Total Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the sun. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth. On Monday, August 21, 2017 the Intermountain Region Idaho Forests and the Bridger Teton in Wyoming will experience a Total Solar Eclipse. This includes areas on the Payette, Boise, Sawtooth, Caribou-Targhee, and Salmon Challis National Forests.


Most of the reserveable campsites within and near the path of totality are reserved for this event, and the weekend before the eclipse. There will be some first com/first serve sites at these campgrounds and other non-reservable campgrounds throughout the Region that will be available. However, we anticipate that these sites will probably fill by Friday August 18th, as people arrive early to secure a site. At this time there are still some reservations outside of the path of totality, but within one hour drive.  Visit to view campsites.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping is camping anywhere on a National Forest outside of a designated campground. Plan on no services and no facilities. There may be some areas restrictions where you can camp. Check with the local Forest Service office for regulations.

  • You must be within 300 feet of a road.
  • Try to place your campsite at least 200 feet from any stream or other water source.
  • Try to use existing sites and fire rings.

Stay Limits

Most campgrounds and dispersed camping in the Intermountain Region have a 14 to 16 day stay limit restriction. This policy was put into place to protect natural resources, address sanitation issues, prevent camps from monopolizing popular sites, and to control squatting on national forest lands. There are a few areas throughout the Region that have different regulations for a stay limits. Check with the local Forest Service office for stay limits.

  • Redfish Recreation Area on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area has a 3-day stay limits.
  • Anywhere on the Jackson Ranger District on the Bridger-Teton National Forest has a 5-day stay limits. After 5 days, you must move to another Ranger District to camp. You may only return to the Jackson Ranger District after 30 days.


It is your responsibility to obtain a Motor Vehicle Use Map. These are free and can be obtained from a local Forest Service Office. Below are digital copies that you can print and view. You can get road reports for main roads by visiting the Idaho Department of Transportation and Wyoming Department of Transportation websites.  Below are links for forest Maps & Publications.

Safety & Ethics

  • Remember to bring the right gear. In some of the higher elevations, it is common to snow in the summer.
  • Check for fire restrictions
  • Extinguish your campfire before leaving.
  • Properly store food. Methods to hang food. You are in bear country
  • Be respectful of natural setting. Minimize your impact by using established camps, camp on hard surfaces, avoid being directly next to water, and leave the site better
    than you found it.
  • Be respectful of other campers, keep a decent distance from other campers when possible.
  • Dispose of solid human waste properly. never defecate or leave toilet paper on top of the ground. It can easily get into the local water source and contaminate it.
  • Make sure that you obtain the proper eclipse glasses. Do not wear sun glasses to view the eclipse. Find out more at the Nasa Safety Page.