Travel Lane County
541.484.5307 · 800.547.5445 · EugeneCascadesCoast.org
Adventure Center/Visitor Information: 3312 Gateway St · Springfield OR (Open daily 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Downtown Eugene Visitor Center: 754 Olive St · Eugene OR (Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Mailing Address: PO Box 10286 · Eugene OR 97440 s


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The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

And Other Celestial Phenomenon

Oregon is the best place to view the total solar eclipse projected for August 21, 2017 at approximately 10:15 - 10:20 a.m. in the Willamette Valley. Grab your solar eclipse safety glasses and step outside to view this stunning event, as the moon blocks out the sun. It will only last a few minutes but the expected celestial show is enough to draw visitors from all over the world. 

In Eugene, we will see 99.6% totality. Just north of Eugene, Albany and Salem are in the path of totality. 

The 2017 total solar eclipse will be Oregon's first full eclipse since 1979. The 2023 eclipse will be an "annular" eclipse, so a small ring of the sun will remain visible for the whole time (due to the moon being further away from Earth at that time). The next "total" solar eclipse in Oregon will not be until 2169.

Best places for stargazing

Dee Wright ObservatoryTrack constellations in the sky year-round, and every August watch the Perseid meteor showers. From Oregon's coastline to the Willamette Valley's wide open fields to serene Cascade lakes and mountain tops, there are plenty of optimal places to gaze up at the heavens. When you are camping, make sure to look up!

Below are just a few stargazing recommendations.

College Hill Reservoir - Eugene
A concrete enclosed reservoir atop Eugene's College Hill on Lawrence and 23rd Streets is an easily accessible and popular spot for stargazing right in town. Join the Eugene Astronomical Society's monthly for their "First Quarter Moon Star Parties" and peek through their telescopes at the constellations.

Spencer Butte - Eugene 
Just outside Eugene, a 1.7 mile (2.7 km) uphill hike rewards you with 360-degree views of the Willamette Valley and unobstructed sky. Use caution and flashlights if descending after dark.

Dee Wright Observatory - McKenzie River
A prime spot for stargazing is the remote scenic observatory on Highway 242, out in the middle of the barren lava fields. This seasonally-accessible site is not astronomically based (no telescopes or interpretative signage for celestial observations), but it's elevation and distance from light pollution is ideal. 

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - Oregon Coast
Hike out into the sand dunes at night for epic stargazing. Away from city lights, these rolling mountains of sand provide a comfy cushion as you lay on your back and observe meteor showers overhead.

Stargazing Etiquette

  • Please do not shine flash lights or use mobile phone screens near a stargazing site. The light reduces night vision for approximately twenty minutes. If you must use a light, keep it dim and filter it with red taillight tape.
  • When children are participating in telescope sharing, please have them clasp their hands behind their backs while viewing. This will help them refrain from grabbing at the fragile lenses.