Many areas in Oregon will offer excellent opportunities to witness an amazing celestial event this fall: the upcoming annular solar eclipse on Saturday, October 14.
The moon, at its farthest point from Earth, will appear smaller as it passes in front of the sun, creating a wonderful “ring of fire” effect. Visitors are encouraged to book their accommodations and other arrangements well in advance – as hotel and camp site reservations are expected to sell out quickly – and to anticipate traffic impacts in the loop route.
The eclipse will begin to be seen in Oregon shortly after 8 a.m. with the ring beginning at 9:14 a.m. This astronomical event will be visible across the Oregon sky but is best seen in the loop’s path, which includes parts of the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley. — an area concentrated within central Oregon, and much of southern Oregon — draw visitors and eclipse chasers to these areas for excellent viewing, as well as guided tours and events, according to a statement from the Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon.
If the skies are clear on the Oregon coast, viewers with an unobstructed view of the sunrise between Langlois and Gleniden Beach will see the eclipse first before it tracks a southeasterly path through Albany, Eugene, Springfield, Crater Lake National Park, Roseburg, Medford, and Lakeview before heading southeast. The eclipse will reach maximum coverage at 9:16 a.m. over the Eugene region, resulting in near total darkness. The Moon will then start filtering out the Sun, restoring full daylight around 10:39 AM
“Because of Oregon’s starry skies, the state is known for its excellent stargazing opportunities, and this year’s annular solar eclipse will be another exciting celestial display,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “With the looping path passing through remote Oregon and with a new moon appearing this weekend, eclipse watchers who spend a night or two stargazing will also be treated to a treat.”
This year’s annular solar eclipse differs from the solar eclipse observed in Oregon in 2017 as the moon’s disk appeared larger than the sun in 2017, creating complete darkness for two minutes. In October 2023, the moon’s disk will be about 5 percent smaller than the sun’s disk, and people will be able to see the ring of fire for a full 4 minutes in the annular path. The sky will darken but not quite as it was in 2017. Animals will be quieter and viewers will be able to see tree shadows and other landscape elements.
Many regions and communities have organized other events and celebrations around the upcoming annular solar eclipse. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead, book accommodations and other arrangements early, and keep an eye on the weather forecast and potential traffic impacts as the date approaches. Certified eclipse viewing glasses will be available at Travel Oregon Welcome Centers while supplies last.
Helpful travel tips for viewing an annular solar eclipse include:
Book accommodation early: Many of the hotels and campsites located on Ring Road are likely to be sold out.
Be prepared for traffic: Many of the small communities on the trail only have one road leading in and out. They can be backed up, which makes traffic an issue. There are also home football games on the day of the eclipse in both Corvallis and Eugene, which will add to potential backups on I-5 and in those metropolitan areas. To reduce crowds, avoid highways and other popular attractions in the path of the eclipse. Plan to arrive at least a full day, and preferably several days, before the event — and don’t try to go home right after the eclipse. If possible, avoid traveling entirely in the loop on October 14, 2023.
Get the map: A cell phone and GPS may not be reliable in rural Oregon. Increased cell phone use will overwhelm services and make communications more difficult. Know where you are going, and don’t expect to rely on your phone or online maps. Request a highway map online at TravelOregon.com or pick one up at the Welcome Center.
fuel up: With long distances between petrol stations in rural areas, visitors should be sure to calculate their fuel needs.
Package provisions: There are a limited number of restaurants in some of the beautiful, remote places in Oregon, and they 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 view the eclipse safely, viewers will need eclipse-viewing glasses, which prevent harmful light from damaging vision.
Carry some cash ATMs in many small and medium-sized cities are often limited in funds. Most services in Oregon accept credit cards; However, there are places in rural areas that only accept cash.
Prepare for changing weather: Fall in Oregon can bring dramatic ups and downs, especially at elevations where it can snow. Visitors should check the forecast and prepare for all types of weather.
Be respectful. no infringementAlways respect the limits of private ownership. Stay on public lands, be kind to local communities and wildlife and don’t trample on sensitive habitats.
Forest fire prevention: Wildfires are a serious threat in Oregon, so visitors should be careful about putting out campfires and properly disposing of cigarettes. In addition, visitors should be aware of fire hazards and restrictions, including a ban on campfires. Avoid parking or driving on dry grass, as vehicles can start a wildfire.
Avoid excessive waste: Consider filling large water containers and refilling them with tap water. Many places in Oregon have premium tap water, so there is no need to buy it bottled.
Pro tip for photos: Instead of trying to take pictures of the eclipse, take snapshots 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, click here.