Salem OR -- Starting November 17, 2016, state park campers can make reservations for campsites, yurts, and cabins to enjoy the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. The normal advance campsite reservation window opens nine months before the first night of a visitor's stay, but a temporary change to the reservation system will affect people who want to make a 14-night reservation, the maximum allowed in Oregon's State Park system.
The state park system accepts reservations nine months in advance, but it would normally be possible to get a reservation for Aug. 21 by booking the maximum 14-night stay on November 7, 2016. Given the expected high demand for sites around the eclipse, and to prevent overbooking that could interfere with other visitors' summer vacation plans, state parks along and near the eclipse path will not accept reservations for Aug. 17-21, 2017 until November 17, 2016. This is ten days after OPRD's standard rolling nine month reservation window would normally allow a camper to make a long reservation.
On Nov. 17, 2016, the normal rolling nine month window will resume for all sites that accept reservations at parks along and near the eclipse path.
"We made this change to accommodate all visitors, both those planning for the eclipse and those who are planning an unrelated camping trip," said Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson. "We encourage eclipse campers to extend their stay with us for a day or more before and after the eclipse to reduce the congestion on the roads."
The Nov. 17 reservation opening date applies to the following campgrounds inside the path of totality--Devil's Lake, Beverly Beach, South Beach, Silver Falls, Detroit Lake, The Cove Palisades, and Farewell Bend.
Campgrounds that are up to 30 miles outside the path of totality are also affected by the temporary change to reservation rules: Beachside, Cape Lookout, Washburne (yurts only), Honeyman, Nehalem Bay, Stub Stewart, Champoeg, Milo McIver, Ainsworth, Memaloose, Viento, Deschutes River, Tumalo, LaPine, Prineville Reservoir, Lake Owyhee and Wallowa Lake.
OPRD is making plans to temporarily convert first-come, first-served state park campgrounds to reservation-only for the eclipse, so additional campsites will be made available at a later date.
"We are also working on ways to open more state park areas to camping for the event," Havel said. "We want to make sure people can make solid plans well in advance to avoid congestion."
Customers can make reservations for any stay that includes Aug. 17-21 beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 17 at oregonstateparks.org, and 8 a.m. by phone at 1-800-452-5687.
Campgrounds run by the US Forest Service will start taking reservations six months in advance, in February 2017.
The eclipse will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2017. 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. For more information about the eclipse, visit http://bit.ly/OregonStateParks2017Eclipse.