Total Eclipse of the Heart

Totality: Last Chance to Get in on the Oregon Eclipse Action

written by Gina Williams

Solar eclipse fever began hitting Oregon last summer and as early as July 2016, hotels across the eclipse path began to announce they were already filling up. The excitement hasn’t slowed down and pickings for eclipse lodging are now extremely slim. But a smattering of overnight lodging remains and there are still plenty of options for viewing the Monday, August 21 phenomena, which will be the first coast-to-coast full solar eclipse in the United States since 1918.

Several large festivals such as Oregon Solarfest in Madras and Oregon Eclipse Festival at Big Summit Prairie near Bend still have tickets available and a few camping spots left. Dry RV camping at the Oregon State Fairgrounds (where OMSI is hosting a sold-out event) is filling up fast, but there are a few spots available. Airbnb hosts around the state are also offering up eclipse specials, but a recent search in Bend revealed that only 3 percent of the area’s Airbnb homes are available during the eclipse period.

For a full list of Oregon cities that lie in the path of totality, go to the eclipse2017.org.

Oregon Garden’s Total Eclipse of the Garden Viewing Party in Silverton has a few camping packages remaining.

Pamela Massey of Mt. Vista Mobile Home & RV Park in Bend said she expects their dry RV camping spots to fill up by mid-July. “Like many people in Central Oregon if you have land or places for people to comfortably stay, you are making it available to the droves of people we are expecting,” Massey said.

Several other private land events and camping opportunities include the Moonshadow Festival on Wine Down Ranch in Prineville, Gilliam County/Condon, including golf course camping, and Camp Taloali southest of Salem.

Dallas is hosting a four-day eclipse event with some $300 camping sites remaining. Corvallis is planning similar festivities, with camping at Crystal Lake Sports Fields.

At the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the total eclipse will be visible from all three units. The U.S. National Parks Service warns that large crowds are expected and no camping is allowed in the monument.

Oregon wineries like Eola Hills, Corea Estates, and others are also getting into the eclipse action, but many winery events are sold out. More information is available at the Oregon State Tourism’s Travel Oregon eclipse events page here: http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/oregon-stories/total-solar-eclipse-events/

The eclipse will begin at about 9 a.m. August 21 and reach totality at about 10:15 a.m. Oregon state tourism officials say at least one million people are expected to flood the state in the days leading up to the event – as eclipse fever reaches its peak.

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