An extremely rare total solar eclipse is coming this summer, and it will pass over the entire state of Oregon on August 21st 2017. The last total eclipse to pass over the Northwest was on February 26th 1979! However, it did not cross the entire state and even though Portland was in the path of totality, the eclipse was not observable due to overcast skies. Prior to that, you have to go back to June 8th 1918, and even that eclipse did not pass over the entire state like this one will. So this is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you don’t want to miss.
The starting time of the total eclipse will depend on where you are at in the state. Western Oregon will see total coverage start around 10:18 a.m (slightly earlier if you are on the coast). Central Oregon will see total coverage start around 10:21 a.m. Eastern Oregon will see total coverage start around 10:24 a.m. (slightly later if you are on the Idaho border). The totality of the eclipse will last for about 2 minutes, if you are in the center of the path. See the map below for the path of totality across the state. Also make sure to read our eye safety statement at the bottom of this page.
Below are a list of locations for ideal viewing of the eclipse. Keep in mind that these locations are in the direct path of totality, but you can also be north of south of these locations by approximately 30 miles and still be able to see the total eclipse, but the total eclipse won’t last as long (36 seconds vs 1 minute 58 seconds).
- Lincoln Beach & Fogarty Creek State Park (south of Lincoln City and north of Depoe Bay).
- Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge (south of Salem and north of Albany)
- North Santiam State Recreation Area (near Lyons, southeast of Salem)
- Detroit Lake State Recreation Area (on the North Santiam Highway next to Detroit)
- Madras (north of Bend, near the Warm Springs Reservation)
- Painted Hills Overlook & John Day Fossils Beds (near Mitchell & Kimberly)
- Lime (on I 84 between Baker City & Ontario)
These are just a few of the Oregon locations inside the path of totality, and most of these locations are likely going to be crowded. So if you can’t make it to one of these ideal viewing spots, don’t worry, the partial eclipse will still put on a very dramatic show anywhere in the state, as well as neighboring states such as Washington, Idaho & California. Check out this video animation of how the eclipse will look in Portland, Seattle, Boise and San Francisco.
This will be the last total solar eclipse to cross Oregon for the rest of this century. However, another total eclipse will get close, passing over Northern California on August 12, 2045. The next total solar eclipse over Oregon won’t be for another 91 years in the year October 5, 2108 when it will only reach the Central Oregon Coast near Coos Bay. And you will have to wait 152 years in the year July 25, 2169, when the path of totality will include Portland (and Seattle) and the northeastern part of the state.
Important notice about eye safety. Make sure to take all proper precautions to protect your eyes from the Sun. This includes anyone that you are responsible for, especially children. We recommend that you buy protective eclipse glasses from suppliers such as Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, or Eclipse2017.org. Prices range from $2 to $20, so it’s an easy investment to make to ensure your eyes are protected. If you prefer the old fashion “pinhole” method, here is a great DIY article on how to do that.