2017 Eclipse Information

graphic: make memories not wildfires


On Aug 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible across Wyoming and Nebraska for the first time in 38 years. The path of totality will cross Wyoming and Nebraska travelling from west to east, from 11:35- a.m. (MDT) to 1:06 p.m. (CDT- for eastern Nebraska).

The duration of the total eclipse event is approximately three hours, with totality ranging from 2.5 minutes along the center of the path of totality to one minute or less along the outer portions of the path. The partial eclipse will be visible throughout portions of the region. Know Before You Go!


Fire Safety

graphic: Smokey Bear says be careful with fire during eclipse visit to forest

Eclipse 2017 

Graphic: Solar eclipse stages

Eclipse & Forest Map

Graphic: Vicinity map of eclipse path


Know Before You Go!

The 2017 Eclipse is an opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest natural wonders from America’s public lands, but most lodging is booked and camping options are limited. Make sure you are well-prepared before heading out into the outdoors.


Recreate Responsibly.

Tread lightly, and leave no trace. Leave the outdoors better than when you found it. Remove all trash – pack it in, pack it out!

Be safe.

Understand risks. Respect signs and barriers. Know your limits. Remote areas have limited services and facilities – pack plenty of food and water. Be prepared for warm and cold temperatures. Bring sun and eye protection. Cell service may not be available in remote areas or could be limited due to heavy demand. Consider turning off your phone to help keep lines open for emergencies.

Only YOU can prevent wildfires.

Fire danger is high in the summer months, and many wildland fires are human-caused. Be prepared for fire restrictions. Consider using a propane or “backpack” stove instead of a barbecue grill or campfire, even if a “red flag warning” or “burn ban” is not in effect. Ensure tow chains aren’t dragging on the ground (they can throw sparks) and do not drive or park on dry grass (hot metal on the undercarriage can ignite a fire). If you smoke, do so only inside your vehicle and dispose of ashes in the ash tray - not out the window. Keep a shovel and a gallon of water or a fire extinguisher on hand for extinguishing fires.

  • August is peak wildfire season in the northern Rocky Mountains. Did you know nine out of 10 wildfires are human caused? Help us prevent wildfires during the eclipse by following these guidelines:
    • Stay on roads and trails, and don’t park on dry grass while checking out the eclipse. Hot exhaust and warm engines can easily ignite a wildfire.
    • If you are pulling a trailer, tighten up your chains! Trailer chains that drag on the ground can provide a spark that ignites a wildfire.
    • Keep cigarettes inside vehicles and extinguish them in liquid. Cigarettes and their ashes can cause wildfires.
    • Plan to cook your meals with a portable camp stove or backpacking stove.
    • Fire restrictions may be in effect. Check your destination forest or grassland websites through our visitor map.
    • If campfires are allowed, use existing fire rings when possible, keep it small, never leave it unattended, and put it out completely before you leave using multiple large buckets or pots full of water. Make sure it is cold enough to touch before you leave.


Drone Promo imageA temporary flight restriction is not anticipated – however, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are considered "mechanized” equipment and cannot take off or land in designated Wilderness. Individuals and organizations that fly UAS on National Forest System lands must follow FAA guidance. Temporary flight restrictions may restrict drone use in the affected area in the event of a wildfire.

More info: http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/ and  https://www.fs.fed.us/science-technology/fire/unmanned-aircraft-systems


Commercial: Commercial filming is defined as use of motion picture, videotaping, sound-recording, or any other type of moving image or audio recording equipment on National Forest System lands that involves the advertisement of a product or service, the creation of a product for sale, and/or the use of actors, models, sets, or props. Commercial photography on National Forest Service lands requires a commercial use permit, which can be obtained from the local forest supervisor’s office. Find a forest.

News: Activities associated with news acquisition, such as broadcasting breaking news, are not defined as commercial use under USFS policy, and do not require a permit.

Personal: Photographs and video acquired by individuals for personal use (i.e.: not obtained for later sale or licensing) are non-commercial in nature and not subject to permit requirements.

Viewing the Eclipse Safely:

Do not view the sun without appropriate eye protection! Eclipse glasses or #14 welder’s glass is needed to directly view any portion of sun without damaging your eyes. You can also use a pinhole, or projection, viewer that casts an image of the sun onto a neutral surface.

Never attempt to view the sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope or other optical device. Pointing such devices at the sun without an accredited solar filter installed can also damage the equipment: http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2017/solar-eclipse/choosing-camera-for-eclipse-photography.shtml.

Exception: The period of totality can be photographed without a filter, as the sun is not visible. Totality, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s direct rays, will only be viewable within the narrow, 60-70 mile “path of totality” and for only a very brief time (up to 2.5 minutes): https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/can-i-photograph-eclipse-my-smartphone.

Camping on National Forest Lands:

Established campgrounds: Most or all reserve-able campsites in forests along or near the path of totality are no longer available. First-come, first-served sites may be available, but expect these sites to fill quickly as the eclipse approaches. Dispersed camping opportunities may be available in some locations, but demand for existing sites is expected to be high.

Dispersed camping: Camp on bare or compacted soil to avoid damaging plants and grass – ideally, select a site where someone else has camped before. Check with the local forest or district office to ensure you understand what rules and restrictions are in effect for the area where you plan to camp. Campsites must be located at least 100 feet away from any water source, as plants and wildlife near water are especially fragile. Select a campsite with good natural drainage to eliminate the need to trench or level tent sites. Avoid creating new "roads" to access your camp. Refrain from cutting or damaging vegetation, including standing dead trees. Use removable ropes instead of nails to hang items from trees. Remember that services - including trash collection, toilets, and clean water - are not typically offered at dispersed camping locations.  


Solar eclipse graphic

USDA Forest Service 2017 Eclipse website: https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/eclipse2017

Map: https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/index.html?markeractivity=cabin%20rentals&exploremenu=no&featurecontent=no&eclipse=yes