Viewing the Solar Eclipse in and around Benton County

Opportunities abound for solar eclipse viewing on August 21, 2017.

Heart of the Valley Astronomers: Information Sessions

Find out all you need to know about this momentous occasion by attending one of the free information sessions hosted by the Heart of the Valley Astronomers at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. Learn about the eclipse, including how to best enjoy it while staying safe. This free class is suitable for teens and adults. The one-session class will be offered:

  • May 17, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • June 8, 3:30-5:00 PM
  • June 19, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • July 12, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • July 20, 6:30-8:00 PM
  • August 5, 1:30-3:00 PM

All classes take place in the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library Main Meeting Room. Because of the high demand for these programs, free tickets are required for entry and will be available at the Library Circulation desk starting one week before each class. Maximum two tickets per person, first-come first-served. Develop your understanding of the solar eclipse by accessing the resources the library recommends on their solar eclipse page. For more information on the eclipse visit NASA’s excellent Total Eclipse webpage.  

Camping in Benton County

Adair County Park will have 150 tent sites and 12 RV sites available for Solar Eclipse camping. The City of Corvallis will offer campsites at Crystal Lake Sports Fields with entertainment and educational presentations. Find out about this special event. With all the visitors expected in our area, you may want to review the safety tips posted by Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Another great site for eclipse preparedness information is the State of Oregon Office of Emergency Preparedness eclipse webpage.

Viewing at National Wildlife Refuges and Forest Service lands

The path of the 2017 solar eclipse will cross all three of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuges: Ankeny, Baskett Slough, and William L. Finley.

However, we have to limit viewing options because we are stewards of, and provide homes for, rare and endangered plants, wildlife and habitats. For Monday, August 21st 2017 sensitive habitat areas will be closed and there will be limited areas in which to view the eclipse at the Refuges, with very limited parking. These viewing and parking opportunities will be available on a first come, first serve basis and will have limited or no facilities. Stay tuned and read the Refuge press release in full, check the website and social media for information and maps detailing the limited viewing opportunities.
The Refuges will open at dawn (~6 am) and close at dusk (~8:30 pm).

If you are planning to view the eclipse from Marys Peak or other Forest Service lands, some guidelines have been issued. Find out more by reading this news release.

Eclipse Festivals and Events

Check out Travel Salem’s list of festivals and events scheduled for August 21 here. If you are renting out your home for the eclipse and looking to travel, check out the Oregon SolarFest in Madras. With so many people expected to descend and so many festive options, the total solar eclipse is sure to be an event to remember.

Sunflower Eclipse by Anne Schuster
Sunflower Eclipse by Anne Schuster. T-shirts with the design are for sale at this Benton County webpage.