On August 21, 2017, the continental United States will experience the first total solar eclipse to span the entire country since 1918.
Atlas Obscura invites you to celebrate this rare astronomical event on a gorgeous, secluded farm nestled in Oregon's Snake River Valley.
For two days, you'll take part in an all-out festival of wonder featuring celebrated scientists, writers, musicians and explorers, plus an under-the-stars performance from the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra. At the end of it all, you'll experience the Total Eclipse itself—two minutes of midday darkness that you may never have the chance to see again.
Formed during the mid-’50s by experimental keyboarder and composer Sun Ra and inspired by ancient Egypt and outer space, Sun Ra Arkestra’s unique style of celestial free-jazz lives on under the leadership of legendary saxophonist Marshall Allen. This very special performance is not to be missed!
When it comes to following the beat of their own drum, New York’s Psychic Ills have exemplified the phrase since their beginnings in 2003. Initially spawned from electronic-centered home recording experiments, they progressed into all-night full-band exploration in a neighborhood where noise wasn’t a problem. The Psychic Ills make sunburned psych pop, awash in warm tones and blues damaged songwriting.
Clara Moskowitz is Scientific American's senior editor covering astronomy and physics. A space geek from way back, she’s been to Space Camp, attended about a dozen rocket launches, and graduated from suborbital spaceflight training. She has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University and a graduate degree in science journalism from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining Scientific American, she worked for Space.com, Wired, Discover magazine and the American Museum of Natural History.
Physicist Paul O'Connor (Brookhaven Laboratory) studies the micro-world of sub-atomic particles and the macro-world of dark matter and dark energy. He is currently involved in building the world's largest digital camera for astronomy, soon to start making a 100 PetaByte map of the sky from a remote mountain in the Chilean Andes.
America's National Parks are breathtaking in the daytime, but take on an otherworldly beauty at night. National Parks at Night hosts hand-crafted photography workshops with experienced and enthusiastic instructors. The result is a rich experience, full of adventure, where you get individual attention and awe-inspiring images of natural nocturnal splendor.
Ross Andersen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the science, technology, and health sections. He was previously the deputy editor of Aeon Magazine, and before that, he was the science editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. In addition to his work as an editor, Andersen is known for his award-winning feature essays, which straddle philosophy, science, technology, history, and the arts.
Summer Ash is the Director of Outreach for Columbia University’s Department of Astronomy. A self-professed space cadet, she grew up dragging friends and family out at all hours of the day or night to look up at the sky. Formally trained in both rocket scientist and radio astronomy, Summer is now harnessing her powers for science communication. Her written work has appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Slate, Nautilus, Now.Space, and SyfyWire. She has appeared on The Nerdist and is a Star Talk All-Star.
Michael D. Lemonick is Opinion Editor at Scientific American; he was previously Senior Writer at Time magazine, where he wrote more than 50 cover stories. He is the author of five books on space and the cosmos—the New York Times called him “one of astronomy's great popularizers”. He has also written major stories on space for National Geographic, Smithsonian and other publications. He teaches at Princeton University.
Science journalist Joshua Foer is the co-founder of Atlas Obscura and author of the international bestseller Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.
Increasing the public's access to science and scientific information for over 25 years, public radio program and non-profit Science Friday will be presenting interactive and hands-on eclipse activities for attendees of all ages.
Camping spots are first-come, first-serve. Admission tickets do not include Parking. Each vehicle at Total Eclipse must purchase a separate Parking Pass in advance. All kids 10 and under are included for free when attending Total Eclipse with a parent or legal guardian.
Total Eclipse General Admission Ticket: $250
A General Admission ticket includes entry for one person plus bring-your-own tent camping in the general camping area for the duration of the festival, starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 20.
Total Eclipse Early Arrival Ticket: $325
Make a full weekend out of celebrating the Total Eclipse and arrive early for first dibs on camping spaces! The Early Arrival ticket includes entry for one person plus bring-your-own tent camping in the general camping area starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 19.
Kids Under 10
Entry for kids 10 and under is free when attending Total Eclipse with a parent or legal guardian.
All vehicles must have a pre-purchased Parking Pass in order to enter the property.
Total Eclipse Vehicle Parking Pass: $45
This parking pass is for cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles. RVs, oversized vehicles and vehicles with trailers will need to purchase an RV Parking Pass instead.
Total Eclipse RV Parking Pass: $85
This parking pass is for RVs, Pop-Ups, Trailers, etc. and includes a space up to 30 feet long and 15 feet wide. These parking spaces are located in a grassy field without any hook ups.
Have a campsite and camping gear pre-set and ready for you when you arrive! We have a variety of options available for attendees who would prefer not to bring in their own gear or who desire more luxurious accommodations. Tent pricing is the same whether you stay one or two nights, so consider maximizing your experience with an Early Arrival ticket.
Please note that Furnished Camping & Glamping Packages do not include admission to the festival or parking. Those items must be purchased separately. Once you arrive at Total Eclipse, you’ll check in at our host station and be guided directly to your campsite.
When you check in, a credit card or cash must be provided to keep on file for the $250/unit security deposit, which will be refunded upon check-out. This deposit protects from possible damages to property; should the unit(s) be in unacceptable condition upon check-out, the reservation holder is responsible for costs related to extra cleaning, damage repairs, replacement of missing or damaged contents, expenses resulting from violations such as smoking in the units, etc.
Bring Your Own Tent
Included with all admission tickets.
Basic Camping Tent for 2 People: $500
Deluxe Canvas Bell Tent Suite for 2 People: $1500
Deluxe Dorm Style Canvas Bell Tent for 4 People: $1750
What is the Total Eclipse Festival?
Atlas Obscura’s Total Eclipse Festival is a once-in-a-lifetime extravaganza of science, live music, and celestial wonder. For two days, attendees of all ages will camp out in beautiful Eastern Oregon with hundreds of fellow Atlas Obscura explorers.
Why are you doing this?
We’re so glad you asked.
In the late morning of August 21, 2017, a rare total solar eclipse will cut a narrow 70-mile swath across the entire continental United States, starting in northwestern Oregon and making its way southeast through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, and South Carolina. The lucky few in this Path of Totality will be plunged into darkness for a little over two minutes.
Just how rare is this? Well to start, this will be the first total solar eclipse of any kind in the continental U.S. in 38 years. But in fact, there hasn’t been a total solar eclipse quite like this, where the Path of Totality has spanned the entire country from end to end, since 1918.
Pretty exciting, right? So obviously, we decided to throw a huge party.
Can't I view the eclipse anywhere? Why should I do it with Atlas Obscura in Oregon?
The Path of Totality—where you can experience the eclipse in full—is quite narrow, and our campsite in Eastern Oregon's high desert is one of the few places in the country with a history of clear weather and where full viewing is anticipated. As a result, existing lodging in this desirable region is already scarce.
Plus, Atlas Obscura is one of the few organizations offering an eclipse-viewing festival of this scale, and the only one with our unique combination of science-based programming and spectacular live music.
Where exactly will the festival take place?
To ensure privacy, our exact location will be released exclusively to ticket holders. Confirmed guests will receive directions to the festival site along with a detailed information packet several weeks prior to the event. We’ve selected one of the best locations inside the Path of Totality, so you’ll be within the full two-minute total eclipse range.
Should I purchase a ticket now even if I’m not sure I can make it?
We expect this festival to sell out very quickly, so we encourage you to buy your tickets as early as possible. That said, due to the nature of this very special event, we’re unable to offer any refunds or exchanges.
How much does it cost?
Ticket prices vary depending on when you purchase them, and what level of experience you choose. Scroll up the page for more details.
What if it rains, or it’s too cloudy to see the eclipse?
We picked this location because Eastern Oregon tends to have dry, cloudless weather in August. In terms of the odds of good visibility, it’s one of the best possible places to be inside the Path of Totality for the eclipse. That said, we obviously can’t guarantee the weather, and no refunds or exchanges will be possible under any conditions. All scheduled festival events will proceed Rain or Shine.
Can I leave and return?
Re-entry is allowed, but coming and going is not recommended. The nearest town is Baker City, roughly 30 minutes away by car. We anticipate heavy traffic along the interstate leading up to the eclipse, which may make travel slow-going and getting back to the festival grounds a challenge. We highly encourage attendees to bring all the supplies they anticipate needing when they first arrive for check-in.
What’s the wildlife situation likely to be on the festival grounds?
Deer, hawks, and other birdlife are common and likely to be seen, and bighorn sheep can be found in the nearby mountain ranges. While rattlesnakes are native to Eastern Oregon, they have not been seen on this property. As is always the case when in nature, attendees should be cognizant of their surroundings and maintain a respectful distance from wildlife.
Is this a kid-friendly event?
Families are welcome! Children under 10 are free when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
What is your refund policy?
All ticket sales are final. We cannot provide ticket refunds. Please use caution if you’re thinking of buying a ticket from an individual or third party. We will not honor tickets that have been duplicated or forged.
I have more questions, who can I ask?
Feel free to contact us with any additional questions.
Can I bring an RV or a camper?
Yes. RVs, Pop-Ups and Trailers are welcome. Simply purchase an RV Parking Pass in advance. RV parking spaces can accommodate larger vehicles up to 30 feet long and 15 feet wide. Please be aware that these spaces will be located in a grassy field without any hook ups.
Can I bring my own camping equipment?
Absolutely! We highly encourage attendees to bring their own tents, sleeping bags, and supplies. General admission camping sites will be available upon arrival on a first-come, first-serve basis, and there’s plenty of room for everyone.
What if I don’t have camping equipment?
We have several options available for those who don’t plan to camp with their own equipment or who desire more luxurious accommodation. Deluxe furnished bell tents are available for rent in individual and group sizes, as are simple pre-pitched camping tents.
Will there be bathrooms and showers on-site?
Port-a-potties and hand-washing stations will be available at a variety of locations, both in the camping areas and on the festival grounds. Showers will not be available on-site, but a lovely creek runs through the property. Attendees are welcome to take a dip!
How large will my campsite be?
There’s no formal maximum or minimum in terms of campsite space. We’ve got plenty of land to go around, but the larger your group, the earlier you'll want to arrive to claim your space and set up. Please be mindful of other campers and respect their individual spaces.
Is cooking allowed?
To minimize the risk of fire or harm to the property, the use of grills or stovetops of any kind—gas, electric, or charcoal—is prohibited. Attendees are more than welcome to bring their own food, but it needs to be pre-made or able to be consumed without heating. Ice will also be available for purchase on-site if needed, to refill coolers.
What if I don’t want to bring my own food?
A variety of food and snacks will be available for purchase, including vegetarian options.
What about alcohol?
No outside alcohol of any kind will be allowed in the camping areas or on the festival grounds.
Beer and wine will be available for purchase in the Elysian Fields Beer Garden. Please drink responsibly, hydrate properly, and be mindful of the heat!
In order to be served alcohol you must have an “Over 21” wristband. You can get a wristband after your ID has been checked by one of our alcohol monitors, who will be stationed outside the designated areas.
Alcohol can only be served to Oregon Liquor Control Commission-approved enjoyers. OLCC approval requires one of the following:
No other form of identification will be accepted for legal purposes. Expired documents are invalid.
We reserve the right to refuse to serve alcohol to anyone.
How should I plan to get there?
The festival site is located in a rural area in Baker County, Oregon, approximately 100 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho. We recommend that travelers fly in and out of Boise Airport. Alternatively, the drive time from Portland, Oregon, is approximately 5.5 hours, and from Seattle, Washington, it’s approximately 6.5 hours. Festival attendees are responsible for their own transportation to and from the event location. No public transportation options are available in this area.
Note, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and local authorities expect heavy traffic in the viewing path. Please allow ample driving time to arrive at the grounds and consider buying an Early Arrival ticket to give yourself extra time. Finally, if you're flying, we recommend booking your return flight for late Monday or early Tuesday due to heavy traffic after the event.
When does the festival start, and when does it end?
General Admission ticket holders should plan to arrive any time after 9 a.m. PDT on Sunday, August 20. Those who would like extra time to settle in should purchase Early Arrival tickets, which allow guests access to the festival site starting at 3 p.m. PDT on Saturday, August 19.
The festival will end Monday, August 21 at 12 p.m. PDT, shortly after the eclipse is complete.
When is checkout?
Check out will be at 2 p.m. PDT on Monday, August 21. Programming will end at noon Monday following our Eclipse viewing ceremony.
In what timezone is the festival being held?
The festival will take place in the Pacific Time Zone. For those flying into Boise, however, please note that you will be crossing from the Mountain Time Zone, meaning you will lose an hour when driving back to the airport after the event. Please plan your flight times accordingly.
What’s the deal with parking?
Ample parking is available on-site. There is a per-vehicle parking fee, and all parking passes must be purchased in advance. Carpooling and shared rides are highly encouraged.
The designated parking area is a short walk from the camping areas and festival grounds. By order of the Baker County Sheriff's Department, there can be absolutely no parking on county roads or on private property leading to, or adjacent to, the venue.
What’s the Leave No Trace principle?
If you were ever a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout, you no doubt remember. This event will operate under a strict Pack It In, Pack It Out policy. That means you’ll need to take all your own trash with you when you leave. It also means you should never feed any wildlife you happen to encounter, and you shouldn’t take anything with you that belongs to nature. The motto of the weekend is: "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints."
What should I pack?
In mid-August, high temperatures in Baker County average in the upper-70s to upper-80s. Overnight lows can dip down into the 40s. We recommend that you plan for direct sunlight during the day and bring a warm jacket for the evening. Don’t forget to pack:
Do I need to bring my own eclipse-viewing glasses?
Nope. Commemorative Total Eclipse viewing glasses are included in your ticket price and will be distributed to all attendees upon arrival.
Is there a list of prohibited items?
Thanks so much for asking! Here it is: