National parks prime spots for eclipse viewing

A NASA map shows the path of Monday's eclipse.

Combined ShapeCaption
A NASA map shows the path of Monday's eclipse.

Thousands of people have been preparing for years to watch Monday's total eclipse. Others are going to try and wing it. If you are more of a spur-of-the-moment person, then here are some places to view the eclipse -- assuming there is room. The eclipse will cross over 21 national parks and seven trails. according to the National Park Service.

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Here are some notable places to watch the eclipse:

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Eastern Oregon is a prime viewing spot for the eclipse, which will begin shortly after 9 a.m. at the park. It will be visible from all three units of the park, with the Painted Hills and Sheep Rock units directly under the center line of the eclipse. The Clamo Unit is north of the center line, but still within the range of totality, officials said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will not be closing roads. However, motorists might see transportation workers, police and members of the Oregon National Guard directing traffic, and some turns might be blocked, OregonLive reported.

Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho

Ketchum and Sun Valley are hosting a joint solar eclipse viewing party. Totality is expected to last 1 minute, 34 seconds, beginning at 11:29 a.m.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

There will be five viewing areas at Grand Teton. Astronomers and park rangers will host the events. Park campgrounds are nearly full with visitors planning to camp through eclipse day on Monday, the National Park Service reported. Camping in the park is only allowed at designated campgrounds.

Monday, roadside parking is prohibited along U.S. Highway 89, Teton Park Road, and Moose-Wilson Road. Parking is prohibited in roadside pullouts, turnouts, and parking areas before 6 a.m.

Homestead National Monument, Nebraska

Bill Nye the Science Guy will be in attendance, along with Hannah Huston, who was a finalist on "The Voice," the Beatrice Daily Sun reported. A full day of events is planned for Monday. NASA scientists Dr. Amy Mainzer, Dr. Kelsey Young, Dr. Edwin Grayzeck also will be at Homestead.

Tallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia

Located two hours north of Atlanta, Tallulah Gorge State Park is hosting a two-hour eclipse party beginning at 1 p.m. The park opens at 8 a.m., and totality is expected to pass through the park at 2:35 p.m.

A word of caution: Be sure to bring water, snacks, sunscreen and solar eclipse viewing glasses before leaving home. The chances of finding them on site are going to be difficult.

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