2024 Eclipse

A park ranger wearing a pair of eclipse glasses.
On April 8, 2024, a total eclipse passed over Ozark National Scenic Riverways! The page below has information on the completed event's schedule and eclipse safety.

NPS Photo / Wil Marischen

A step-by-step sequence showing the stages of the total eclipse.
A total eclipse is an "astronomical" opportunity that puts our solar system into perspective.

Photo courtesy of American Astronomical Society / Rick Fienberg

When was the eclipse?

The total eclipse took place on Monday, April 8, 2024! At Big Spring, the total eclipse began just after 1:55 pm and ended before 2:00 pm (local time). The partial eclipse lasted longer, starting at 12:39 pm and ending at 3:15 pm. Detailed timetables can be found further down this page. For eclipse times outside of the park, visit this interactive eclipse timing map.

The park's free event ran from 10 am to 4 pm at Big Spring.

What makes a total eclipse special?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth while the Moon and Earth are closer together. Because the Moon is closer, its shadow will completely block the sun in some areas. In the Ozarks, it will be as dark as night at 1:55 pm!

If you are in the path of totality, there will be a short period where it is safe to view the eclipse without protective eyewear! Weather permitting, this can be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Sun's "corona," or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by sunlight.

When darkness falls, you can watch nature react in strange ways! Evening critters may begin their mating calls early, and cattle will return to their nighttime shelters. Eclipses are a reminder of how the natural world works, regardless of hours or minutes.

A picture of a rainbow refracting out of a sphere, mimicking an eclipse. Text reads "2024 Total Eclipse, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Experience the Zark Side of the Moon."
Experience the 'Zark Side of the Moon at this once-in-a-lifetime event! The next total eclipse will not cover Missouri until the year 2505.

NPS / Wil Marischen

Where can I see the eclipse?

The park will be hosting a "Zark Side of the Moon" eclipse viewing at Big Spring, located south of Van Buren, Missouri. This event is completely free to attend! Big Spring offers an open viewing area with around 4 minutes of totality. A list of activities and attractions can be found below. Free parking will be available near Big Spring; view the tabs below for more details.

The park will also host a ranger booth at Alley Spring, which offers an open area and around 2 1/2 minutes of totality. A limited number of free eclipse glasses and Junior Eclipse Explorer books will be available.

As usual, the rest of the riverways is open for viewing the eclipse. In addition to the two rivers, there are numerous campgrounds, trails, gravel bars, and other points of interest. Perhaps you will see totality from the Current River, or from the ridgelines of the Ozark Trail. These are great opportunities for experiencing the eclipse in remote, natural areas. Remember: Ozark National Scenic Riverways does not charge an entry fee!

Wherever you go, refer to a map of the eclipse path before making any plans. See the Eclipse Coverage section below for totality within the park. While much of the river is covered, areas north of Round Spring will have little to no totality.



What should I bring?

While the park provides activities and viewing equipment, visitors should bring food, water, and comfortable seating.

  • Food: There will be some food and drink vendors during the event, but you may want to bring snacks or drinks.

  • Water Bottles: Refill stations will be available at Big Spring. 

  • Seating: Seating is not provided, and the ground may be wet. Bring enough chairs for everyone in your group.

A Smokey Bear hot air balloon, with text reading "See the Smokey Bear Balloon, courtesy of Mark Twain National Forest!"

What is happening on the "Zark Side of the Moon?"

Click the tabs below to read about activites offered on April 8.



What is happening the weekend before?

A map showing the 2024 eclipse path over Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Locations south and east of Pulltite are covered fully, while locations north and west of Pulltite are outside the eclipse.
The path of the 2024 total eclipse in the Ozarks. The shaded area represents total eclipse coverage, while the lighter area has only partial eclipse coverage. Be wary of events outside the path of the total eclipse!

NPS / Wil Marischen

Eclipse Coverage

Within the park, the length of the total eclipse gets shorter as you travel north or west. Areas south of Van Buren will have the longest coverage, while areas north and west of Eminence will have the shortest. Go far enough north or west, and there will only be a partial eclipse with no totality. Below is a table listing the length of total eclipse coverage (totality) at locations throughout the park.

Note: There will be no totality at or north of Pulltite. Consult a map of the eclipse path before planning any activities for the day of the eclipse.

The times below are displayed in minutes and seconds (MM:SS).

Location Gooseneck Big Spring Powder Mill Alley Spring Round Spring Echo Bluff Summersville Pulltite
Duration of Totality 4:05 3:53 3:01 2:22 1:32 1:04 0:37 0:00

Eclipse Times

The following times display hours, minutes, and seconds (HH:MM:SS) for each location. These are approximations based on local time (CDT) on the day of the eclipse.


Start of
Partial Eclipse

Start of
Total Eclipse

End of
Total Eclipse

End of
Partial Eclipse

Big Spring





Alley Spring





Powder Mill





Round Spring





A graphic poster showing the Big Spring Lodge and Current River under the eclipse. Text reads "Discover the 'OH!' in Ozark, when the sun and moon align with you!"
Big Spring makes an amazing backdrop for the 2024 total eclipse.

Courtesy of Tyler Nordgren

Stay Safe and Protect Your Park

Safe Viewing Practices

If you are within the path of the total eclipse, there will be a brief window where it is safe to view the eclipse without glasses. This window will be announced using the horn of our NPS fire truck! Look and listen for instructions on the day of the eclipse. Outside of totality, there is no point in which it safe to view the sun without properly rated eye protection! We want to ensure everybody has a safe day and the equipment to do so! Sunglasses are not sufficient protection for viewing the sun.

Make sure you've found a safe place from which to view the eclipse. Don't be a distracted driver: if you plan on viewing the eclipse, stop your vehicle in a safe place. Safe and lawful parking will be strictly enforced.

Camping & Lodging

During the eclipse, all park campgrounds will be open, barring closures from flooding or other events. Sites at developed campgrounds can be reserved by visiting recreation.gov, with limited first-come, first-served camping available. Backcountry and gravel bar locations will be first-come, first-served only. Camping outside of established campgrounds is strictly prohibited.

For camping or lodging options outside park boundaries, please visit the Eminence camping / lodging page or the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce page. Other nearby options may be found on Missouri Department of Conservation or Mark Twain National Forest lands.

Be sure to verify that the location of your stay is within the path of the total eclipse! Also, as always, please read the rules of your camping/lodging location before booking. Keep natural resources scenic and unspoiled for other visitors.

Emergency Assistance

Local law enforcement can be reached by calling 911. For emergencies at park locations, you can also reach Arrowhead Dispatch by calling (844) 460-3604.



Bringing a Pet?

This event is pet-friendly, but everyone must follow the rules for pets in the park. The B.A.R.K. Ranger principles are a good start:

B.A.R.K. stands for:

  • Bag your pet’s waste.
  • Always leash your pet.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Know where you can go.

For a more in-depth list of rules, regulations, and recommendations, visit our Pets in the Park page.

Think your pet has what it takes to become a B.A.R.K. Ranger? Stop by our ranger booth and ask about taking the oath! Complete a short certification to earn a unique, metal dog tag! (While supplies last.)


Other Important Information

Click the tabs below to learn about facilities, services, and need-to-know information.



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Last updated: April 9, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965


(573) 323-4236
Call (573) 323-4236 for Big Spring Entrance Station, located south of Van Buren, MO. Call (573) 226-3945 for the Alley Spring General Store, located west of Eminence, MO. Call (573) 858-3297 for Round Spring Ranger Station, located north of Eminence, MO.

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