If you are an avid star watcher (especially when camping) you already have August 21, 2017 blocked out for the rare total solar eclipse. The U.S. has not seen a total solar eclipse in 26 years, and as a result you might need to make early plans for where you want to camp during this celestial event.
These five campgrounds will be in the most ideal locations for the eclipse. Just remember to pack your eclipse viewing glasses and cross your fingers for open spots and clear skies.
1. Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Oregon is proud to be one of the states located in the path of the total eclipse. Since summer on the Oregon coast tends to be foggy and cloudy, pick a campground further inland like Silver Falls State Park. Silver Falls not only has some beautiful waterfalls and spacious meadows perfect for skywatching, but their online reservation service is available for the entire year. Furthermore, campsites with electrical hookups are only $26 per night. (Read more about camping here.)
2. Salmon River Campground, Idaho
Located far away from many metro areas and right on the beautiful Salmon River, this campground will give you a private spot to view the eclipse. The 30 site campground is in the woods, but areas near the river have wide open spaces to see the sky. This campground is also close to the Sawtooth National Forest and Craters of the Moon National Monument Preserve. (More details.)
3. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton is the only National Park on this list – for good reason. It will be right smack in the middle of the eclipse’s path. Grand Teton is famous for its towering peaks and meadows full of sagebrush and bison, so this spot will be a truly unique place to view this event. Because the southern part of the park will get the better view, park your RV at Gros Ventre Campground near the small town of Jackson.
4. Ragland Bottom Campground, Tennessee
The town of Sparta, Tennessee will be right on the centerline of the eclipse, and a great place to camp in the area is the Ragland Bottom Campground in Tennessee’s Highland Rim near Center Hill Lake. While the campground is surrounded by trees, the lake will be a great place to view the eclipse. In addition, you can also visit the nearby Burgess Falls State Park with its Native Butterfly Garden.
5. Black Rock Mountain State Park, Georgia
The best place in Georgia to see the eclipse will be in this state’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The Black Rock Mountain State Park has 38 campsites and is also close to the famous Appalachian Trail. The various overlooks, like the Cowee Overlook, will be a good place to set up your eclipse glasses and cameras. The park is closed during the winter, but you can make campground reservations a year in advance.