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National Parks Prepare For Aug. 21 Eclipse

National Park Service
National Park Service

Yellowstone  National Park and next-door Grand Teton National Park are preparing to break visitation records later this month, according to news releases.

On Aug. 21, visitors will see the moon pass between the sun and earth, blocking a part of the sun – a partial eclipse – throughout Yellowstone National Park, even though it is not in the path of totality.

But Grand Teton National Park is, and officials are expecting the day of the eclipse to be its busiest day ever.

Yellowstone park officials caution roads and facilities may be overwhelmed by the event.

In Yellowstone, the partial eclipse will occur between 10:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. The eclipse will “peak” around 11:36 a.m. for slightly more than two minutes.

The continued high level of visitation at Yellowstone underscores how important it is for visitors to plan your trip.

They are discouraging travel on Aug. 21 through the South Entrance, which borders Grand Teton National Park, which will witness the path of totality.

To help the parks help you, Grand Teton and Yellowstone park officials recommend:

  • Pack your patience.
  • Expect heavy traffic on park roads.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to travel to and from your destination.
  • Get up-to-date road conditions online or by phone at (307) 344-2117.
  • Do not expect to have cell phone service, even in areas where it is normally available.
  • Arrive with enough food, water, and fuel in your vehicle for the entire day.
  • Bring appropriate eclipse viewing glasses (available in park lodges, general stores, and bookstores).
  • Bring appropriate solar filters for cameras, binoculars, and telescopes.
  • Read the solar eclipse frequently asked questions.

Because Grand Teton National Park is in the path of totality, those park officials offer additional recommendations:

  • Consider staying in place after the eclipse until traffic thins.
  • Vehicles blocking traffic flow or access for emergency vehicles will be towed and ticketed.
  • NO ROADSIDE PARKING along U.S. Highway 26/89/191, Moose-Wilson Road and Teton Park Road.
  • Designated viewing areas are available at five locations.
  • Overnight parking or camping in roadside pullouts, turnouts, or parking lots is not allowed.
  • Camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds.
  • Parking for the eclipse throughout the park begins at 6 am on Monday, Aug. 21, and not before. Plan to find your spot at least an hour before the eclipse begins.
  • Charcoal burning fires are only allowed in official campgrounds and picnic areas.
  • Stoves and grills that burn contained fuel sources that can be turned on and off are allowed. Stoves and grills must be attended to at all times and be setup on hardened surfaces devoid of vegetation at least three feet in diameter.
  • Portable toilets will be located throughout the park, including the Gros Ventre Road Viewing Area.

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