SALEM, Ore. - Starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will open reservations for approximately 1,000 campsites for the August 21 total solar eclipse. These sites are in addition to the agency's regular campsites, most of which have been reserved since November.
About two thirds of the new sites are inside the path of totality, where visitors will see a total solar eclipse. Most of the others are within 30 miles of totality, in view of a partial eclipse.
Prices range from $10 a night for a basic spot in a field or parking lot to $31 a night for an RV site with full hookups. All sites include an $8 nonrefundable reservation fee.
"We want to make this once-in-a-lifetime event available to as many campers as we can safely accommodate. That's why we decided to add additional campsites, all at an affordable cost," said OPRD spokesman Chris Havel.
All sites will have a three-night minimum, with check-in on Friday, Aug. 18 and check-out Monday, Aug. 21. Customers can make reservations beginning at 8 a.m. April 19 at oregonstateparks.org or reserveamerica.com or by calling the reservation line at 800-452-5687.
OPRD is making available two types of sites: traditional campsites and temporary eclipse camping spots.
Traditional campsites, representing about a third of the total sites available, are at parks that normally offer non-reservable, "first-come, first-served" camping. These have picnic tables and fire rings, but some do not have showers. No first-come, first-served camping will be available at these parks the nights of Aug. 18-20:
Coast: Beachside, Carl G. Washburne (both outside the path of totality).
Willamette Valley: North Santiam, Cascadia (both in path of totality); Cascara Campground at Fall Creek Reservoir (outside the path of totality).
Central and Eastern: Farewell Bend, Unity Lake, Clyde Holliday, and Bates (all in path of totality); Cottonwood Canyon, Catherine Creek, Ukiah-Dale, Minam, Red Bridge, Hilgard Junction, Lake Owyhee and Jasper Point (all outside path of totality) .
Two-thirds of the sites are in temporary eclipse camping areas at campgrounds and day-use parks with sufficient space and facilities. These $10 and $11 per-night spaces provide a place to park and camp in a parking lot or field, but little else. They do not have hookups, fire pits or picnic tables. Some are at parks without flush toilets or showers; OPRD is adding portable toilets to accommodate extra people. Visitors with reservations for a temporary eclipse space will be assigned a space on arrival at the park.
Coast: South Jetty at South Beach, Fogarty Creek, Driftwood Beach and Governor Patterson Memorial (all in path of totality).
Valleys: Silver Falls, Willamette Mission (all in path of totality); Champoeg (on the edge of totality); Milo McIver (outside path of totality).
Central and Eastern: Smith Rock, The Cove Palisades, Farewell Bend (in path of totality); Cottonwood Canyon (outside path of totality).
Site descriptions for all eclipse camping areas is at oregonstateparks.org, along with links to other camping and lodging options in the state. For more information on eclipse camping, call the OPRD information line at 1-800-551-6949. No camping will be available for anyone without a reservation in the campgrounds listed above on Aug. 18-20.
To accommodate additional campers, OPRD will place extra staff in parks in and near totality and bring in portable toilets. OPRD is also collaborating with local and state authorities on traffic, crowd control and safety.
"Transportation planners predict unprecedented traffic and crowds during the eclipse weekend, and we are planning accordingly," Havel said. "We ask that campers plan to stay off the roads on the morning of Aug. 21 and respect any fire restrictions."
Campfires may be prohibited, depending on wildfire danger and the weather forecast. The Oregon Department of Forestry will post any wildfire restrictions at http://keeporegongreen.org/current-conditions/.
The eclipse will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21. The 60-mile wide path of totality --when the moon completely blocks the sun -- will last for about two minutes starting at 10:15 a.m. on the coast between Newport and Lincoln City.
The path of totality then sweeps through the state and on to Idaho, then runs across the United States toward South Carolina. Those outside the path of totality will see a partial eclipse.