Solar Eclipse 2017
Are you thinking of coming to Central Oregon for the Solar Eclipse?
We've got answers to some of your public lands questions!
The Ochoco National Forest and the Crooked River National Grassland are directly in the path of the eclipse (See Map), and we are expecting large numbers of visitors during eclipse week.
How many people are coming here? We don't know for sure, but you should realize we are expecting a very large volume of visitors to the area. This will impact your ability to find lodging or camping, slow travel times, and put a larger demand on local communities for goods and services.
We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during the eclipse. The better prepared you are, the better experience you’ll have.
Please take a few moments to browse the information below before planning your trip to the Ochoco National Forest and the Crooked River National Grassland.
Also, check out these information resources:
Oregon Public Lands flyer
First. We are open for eclipse viewing! Whether or not you plan to camp, the Forest and Grassland are public lands and will remain open to visitors who wish to find a spot to view the eclipse. There are no special closures or restrictions planned during the eclipse.
We have a select number of camping spots and rental cabins that can be reserved ahead of time: Camping & Cabins
All reservations are handled online at www.recreation.gov
All sites that can be reserved online, have been reserved already, but you can keep checking www.recreation.gov in case of cancellations.
All other campground sites and dispersed camping is on a first come, first served basis.
Do you have a large group? If so, please know the rules are the same. Due to high demand, we will not be issuing special use permits for group campouts during the eclipse. You are free to find a dispersed camp spot on a first come, first served basis.
Do you wish to host a commercial event? Sorry, but we are not permitting any commercial events on the Forest and Grassland during the eclipse. This is due to the large volume of visitors we’re already expecting.
If you plan to camp, please take a moment to learn a little bit about dispersed camping on National Forest lands and how you can help conserve the resources while you’re here.
Getting familiar with the principles of Leave No Trace will prepare you to leave your campsite better than you found it, so those who come after you can have an enjoyable camping experience, too.
If you’re looking to camp near water, check out this web page to find out where the lakes and streams are located.
If you camp near water, please camp at least 200 feet back from the water source. This helps to protect fragile plants and soil, and the wildlife that depend on them.
Potable drinking water is not found many places on the Forest and Grassland. We encourage you to bring your own drinking water.
Fire danger increases across Central Oregon as summer months grow warmer and vegetation dries out. August is typically the peak of wildfire season here and conditions are usually so dry by mid-August that any human-caused or lightning-caused ignition has high potential to grow into a wildfire.
Please spend some time learning about fire safety before you camp this time of year. A cigarette butt tossed in the ditch, a chain dragging behind your trailer, or even parking a hot vehicle on dry grass can start a fire.
Campfires will most likely be completely restricted by mid-August on all federal and state-managed lands in Central Oregon. This is a typical restriction we enter into every year as conditions dry out. Check out our public use restrictions and fire danger levels for more information.
Please don't plan to cook over an open fire on public lands. Campfires and charcoal fires will most likely be restricted.
Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest lands throughout the entire year. Please don’t bring them or use them on the National Forests. They create a real fire danger and they’re illegal.
We encourage everyone who visits the National Forests to have a good map. It can be easy to get lost or turned around on unfamiliar forest roads.
Cell service is spotty at best in the Ochocos, and often completely unavailable. It is more frequent on the Grassland. Please don’t rely on cell service for vehicle navigation. Having a map will help ensure your safety.
The two most popular maps are the Recreation Map and the Motor Vehicle Use Map.
The Recreation Map is a colored overview of the National Forest and Grassland, the major roads, campgrounds and facilities, and useful tourism information.
The Motor Vehicle Use Map is a detailed, black-and-white reference of all roads on the Forest and Grassland that are open to motorized travel. This map contains many of the narrower roads that the Visitor Map does not.
Recreation Maps cost $10 or less and Motor Vehicle Use Maps are FREE.
Both maps are available at any of our Central Oregon Forest Service offices, or they can be downloaded online.
While you’re here, it’s important that you only drive on roads open to motorized use. You can walk anywhere you want.
In most cases, motor vehicles are restricted to drive no more than 300 feet off the road for camping purposes.
Driving on designated routes helps to preserve the quality experiences that we all enjoy about our public lands: Find out why driving on designated routes is important!
Please Close Gates. The Forest and Grassland are “working forests,” which means there are active grazing allotments on many parts of the landscape.
Some roads have livestock fences or gates across them. Please be kind to the ranchers and close the gates behind you as you travel through to prevent cows or sheep from leaving their allotments.
Also, please do not park in the roads or block traffic. We are expecting lots of visitors during eclipse week. We need to maintain open roads for other motorists and emergency responders.
Google Map of Eclipse Path
Madras Chamber of Commerce
274 SW 4th St. Madras, OR 97741
Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce
185 NE 10th St. Prineville, OR 97754
Mitchell, Oregon Solar Eclipse
Central Oregon Visitors Association
PO Box 4489
57100 SW Beaver Drive
Building 6, Suite 130
Bend, OR 97707
Toll free: (800) 800-8334
1 (800) 547-7842