The U.S. national parks are some of the most stunning natural areas in the world, offering breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation. But did you know that these incredible destinations can also be the perfect places to witness some of the most awe-inspiring astronomical events?
On October 14, 2023, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse, and its path will pass over some national parks. In this post, we’ll cover which parks you can visit to see the Ring of Fire eclipse and tips to make the most of your experience. So, make your reservation, grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
Don’t Miss Out on the Blazing Beauty of the Ring of Fire
On Saturday, October 14, 2023, the total solar eclipse will carve a path from Oregon to Texas, passing over Crater Lake, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, and Mesa Verde. If you want to experience the beauty of the “ring of fire,” you’ll need to be located within the narrow path of annularity.
To create the ring of fire, the moon passes between the sun and the earth, appearing slightly smaller than the disk of the sun. This configuration creates a halo of visible sunshine or a ring of fire around the dark shadow of the moon.
If you’re planning to view the solar eclipse on October 14, it’s imperative that you have the right gear to protect your eyes. At no point will it be safe to look at the sun without a solar filter, not even very dark sunglasses provide enough protection. Instead, you’ll want to bring eclipse glasses with you, which you can find on Amazon.
If you’re planning to celebrate with us at one of our properties, each will be offering a signature cocktail and customized retail items to celebrate this astronomical phenomenon.
A Solar Eclipse at Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is the westernmost national park to be in the path of annularity, or total occlusion of the sun during the solar eclipse in October 2023. Crater Lake National Park is also home to the deepest lake in the United States, which was formed after a violent volcanic eruption more than 7000 years ago.
Best View: From the Rim
To best see the eclipse, you’ll want to get somewhere on the rim where your view won’t be blocked by trees or the rim of Crater Lake. Be sure to check the weather in the days leading up to the eclipse as October can be cloudy in the Cascades.
Where to Stay: Crater Lake Lodge
Located at Rim Village, Crater Lake Lodge offers majestic views of the lake’s crystal clear blue waters. You’ll find dining onsite and shopping where you can pick up souvenirs to remember you had one of the best viewing spots for the eclipse.
See a Total Eclipse at Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah is known for its geological marvels, including hoodoos and natural bridges. This fall, you’ll also be able to catch a majestic marvel in the sky as the total eclipse passes over the park.
Best View: Thor’s Hammer
If you’re planning to photograph the solar eclipse, you’ll want the perfect background (and eye protection!) Bryce Canyon National Park has a number of places to choose from for your ideal eclipse image. You can set yourself up near Thor’s Hammer or some especially picturesque hoodoos and snap your photo as the Ring of Fire Eclipse passes overhead.
Where to Stay: The Lodge at Bryce Canyon
If you’re planning to stay overnight, it’s time to book your room at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon. The Lodge has a variety of rooms, so if you’re traveling as a group, family, or a couple, you’ll find just the right accommodations for your needs. In keeping with the tranquil setting, there’s no WiFi, in-room TVs, or air conditioning. If you’re here for one astronomical event, be sure not to miss the wonder that is the night sky in Bryce Canyon. As a Dark Sky Park, you’re sure to see more stars than you can at home.
Eclipse Viewing on the Water of Lake Powell
Stretching from northern Arizona up into southern Utah, you’ll find Lake Powell and its more than 2000 miles of shoreline. Even in the fall, you can expect warm air and water temperatures and sunshine.
Best View: Private Houseboat
For the best private viewing experience of the Ring of Fire eclipse at Lake Powell, you’ll want to reserve your very own houseboat. These rented houseboats give you all of the comforts of home while you cruise along the lake taking in the breathtaking scenery, stopping for hikes, or jumping into the lake for a swim.
Where to Stay: Lake Powell Resort
If you’re not planning to stay on the water, you can book a room at the Lake Powell Resort. Located in Page, Arizona at the Wahweap Marina, a stay here gives you access to boat rentals, boat tours, on-site dining, swimming pools, hot tub, and fire pits. During your stay, be sure to indulge in our signature eclipse cocktail, which you can get at the Driftwood Lounge. During your stay, you can book a ticket for a Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip. The gentle rafting trip takes you to see Glen Canyon Dam, Petroglyph Beach, and historic Lees Ferry.
Ring of Fire at Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is known for its exceptional archeological sites, including hundreds of cliff dwellings. Located in southwest Colorado, this October, it will also be the perfect viewing spot for the Ring of Fire eclipse. At the park gift shop, you’ll be able to find unique souvenirs that you can bring home to commemorate your viewing of the eclipse at the park.
Best View: Sun Temple
One of the best sites in the park for viewing the solar eclipse is at the Sun Temple, even the name is apropos. The Sun Temple was built by the Pueblo Indians as a ceremonial site, though the structure was never completed. You can visit the site today and explore what’s left of the stone monument. While you’re looking up into the sky, be sure to not walk on or damage any of the site’s historical structures.
Where to Stay: Far View Lodge
For a convenient and cozy place to stay, you’ll want to book a room at the Far View Lodge, the only lodging inside Mesa Verde National Park. The solitude of the park continues into your room, which doesn’t include a TV but does include a balcony, so you can watch the sunset, the wildlife, and gaze upon the stars. To learn more about the people who lived on this land before us, you can take the 700 Years Tour, which takes visitors through multiple archeological sites while a guide shares information about the lives and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people.
This October, you won’t want to miss the Ring of Fire eclipse as it passes over portions of the United States. If you want to see the eclipse at its best, you’ll need to be within the path of annularity, which happens to pass over multiple national parks. Book your rooms today, so you can be sure to see this rare astronomical event.