Are you ready for this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event? Make sure you're prepared and stock up like you’re preparing for a snow day.
If you plan to look up at the sky at all, you must wear certified eclipse glasses. (Photo credit: Jarett Juarez)
Many cities outside of the path of totality will still be able to experience about 99 percent of the eclipse.

Finally, the moment is upon us. The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 will soon stretch its 62-mile path across the earth, a rare celestial event that won’t happen again in Oregon until 2108. Whether you’re a serious astronomy geek or an everyday lover of the outdoors, the two minutes of mid-morning darkness will be breathtaking.

Here are five things you need to know about this once-in-a-lifetime event, according to Jim Todd, director of science education programs at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry:

You must use eclipse glasses.

If you plan to look up at the sky at all, you must wear certified eclipse glasses with the ISO or CE mark on them. Purchase your pair with Oregon State Parks. Sunglasses will not properly protect your eyes. “It’s really imperative you don’t look at the sun directly with your eyes [without eclipse glasses],” to avoid permanent damage to your retinas from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, says OMSI’s Jim Todd. Wear the glasses for the 2.5 hours before and after the two minutes of totality, according to Todd. Only during the moment of totality can you take it off. Time it to be safe. Always supervise children using looking up at the sky. When you do remove your glasses, turn away — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

Stock up like you’re preparing for a snow day.

Highways, shops and visitor destinations will be crowded — very crowded. Stock up on gas, food and supplies as if it’s a snow day, because you may not be able to get out and about the day before, during and after the Aug. 21 event. If you are traveling to view the eclipse, go early and leave later. Be patient in traffic and carry water, supplies and a printed highway map with you — don’t rely on your cell phone or GPS. For tips on extending your trip (and other resource information), pick up Travel Oregon’s free Eclipse Guide, available at state welcome centers for a limited time.

You can enjoy the eclipse in Portland, Eugene or Bend.

If you live in a city outside the path of totality and don’t have plans for the eclipse, fear not: Many cities will still be able to experience about 99 percent of the event. So get out the lawn chairs and throw your own party (with eclipse glasses for all). If you are seeing the partial eclipse, you need to keep your glasses on the entire time because the 1 percent of sun can damage your eyes. The sky will darken as if it’s overcast, and you’ll see the silhouette of the moon covering the sun with a glow of sunlight at the top. You may see the bright sparkle of Venus.

Help us keep Oregon safe and beautiful.

We love Oregon, and you probably do too, so make sure to practice Leave No Trace ethics: leave sites as you found them, dispose of your waste responsibly, respect the wildlife and be considerate of other visitors. Be mindful of private property and make sure you are not trespassing. Know that August is peak wildfire season in Oregon, so be vigilant about extinguishing and disposing cigarettes, and respect campfire bans when in place. It’s also a great idea to pack large water containers to refill with tap water. Oregon’s water is some of the best in the world, so there’s no need to buy bottled water.

Start planning now for 2023.

There won’t be another total solar eclipse in Oregon for 154 years, but the next big astronomical event will come soon enough. On Oct. 14, 2023 — just six years away — the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun for an annular eclipse that will span parts of the U.S. Appearing like a ring of fire in the sky, the center line will be over Crater Lake National Park.

about author Jen Anderson

Jen Anderson writes and edits Travel Oregon's e-newsletters and other online content. She loves finding the latest places to eat, drink and play around the state with her husband and two young boys. Brewpubs, beaches and bike trails top the list.

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  1. Ray says…

    I noticed your guide to the solar eclipse on the news. Would you please send the brochure to me? My address is: Ray LaFrance, 10800 SW Canterbury Ln #70, Tigard, OR 97224. Thank you. This site is a wonderful resource.

    Written on July 28th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  2. Sachie Yorck says…

    Hi Ray! We still have eclipse guides available at our state welcome centers for a limited time. You can also download a digital copy here: http://traveloregon.com/getting-around/online-guides/

    Written on July 28th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  3. Christy Rheu Waldner says…

    I have space for 2 more road or mountain bike cyclists at our dry campground in John Day OR. The path of the Eclipse goes right over our 160 acres.

    Written on August 2nd, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  4. ronn Passmore says…

    we still have campsites available in Lebanon. eclipseinlebanon.com

    Written on August 2nd, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  5. Dave Masko says…

    Hi Travel Oregon: I’m Dave Masko an Oregonian for the past 17 years since retiring from the Air Force in 1999 and moving to Florence. In turn, I’ve created two recent Kindle e-books about the Oregon 2017 eclipse experience that I hope your team will enjoy and help market. Find my “free” two Kindle e-books on this Aug. 21 solar eclipse event at Masko and Kindle boutique.

    cheers, and keep up the good Oregon branding and marketing work. DAVE in Florence via I was a friend of the late Rob Spooner at Oregon Coast Magazine and a former Spooner-sponsored Oregon “Q” quality customer service trainer and producer here along the central Oregon coast.

    Written on August 2nd, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  6. Lilarose19o41 says…

    About half our mornings in Bandon are overcast. Won’t that put a stop to any eclipse viewing? Much of the Oregon Coast can have an overcast in the morning, but I don’t think it extends very far inland.

    Written on August 2nd, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  7. RR says…

    ‘Wear the glasses for the 2.5 hours before and after the two minutes of totality’

    Hours?

    Written on August 2nd, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  8. Terry Dawson says…

    I would love to talk with someone about the eclipse from Travel Oregon on my Travel Bug segment next Monday on AM 860 KPAM. We could do it by phone today or tomorrow for air if there’s no one available to do it live 8/7. Let me know if there’s someone who’d be willing to talk

    Thanks Terry

    Written on August 3rd, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  9. Jessica says…

    Hi – first time visitor to Central Oregon from Los Angeles. Myself, husband and 5 yr old are staying in Bend and have a car rental for the weekend. Should we try driving out to Madras for the festival or would you suggest another area close by that won’t be as crowded? I’m worried about being in a car for hours with a 5 yr old. Someone suggested going to Painted Hills instead of Madras. Not sure which is closer to Bend. Appreciate your advice.

    Written on August 8th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  10. Norman Melson says…

    Is it okay to take a photo of the eclipse with an I Phone??? Without using any other equipment??? Thank You!

    Written on August 11th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
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