Solar Eclipse FAQs

A line of cars waits to enter the South Entrance of Yellowstone.
Due to the potential for gridlock, we do not recommend using the South Entrance to Yellowstone (pictured here) on the day of the eclipse.

NPS / Neal Herbert

 

On August 21, 2017 a solar eclipse will be visible across the United States, and partially visible in Yellowstone. Here are some frequently asked questions for people planning to enjoy the event in the park.

Do you expect the park to be busy?
Yes, we expect heavier-than-normal visitation on the day of the eclipse, as well as on the days leading up to and after it. We do not recommend traveling through the South Entrance on the day of the eclipse. Pack your patience and give yourself plenty of time to travel to and from your destination.

Where can I park?
Roadside parking will be prohibited during the eclipse. Parking is available at pullouts and parking lots. Do not block traffic. Vehicles blocking traffic flow or access to emergency vehicles will be towed and ticketed. Keep the air clean by not idling your car.

What if I have an emergency?
If you have an emergency, call 911 or find a park ranger. We expect the day of the eclipse to be very busy: emergencies will be prioritized and responses may be delayed by other incidents.

Will my cell phone work?
Do not rely on cellular service in Yellowstone. On busy summer days, the number of users can overwhelm cellular circuits resulting in an inability to send or receive calls, text, or use cellular data.

Where can I find current road information?
Current road information is available at go.nps.gov/YellRoads or by calling (307) 344-2117. Road information will also be shared at visitor centers, entrance stations, and via Facebook and Twitter. Electronic signs will be located along roadways to communicate traffic and road information.

 
 

Where will the eclipse be visible?
A partial eclipse will be visible throughout Yellowstone. The full eclipse can only be seen in a narrow band stretching across the country that includes areas south of the park (see map above).

Can I watch the eclipse from a boat?
Yes, all park waters where boating is allowed will be open during the eclipse. Permits and inspections are required for all watercraft.

How long will the eclipse last?
In Yellowstone, the eclipse will occur between 10:15 am and 1 pm. The eclipse will “peak” around 11:36 am for a little over two minutes. Yellowstone is not in the path of totality, so only a partial eclipse will be visible.

Do I need special glasses to view the eclipse?
Yes. Proper eye protection is necessary to safely look directly at the sun. Purchase your approved eclipse glasses or solar-viewers ahead of time (available in general stores and bookstores). Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not sufficient. Even in the partial darkness of an eclipse, the sun’s rays can cause severe eye injury without proper protection. Young children should be supervised very carefully. Learn more about eclipse safety.

Can I view the eclipse through binoculars or telescopes?
Yes, but additional solar filters are needed to prevent damaging your eyes. Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially-eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device using just eclipse glasses. Learn more about eclipse safety.

Are ranger-led programs planned to mark the event?
Park rangers will be available at popular attractions and entrances to provide visitor information, but no special presentations will be offered. Grand Teton National Park has several designated viewing areas that will be staffed by rangers. Visit Solar Eclipse Across America or NASA’s Eclipse website for information about events across the country.

How can I best prepare for the eclipse?
Bring enough food and water for everyone in your group for the entire day. Make sure your vehicle is filled with fuel. Bring appropriate eclipse viewing glasses (available in general stores and bookstores) and solar filters for cameras, binoculars, or telescopes. Pack your patience: expect heavy traffic on park roads and give yourself plenty of time to travel to and from your destination. Do not expect to have cell phone service in Yellowstone, even in areas where it’s usually available. Help us keep the park clean by packing out your recyclables and garbage.

 
 

Last updated: August 16, 2017

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

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