Where to Watch the Eclipse in the West

This is the best chance in 40 years to see a total solar eclipse in the mountains

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that we’re just a little over a month away from a total solar eclipse. This epic event is happening on August 21, 2017.

So, what exactly is an eclipse? In laymen’s terms, a solar eclipse happens when the moon passes right “in front of” the sun, as seen from Earth, which makes the sun totally disappear for up to several minutes (eclipse2017.org).

The eclipse happening in August is said to be the best one in 40 years, and despite the fact that there’s another one in 2024, this is your best chance to see a total eclipse in the Mountain West. You’ll have to travel to Canada or Mexico to get a good view of the next one.

Photo courtesy of Wyoming Office of Tourism


Wyoming is one of the best places to watch this summer’s eclipse. According to JacksonHoleWY.com, “Viewers in Wyoming will see two minutes and twenty seconds of total eclipse at about 11:35 a.m. local time.”

Two great locations to see it are Jackson and the southern part of Grand Teton National Park. The park will be an excellent place to view the eclipse because there’s very little light pollution in Grand Teton.

Unfortunately, lodging properties in Jackson have been booked up for months. Visitors will have to stay somewhere outside of town or find a campsite in the area. Learn more at JacksonHoleWY.com. Go here out to get details on where else to watch the eclipse in Wyoming.

Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Resort


Imagine staying in a yurt deep in the Idaho wilderness during the eclipse. This is another western state where residents and visitors will see a total eclipse on August 21. Towns such as Stanley (near Sun Valley) are ideal for seeing this event take place.

Like Jackson, hotels in and around Sun Valley have been booked for months, but those willing to camp or RV can still find room to watch this heavenly phenomenon.

Check out VisitSunValley.com for more information on watching the eclipse in Idaho.

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon


There are also some very good spots in Oregon to watch this year’s eclipse. I found this list of 17 places to watch the eclipse in Oregon on OregonLive.com. The Beaver State is expecting around one million people to visit in order to experience the eclipse and celebrations are planned in wineries, on beaches, and at ball fields.

Photo courtesy of Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa


If you’d like to avoid crowds you can see a partial eclipse in Colorado. Check out the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Beaver Creek. The resort is partnering with Walking Mountain Science School, a nonprofit science learning center, to offer a free party to the public and there’s a lodging deal.

The free party, held on the Westin’s fabulous patio, will run August 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and feature educational family activities and celestial crafts. The Rocky Mountain Eclipse Getaway (August 20-23, 2017) at The Westin Riverfront includes a studio suite, exclusive access to the resort’s educational event with Walking Mountains, solar eclipse viewing glasses, and nightly s’mores at the resort’s fire pits. Rates start at $179.

See a map of the eclipse in the United States here.

Categories: The Heidi Guide