US National Park to watch August’s main event? Here are the four US National Parks you can see nature’s greatest spectacle from one of nature’s greatest places,
For more, check-out the 100 Best Places in the USA to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017.
1 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
How about seeing the eclipse from one of the world’s coolest observation deck? The highest mountain in the Smokies, in Tennessee, and along the 2,174-mile (3,499 km) Appalachian Trail, Clingman’s Dome – technically in North Carolina – was built in 1959 and offers a 180-degree panoramic. It should be good for watching the Moon-shadow just before and after Totality, but as well as slightly dodgy weather conditions, this is on the northern limit of the track, so you only get 1 minute 24 seconds of Totality.
2 – Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Folk are talking a lot about the eclipse out west, but South Carolina will be a special place to the eclipse. The largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States, Congaree National Park’s ancient trees and wilderness will get 2 minutes 33 seconds of Totality. Ranger-led hikes organised for 21 August, 2017 will combine the beauty and solitude of the old growth forests with prime eclipse viewing locations.
3 – Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming
This is the big one. And probably the busiest one, too. The towering peaks of the Teton Range (twelve peaks over 12,000 feet), lakes including Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake and Colter Bay, and Oxbow Bend on the Snake River will all be ideally placed for around two minutes of Totality. However, the area around Jackson Hole and Teton Village – where Totality is longest at 2 minutes 15 seconds – will be incredibly busy, and there is a chance that you’ll be stuck there if it’s cloudy, with roads likely choked by traffic.
4 – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The most famous park of all just misses out on a Total Solar Eclipse – a 99% partial eclipse is the booby prize for anyone up that far north – but it should be easy enough to base yourself amid its s bubbling geysers, mud pools and whizz down Highway 191 for the big moments; anywhere in the Jackson Hole Valley south of Flagg Ranch will be a fantastic place to see the eclipse (but do leave early on August 21 if driving south).
Photo credit: Travel Wyoming