Solar Eclipse 2017

Dark orange sun covered by moon

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will pass through Oregon—the first time the contiguous U.S. has been in the path of such an eclipse since 1979! Up to a million visitors are expected to come to Oregon to watch this rare natural phenomenon.

While the Columbia River Gorge is not in the path of totality, the eclipse will reach about 99% obscuration in the Gorge, starting just after 9:00 a.m. and peaking around 10:20 a.m.

Plan Ahead

Don't arrive last minute without a place to stay. Most hotels, campgrounds, and other lodging sites are booked. We have very few sites suitable for dispersed camping due to the Gorge’s mix of public-private lands and steep slopes, and you are unlikely to reserve or walk in to a spot at any of the Gorge's developed campgrounds. 

Road congestion. The Gorge is an important transportation corridor and a popular summer destination, and will likely be a thoroughfare a side attraction for those whose ultimate destination is the path of totality on the day of the eclipse. Therefore, expect heavy traffic on our roads and trails from Thursday, Aug. 17 until Tuesday, Aug. 22. 

Stock up on essentials. Bring food, water, medical supplies, and other essentials or, if you are a local, stock up a week in advance. Essentials such as groceries and gas, and even cash in ATMs, may end up being in short supply.

Only YOU can prevent wildfires. Oregon is having a very dry summer and regional wildfires are creating significant smoke. Make sure to check our Fire Information page for updates about fire danger and restrictions. There is a ban on campfires, so plan to have an alternative means of cooking (a portable cooking stove that uses a liquid fuel is allowed) and consider a fun way to tell your "campfire" stories around a decorated flashlight or glowstick.

Know before you go. There is a possibility that cell coverage will be stretched by the sheer number of visitors, so bring maps and printed information about the sites you plan to visit. Have cash on hand for possible day use fees at Forest Service and state park sites, or ensure you have the right pass. Here are some links to more tips:

  • Hood River County Sheriff's Guide to Eclipse Planning includes more tips, including locations of Cooling Centers in Hood River and how to sign up for Citizen Alerts. 
  • Our main office is only open Monday-Friday, but the visitor center at Multnomah Falls will remain open throughout the weekend before the eclipse. Please note, our staff cannot help you find or reserve a place to stay.  

During the Eclipse

Protect Your Eyes. Don’t look directly at the sun, even for a short time. Protect your eyes by wearing proper eclipse glassses (look for ISO 12312-2 certification) to view the sun, as the eclipse will not reach complete totality here.

Avoid Distracted Drivers. The partial eclipse starts around 9:07 a.m. before gradually peaking at 10:20 a.m., so drivers may be frantically rushing towards their destination as totality approaches. We recommend you pull over and find a safe place to park at least 30-60 minutes before the eclipse so you are not in the path of distracted drivers. Anyone who cannot avoid driving between 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., turn your headlights on.

Additional Resources

Oregon Public Lands Eclipse Blog
NASA - Total Eclipse
NASA - Eye Safety During a Total Solar Eclipse
National Weather Service - Eclipse Page
Oregon State Parks - 2017 Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse Guide - Travel Oregon