August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse

Entelodont skull with eclipse glasses

Expect Large Crowds August 15th - 22nd

Many people already know that Eastern Oregon is predicted to be one of the best total eclipse viewing areas in the country. We anticipate very large crowds August 15th - 22nd; expect traffic delays, congested parking lots, and areas that are normally open may be closed and/or open to foot traffic only.

When & Where Can I See the Eclipse?

The total eclipse of August 21, 2017 will be visible from all three units of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The Painted Hills and Sheep Rock Units are both directly under the center line of the eclipse, and the Clarno Unit is north of center line but still within the range of totality.

The eclipse will begin shortly after 9 am, with the sun being completely blocked at or shortly after 10:20 am, depending on which unit you are at. The sun will be blacked out one minute and forty seconds at Clarno and just over two minutes each at Sheep Rock and Painted Hills.

Planning Your Eclipse Visit

Use these links to help plan your trip to John Day Fossil Beds:
Places to Go

Camping is not permitted in monument boundaries. Please plan accordingly. Our Camping and Lodging pages may be helpful, but please note that most area accommodations that accept reservations have already been booked for years for the eclipse. We have added new, additional camping and lodging options at the bottom of this page under the heading, Area Events and Accommodations for the Eclipse.

Be prepared by learning more about Enjoying the Solar Eclipse on Oregon's Public Lands (pdf).

The Park's Plan for the Event

Park Staff is still determining the details. Check back on this page for more detailed information as it becomes available. Special parking areas will be designated, and areas that are normally open may be closed and/or open to foot traffic only. Expect traffic delays travelling to and within the area, long walks to prime viewing areas, and long lines at restrooms. We are expecting unusually high visitation, therefore programs and services will be limited.

No Cell Service and No Data or Internet Access

Limited Services, Come Prepared

Be aware that John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is located in remote Eastern Oregon. Although local communities are planning for large crowds and are hosting special events, local infrastructure is limited and businesses may sell out of gas, food, beverages, medications and other supplies. We recommend that you come prepared: bring plenty of personal medication, extra food, water, and fill vehicles with fuel ahead of time and keep the tank topped off as much as possible. The high temperatures in August can reach over 100F; therefore bring a larger supply of water than you think you will need. Cell service and internet access is typically spotty in this area and cell services normally available may not be because of the increased numbers of users.

Remember your eclipse glasses! Eclipse glasses in front of Sheep Rock.

Sun Safety

Special viewing glasses are required in order to safely view the solar eclipse. While many local businesses, including the bookstore at the paleontology center, will carry eclipse viewing glasses and/or filters, it is possible they may sell out before the event. It is best to purchase these items ahead of time and bring them with you to ensure you have them available to use. Never look at the sun without eclipse rated eyewear.

Find out more about viewing the eclipse safely by visiting NASA's website.

To prevent wildfires, do not drive or park on dry grass.

Fire Safety

Summer is a dry time of year in Eastern Oregon and the month of August is peak wildfire season. Whether accidental or intentional, people start wildfires every year in Oregon which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppress and endanger lives and our natural resources.

Please do your part to prevent wildfires:

  • Prevent Vehicle-Caused Wildfire: Stay on designated roads and never park or drive over dry grass. The exterior of your exhaust system can reach temperatures up to 2800F and vegetation could gather on top of your exhaust system causing it to ignite. Your hot engine can act like a match!
  • Cigarette Fires: Make sure all burning materials are put out properly, and never discard your cigarette butts on the ground! If they’re cold – they’re litter; if they’re still burning, they can start a wildfire!
  • Campfires: During fire season, June through mid-September, campfires are not allowed in Eastern Oregon. Know if it is legal to have a campfire. On federal lands, abandoned campfires are the number one source of human-caused wildfires. For more information on fire prevention and current fire restrictions, visit
  • Fireworks: Remember that fireworks are always illegal on public lands.

Commercial or Special Park Use Permits

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument will not issue any permits for Commercial Uses or Special Park Uses during the time period between August 17 through August 24th, 2017. Managing permitted activities will simply not be possible due to the unusually large numbers of visitors for the Total Solar Eclipse. We are expecting over a quarter of our annual visitation during that week. A National Park Service special events management team has been requested to assist park staff in responding to large crowds, providing for visitor safety, and protecting resources for which the park was established.


Area Events and Accommodations for the Eclipse

Visit the links below for information on events or accommodations in the surrounding areas. Many campgrounds and hotels in the area have already booked up and those that are still available will fill up quickly for the eclipse. It is a good idea to book early!

Travel Oregon Eclipse Page
US Forest Service Blog - Statewide Information
US Forest Service Blog - Eastern Oregon
Ochoco National Forest's Eclipse Page
Crook County (Prineville, OR)
Deschutes County (Bend, OR)
Grant County (John Day, OR)
Gilliam County (Condon, OR)
Jefferson County (Madras, OR)
Wheeler County (Fossil, Spray, Mitchell, OR)
Links to other webpages about the eclipse

Educational Eclipse Links

Learn more about solar eclipses, obtain maps of the solar eclipse paths, and get all your solar eclipse facts answered by visiting the following links.

NASA's Eclipse Page has fantastic and comprehensive site for everything you want to know about the 2017 eclipse.
NASA YouTube Video on the Total Eclipse helps you visualization of the path of the totality.
National Park Service's Eclipse Page give information about types of eclipses, sun safety, and NPS eclipse events.
American Astronomical Society Eclipse 2017 page has additional resources on why eclipses occur, information on eye safety, how to shoot pictures or videos of the eclipse, eclipse events, and much more.
Eclipse Megamovie simulates what the eclipse will look like in the skies above Dayville, Oregon. This website also provides more information about the Eclipse Megamovie. No matter where you decide to experience totality, you could be one of many citizen scientists gathering scientifically valuable data from the total solar eclipse.


Last updated: June 17, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

32651 Highway 19
Kimberly, OR 97848


(541) 987-2333

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