Campground spots for solar eclipse expected to go fast

Reservations for Oregon campgrounds can be made starting Thursday at 12:01 a.m.

This March 9, 2016 file photo shows a total solar eclipse in Belitung, Indonesia. (AP Photo, File)
This March 9, 2016 file photo shows a total solar eclipse in Belitung, Indonesia. (AP Photo, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Though the total eclipse of the sun isn’t until August 21, 2017, enthusiasm for it is already skyrocketing.

Oregon State Parks will begin accepting campground reservations for August 17-21, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Hotels are already filling up near the most popular spots to see the eclipse: Devil’s Lake, Silver Falls and Detroit Lake, Beverly Beach, South Beach, The Cove Palisades and Farewell Bend.

“We’ve had a lot of calls, tremendous amount of interest,” Oregon State Park employee Larry Oswald told KOIN 6 New. “We’re one of the prime spots.”

Eclipse details from Oregon State parks

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is temporarily converting first-come, first-served campgrounds to be reservation-only for the eclipse. Additional campsites will be made available later, state officials said in release.

Nearly 1,300 camping spots are expected to be reserved within hours or minutes.

The City of Silverton sits on the path of totality, meaning it’s one of the best spots for a complete view of the eclipse. Local officials say they’re expecting huge crowds for the event, and they’re even considering adding some extra camping spaces.

Full details on the eclipse: NationalEclipse.com

“We’re just excited to welcome people into town with as much hospitality as we can, knowing this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Stacy Palmer with the Silverton Chamber of Commerce said. “We’re just trying to formulate a plan.”

To reserve a campground online at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, click here.

You can call 800.452.5687 at 8 a.m. Thursday to make a reservation by phone.

Campgrounds run by the U.S. Forest Service will take reservations in February 2017.

The eclipse itself

The event is covering 5 continents and Oregon will be the first state to view the eclipse in the morning on August 21, 2017. Primarily, though, this is an event for North and South America.

The moon is obscuring part of the sun during a solar eclipse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
The moon is obscuring part of the sun during a solar eclipse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

At 9 a.m. on August 21, 2017, the moon begins crossing in front of the sun. A 60-milie wide path of totality begins at 10:15 a.m. and lasts for 2 minutes on the coast between Newport and Lincoln City.

The eclipse path sweeps through the state, into Idaho, across the US and heads toward South Carolina.

Jim Todd, the director of space education at OMSI, it will take 90 minutes from coast to coast and 3.8% of the nation will get to see totality. The other 96% — about 324 million people — will see a partial eclipse.

The next chance to see a total solar eclipse in Oregon is in about 154 years.

The path of totality for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 (Courtesy: NationalEclipse.com)
The path of totality for the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 (Courtesy: NationalEclipse.com)