Mark your calendar for the morning of October 14th, 2023 – when a rare annular solar eclipse promises to leave skygazers in awe! Not every day the moon aligns perfectly with the sun, creating a mesmerizing “ring of fire” effect. And what better way to experience this event than by hitting the road in an RV, immersing yourself in the beauty of the eclipse and the journey itself? RVshare is here to make renting an RV easy AND to guide you on an epic adventure!
About the Annular Eclipse
An annular eclipse is a celestial event where the moon covers the center of the sun, leaving a fiery ring – the “ring of fire” – around the moon’s silhouette. Unlike a total solar eclipse, the sun’s outer edges remain visible during this phenomenon. On October 14th, 2023, this stunning display will grace the skies, offering a rare chance to witness the sun and the moon cross paths. At approximately 9:08 AM (MST) the moon will begin to cross the sun and complete its journey by noon. You can expect the peak or annular totality (when the “ring of fire” will occur) at around 10:28 AM (MST). To watch the ring of fire as long as possible you’ll want to be as close to the center of the path as possible.
To observe this phenomenon, proper eye protection is crucial. The moon doesn’t completely block the sun which makes safety even more important. Eclipse glasses or solar viewing filters are essential for safely enjoying the event without risking damage to your eyes. To learn more about safety when eclipse watching refer to this article by NASA.
Location: Where to Witness the Eclipse
The path of the annular eclipse spans across the Earth, with prime viewing locations extending from the western United States to the northeastern tip of South America. For RV travelers seeking the ultimate viewing experience, several iconic national parks, national monuments, and recreation areas lie along the eclipse’s trajectory. The path of the annular eclipse visits Oregon first, followed by the top northeastern corner of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas.
National Parks, National Monuments, and Recreation Areas for Eclipse Chasers in the Path of Totality
If you ask us, there is no better way to witness the annular eclipse than out in nature. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to scratch off parks from your bucket list and make a trip out of this rare event! The following parks spread through the country from Oregon to Texas and are all in the path of totality, making any of them a great home base for your eclipse journey.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park, nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, is a breathtaking natural wonder that leaves visitors in awe. The park’s centerpiece is the stunning Crater Lake, which was formed over 7,000 years ago in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. With its sapphire-blue waters and sheer cliffs, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the clearest and most pristine in the world. Visitors to Crater Lake National Park can explore a variety of trails, admire panoramic vistas, and witness the mesmerizing interplay of colors as the lake shifts from deep blue to turquoise throughout the day. Whether you’re captivated by its geological history or simply drawn to its unparalleled beauty, Crater Lake NP offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.
Lava Beds National Monument
Lava Beds National Monument, located in northeastern California, is a captivating testament to the region’s fiery past. This unique landscape was shaped by volcanic activity, resulting in a mesmerizing expanse of rugged terrain, lava tubes, and ancient rock formations. The park’s underground wonders are a highlight, featuring more than 800 lava tube caves that invite exploration and adventure. Visitors can step into these subterranean passages, marveling at the intricate lava formations and gaining insight into the earth’s geological processes. Above ground, the stark beauty of the lava flows contrasts with the surrounding lush woodlands, offering opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and stargazing.
Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park, situated in eastern Nevada, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by nature enthusiasts and explorers. This park’s diverse landscapes range from high mountain peaks to expansive desert valleys, creating a haven for biodiversity. The star of the park is Wheeler Peak, the second-highest peak in Nevada, offering breathtaking views and challenging hikes. But the allure doesn’t stop at the surface – beneath the ground lies Lehman Caves, a stunning network of limestone caverns that beckon visitors to venture into their depths. As night falls, the park’s designation as an International Dark Sky Park ensures unparalleled stargazing opportunities, revealing a tapestry of stars that seem almost touchable. Whether you’re drawn to its rugged mountains, fascinating caves, or celestial displays, Great Basin NP promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature’s wonders.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is a masterpiece of nature’s artistic prowess. Carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries, this expansive park is a labyrinth of canyons, mesas, arches, and buttes that defy imagination. Divided into four distinct districts, each with its own unique character, Canyonlands offers a tapestry of landscapes that range from the towering cliffs of Island in the Sky to the intricate canyons of the Needles. Canyonlands NP unveils its true essence – a testament to the forces that have shaped our planet for millions of years and an invitation to explore the raw beauty of the American Southwest.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, embracing the enchanting landscapes of Arizona and Utah, is a sprawling playground that celebrates the meeting of water and desert. Centered around the majestic Lake Powell, this vast area offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature admirers alike. The striking contrast between the deep blue waters of the lake and the red rock formations that encircle it creates a visually stunning backdrop for a wide range of activities. Boating, kayaking, and fishing on Lake Powell provide thrilling aquatic adventures, while the hidden wonders of slot canyons and ancient petroglyphs offer captivating exploration on land. The crown jewel of the recreation area, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, boasts the world’s largest natural bridge and beckons visitors on scenic boat trips through stunning canyons.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Rainbow Bridge National Monument, tucked away in the rugged landscapes of southern Utah, is a natural wonder that stirs the soul. This majestic stone arch, considered one of the world’s largest natural bridges, stands as a testament to the power of erosion and the passage of time. Carved by the erosive forces of water and wind, Rainbow Bridge spans an impressive 275 feet across and rises 290 feet above the canyon floor. The journey to reach this awe-inspiring landmark is an adventure in itself, as visitors can choose to hike, boat, or take guided tours to experience its grandeur up close. As the sunlight dances upon the stone, revealing a spectrum of hues, Rainbow Bridge NM becomes a living canvas that evokes wonder and reverence. It’s a place where the natural world reminds us of its artistry and the magic that lies within the hidden corners of the American Southwest.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park, nestled in the southwestern corner of Colorado, is a captivating journey into the lives of the ancient Pueblo people. This UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves the remarkable cliff dwellings and structures that offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of these early inhabitants. Carved into the sandstone cliffs, these intricate dwellings showcase the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Pueblo people who thrived here over 700 years ago. The park’s expansive landscapes also encompass canyons, mesas, and panoramic vistas, providing a setting that transports visitors back in time while celebrating the enduring connection between humanity and the natural world.
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Aztec Ruins National Monument, located in the heart of New Mexico, is a captivating portal to the past, offering a window into the lives of the ancestral Puebloans. This archaeological treasure trove unveils the remains of an ancient settlement that once thrived along the Animas River. The centerpiece of the monument is the Great Kiva, a remarkable ceremonial structure that exemplifies the architectural sophistication of its builders. Aztec Ruins NM invites you to step back in time, where the echoes of ancient footsteps resonate and the stories of the past come alive amidst the sun-soaked southwestern vistas.
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, located in central New Mexico, is a captivating historical site that sheds light on the fascinating story of the Pueblo people and the complex interactions between cultures. The monument encompasses three distinct Pueblo ruins – Abó, Quarai, and Gran Quivira – each showcasing the remnants of once-thriving communities. As you explore the site’s sunbaked landscapes, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the cultural exchange and historical forces that shaped the region.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, situated in the heart of Texas, is a cultural treasure that preserves the legacy of Spanish colonization and the enduring heritage of the Coahuiltecan and indigenous peoples. This unique park comprises four 18th-century Spanish missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. Each mission, with its distinct architecture and history, offers a glimpse into the past when Spanish friars sought to convert local indigenous communities to Christianity. San Antonio Missions NHP not only preserves these architectural marvels but also honors the resilience of the diverse communities that thrived in this rich cultural tapestry.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore, located along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, is a coastal paradise that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of its pristine shores. Stretching over 70 miles, this barrier island offers an unspoiled oasis where sandy beaches meet turquoise waters, creating a haven for nature lovers, beachcombers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The seashore is home to diverse ecosystems, from rolling dunes to salt flats, providing habitat for a wide array of wildlife, including sea turtles and shorebirds. Activities such as beach camping, fishing, birdwatching, and kayaking abound, offering endless opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the ocean’s rhythms.
Why RVing is the Ultimate Way to Experience the Eclipse
Picture this: You’re nestled in the cozy confines of your RV, surrounded by all the comforts of home while being parked out in nature with an uninterrupted view of the sky. RVing allows you to tailor your journey to your preferences, exploring multiple eclipse viewing sites, and immersing yourself in local attractions. It’s an experience that seamlessly combines the excitement of this unique event with the joy of the open road. RVing to this rare annular eclipse is a great opportunity to make the most of this experience and access areas in the path of totality in comfort.
Preparing for the Eclipse Journey
To make the most of your eclipse RV adventure, preparation is key. Pack eclipse-safe eyewear to witness the event safely, along with camping essentials for a comfortable stay. Plot your route in advance, considering factors like driving distances and campground availability. Make sure you book your campsite ahead of time to ensure you have a spot, especially if you are going to make a weekend trip out of the experience. Find the top campgrounds for your nearby area – here! A great alternative to campgrounds is booking a private camping site through Hipcamp – this platform connects you to camping sites on private land, a great option if you are looking for seclusion and privacy. Find Hipcamp’s annular eclipse sites – here! Be sure to stay updated on weather forecasts to optimize your eclipse viewing experience and pack accordingly!
Looking for more eclipse adventures? Don’t miss the 2024 Solar Eclipse!