Total Solar Eclipse 2017

Total solar eclipse

On the morning of August 21, 2017, Oregon will experience an event that hasn’t happened here since 1979. A total solar eclipse, in which the moon passes between the sun and earth obscuring the view of the sun from a few locations for a few dramatic minutes, is for many people a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The high meadows of Marys Peak and Mt. Hebo, both of which fall within the ‘path of totality’ – the swath of land where viewers will witness a total eclipse, are expected to be of great interest to community members and visitors looking for prime viewing locations for the August 21 event. Access to both locations will be managed via a reservation system to provide a unique viewing experience, while ensuring public safety, clear access for emergency vehicles, and protection of sensitive meadows. At Cascade Head, Forest Service Road 1861 will open at 6am on August 21 and remain open to vehicles on a first come, first served basis until maximum capacity is reached.

At other locations, access to some trailheads, campgrounds, day use sites, and other facilities will be limited in the days leading up to the eclipse and the day of to protect sensitive ecosystems and ensure public safety (such as clear access for emergency vehicles).Siuslaw National Forest offices will be open the weekend leading up to the eclipse (August 19-20) to provide information to those visiting for the eclipse. The Reedsport, and Hebo Ranger Stations will be open Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20 from 8:00am-4:00pm. The headquarters office in Corvallis will be open through the weekend from 8:00am-4:30pm. All offices will be open normal business hours on Monday, August 21, the day of the eclipse.

Detailed information and maps regarding closures leading up to and on Aug. 21 can be found here.

Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires

Fire conditions, closures, and regulations can change rapidly in the month of August. For information on fire prevention and current fire restrictions, click here.

Marys Peak

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while protecting this special place, private vehicle access to Marys Peak will be limited on August 21, 2017, to those holding a parking reservation (permit) for one of three designated parking areas:

  1. Marys Peak Day Use Area
  2. Marys Peak Campground Overflow
  3. Woods Creek Trailhead

Parking permits were made available for reservation via recreation.gov for a $1.50 service fee beginning March 30. All permits were reserved within the first hour they were available. People are encouraged to check recreation.gov regularly to see if any reservations have been canceled. There is no waiting list, but canceled reservations go back into the pool and will be available.

Forest officials are also preparing to issue a special use permit to an outdoor event organizer to operate a shuttle to Marys Peak on the day of the eclipse, as well as to provide a range of camping opportunities and enhanced visitor services on the peak. More information on this service is available at Visit Corvallis.  

Some access to Marys Peak will be limited in the days leading up to the eclipse. Visitors should be aware of the following:

  • Marys Peak Road above Conners Camp closed to private vehicles nights of Aug. 17 through  Aug. 20 (8pm – 6am).
  • Marys Peak Road closed to private vehicles above Hwy. 34 8pm Aug. 20 to noon Aug. 21; eclipse permit holders and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6am Aug. 21.
  • Woods Creek Road, which accesses the North Ridge Trailhead, will be closed to vehicles from 8pm Aug. 20 to noon Aug. 21; eclipse permit holder and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6am Aug. 21.
  • The small Marys Peak Campground will be closed Aug. 17 through Aug. 21 to be used as a staging area for emergency services, staff, and volunteers supporting the event.
  • As always, camping and campfires are prohibited on Marys Peak.

Mt. Hebo

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while protecting this special place, private vehicle access to Mt. Hebo will be limited on August 21, 2017, to those holding a parking reservation (permit) for one of two designated parking areas:

  1. Mt. Hebo Communication Site
  2. Mt. Hebo South Point

Parking permits were made available for reservation via recreation.gov for a $1.50 service fee beginning March 30. All permits were reserved within the first hour they were available. People are encouraged to check recreation.gov regularly to see if any reservations have been canceled. There is no waiting list, but canceled reservations go back into the pool and will be available.

Some access to Mt. Hebo will be limited in the days leading up to the eclipse. Visitors should be aware of the following:

  • Forest Service Road 14 (Mt. Hebo Rd.) closed between the Mt. Hebo Horse Trailhead and Forest Service Road 1428 from 5:00pm August 18 through noon on August 21 (eclipse permit holders will be allowed entry starting at 6:00am on August 21).
  • All eclipse viewers will be required to stay in a designated viewing area to protect critical habitat for the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly.
  • As always, camping and campfires are prohibited on Mt. Hebo.

Cascade Head

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while protecting this special place, visitors should be aware of the following:

  • Private vehicle access to upper Cascade Head on August 21, 2017, will be on a first come, first served basis.
  • The gate on FS 1861, near the intersection with Hwy. 101, will be open beginning at 6am on August. 21 and closed when parking areas reach their capacity limit.
  • FS 1861 west of Hwy. 101 will be closed to vehicles nights of Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 (7pm – 7am).

Other Forest Areas

Many Siuslaw National Forest campgrounds are available by reservation and are already booked for the nights leading up to the eclipse. Some areas of the forest are available for dispersed camping, yet the steep slopes and dense forests of the Coast Range limit the availability of suitable camping locations. While access to other forest recreation sites will be available as usual, standard recreation fees may apply and crowding and congestion should be anticipated.

A map showing the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 path of totality

Know Before You Go

  • Plan ahead to ensure a safe and fun experience.
  • Viewing the eclipse without proper eyewear (sunglasses won’t cut it) can cause serious and permanent eye damage. Bring solar-eclipse-rated eye protection.
  • Make sure you have the proper supplies and gear.
  • Expect large crowds. Most lodging is booked. Options for camping are limited.
  • Familiarize yourself with the rules and specific information about the site you are visiting.
  • Cell service may not be available, so plan your route in advance and pack a map.
  • Many roads on public lands are gravel and may require a high-clearance or four-wheel drive vehicle.
  • The eclipse will have a huge impact on highways, gasoline supplies and other basic needs. Expect delays, traffic backups, changes in normal travel paths (closed roads, detours, etc.). Oregon Department of Transportation’s advice: Arrive early; stay put; leave late.

Recreate Responsibly

  • Help us protect our lands for all to enjoy.
  • Tread lightly and leave no trace. Leave your site better than you found it.
  • Remove all trash and remember to pack it in, pack it out!
  • To learn more, visit www.lnt.org/learn/7-principles.

Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires

  • August is peak wildfire season in the Pacific Northwest. For more information on fire prevention and current fire restrictions, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/siuslaw/fire
  • Know fire risks and respect fire restrictions, such as campfire bans.
  • Avoid parking or driving on dry grass as your vehicle can spark a wildfire.
  • Vehicles are required to have a shovel and fire extinguisher or gallon of water in many areas.

Additional Resources

Interactive map displaying the path of the eclipse