2024 Eclipse Information

Total Solar Eclipse

On April 8, the moon, earth, and sun will align in a total solar eclipse that will pass across a large portion of the United States. The eclipse will be an amazing event, especially in the path of totality.

On April 8, the moon, earth, and sun will align in a total solar eclipse that will pass across a large portion of the United States. The eclipse will be an amazing event, especially in the path of totality.

As you plan your trip please keep safety and courtesy in mind during your visit. We expect crowds in and around the path of totality, including on the area’s roadways. Drive slowly, be alert, and know before you go!

General Tips

  • Eclipse Viewing Tips for National Forest Visitors
  • Protect your eyesight: The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses.”
  • Thoroughly research your destination and plan your trip accordingly. Leave your route and information about when you leave and when you are expected to return with a friend or loved one. 
  • Bring your own supplies: Have enough food and water for your entire stay.
  • Many parts or all of the forests are in areas where cell phone signals are weak or nonexistent. Consider alternative means of communication.
  • Have a map: Bring a paper map of where you are going, or download directions ahead of time in case cell service goes out due to large crowds.
  • Bring garbage bags to pack out what you pack in.
  • Gas up: Fill up your car with gasoline before making the trek to the Forest to view the eclipse.  
  • Expect crowds, although there are only estimates on how many people might show up in any given area.
  • Be patient and courteous. Avoid frustrations that can happen in crowds by being courteous and patient with other visitors. 
  • Arrive early and leave late: Avoid the worst of the crowds on the roadways. Give yourself lots of time to get to the location. Hanging around a while after might save you from getting stuck in any traffic jams. 
  • Drive slow and carefully! Many of our roads are winding, gravel roads with no shoulder or steep shoulders. If you pull over anywhere to watch the eclipse, make sure you are not blocking traffic in either direction; but also make sure you don’t get your own vehicle stuck on a steep shoulder. Look at these sites on the map before going so you know the roadways that surround them—this can be very helpful if the location you intend to visit is overcrowded and you have to go elsewhere. Be cautious of large vehicles like logging trucks on the road. Know exactly where you are going before you head out on your adventure to prevent accidents from looking at maps and electronic devices while driving. Watch out for people pulled over doing just that.
  • Avoid cliff edges at higher elevation locations. Keep pets on a leash and watch children closely.
  • April is turkey hunting season. Wear bright colors while on trails, but try to avoid red, white, or blue during turkey season. The head of a male turkey can be a vivid red, powder blue, and white during spring. 

Leave No Trace

  • Whether you are local or visiting from afar, please practice the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace for your safety and to keep our natural areas as good as, or better than, you found them. Planning ahead, disposing of waste properly and minimizing your impacts on the environment are all attributes of being a polite guest.

Camping

  • Both forests have many opportunities for developed and dispersed/primitive camping. List of campgrounds:
  • Many campgrounds are first come, first serve so reservations are not needed. Pricing may vary at each campground, and those that are available for reservation can be booked at recreation.gov. Prices can be found at:
  • If you opt for dispersed/primitive camping make sure to follow the guidelines.
  • If you are dispersed/primitive camping, think about bathroom needs -- bring toilet paper, a small shovel and know how to dig a cat-hole in the woods.

Fire Safety

  • Check for any burn bans before you head out.
  • “Only you can prevent wildfires!”   
    • Ensure that you know Smokey’s rules for preventing wildfires.  If you have a campfire, keep it small and make sure to “Drown, stir, feel” to put it all the way out when you are done.   
    • Don’t park vehicles in tall grass if it is dry outside – hot engines and exhaust can cause fires in dry grass. 
    • Don’t leave any campfires unattended – if you plan to leave it, make sure it is put completely out. 

Maps

Information Updates

  • Follow us for updated safety and fire information. The types of information could include closed areas or warnings of burn bans that prohibit campfires or other open flames for cooking, tools that can throw sparks such as chainsaws and/or restriction on off-road travel in motorized vehicles.

FAQs

  • Q: What should I do if there is an emergency?
    • A: In the event of an emergency call 911.
  • Q: How can I safely view or photograph/video the eclipse?
  • Q: Can I see the eclipse if it’s cloudy?
    • A: If conditions are cloudy, the area in the path of totality will still get dark, but you will not see the moon pass in front of the sun.
  • Q: Can I reserve a campsite?
    • A: Many campgrounds are on a first come, first serve basis. Check pricing and if reservations are needed: OuachitaOzark-St. Francis
  • Q: Where can I find additional information about opportunities and events in Arkansas and Oklahoma?

Learn More

Contact Us