In August, the continental U.S. will experience its first total solar eclipse in more than 38 years. Wyoming is a prime space for viewing this rare occurrence.
Before it passes over Wyoming on August 21, 2017, visitors and residents will be seeking out the best viewing locations offering activities and education opportunities. Sierra Trading Post is on board, thanks to a partnership with Wyoming State Parks.
Wyoming State Parks will be hosting events at Glendo, Guernsey, Edness K. Wilkins and Boysen state parks. All four of those state parks fall in the path of totality, which means they have the very best view of this event.
Why should you visit Wyoming for this rare total solar eclipse? Viewing the eclipse in a natural setting is unique, and it's likely a once in a lifetime experience. The surrounding hills, valleys and bodies of water look different as shadows are cast, almost like night. Areas much lighter than the sky near the sun lie all around the horizon. A close listen reveals that birds come in to roost, and stop chirping. The air temperature changes, too; a 10- to 15-degree drop in temperature is not unusual.
Here are a few guidelines on planning your trip to a Wyoming state park for this summer's total solar eclipse.
When to Go:
Monday, August 21. Plan to be in the park 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
What to Do:
Sierra Trading Post will offer free eclipse glasses at the event, where they will also be on hand to provide gear demos and share other giveaways. Sierra Trading Post associates will hand out free eclipse glasses at the Wyoming store locations in Cheyenne and Cody.
The Official Optics Sponsor, Mead Instruments, has graciously donated telescopes for stargazing parties leading up to the eclipse and solar scopes during the eclipse. Experts at the state parks will explain the rarity of a solar eclipse in the contiguous U.S. and share the latest in technology.
The University of Wyoming is part of a program with NASA that will record a live feed of the eclipse as it happens. UW will be stationed at multiple sites across Wyoming, including our state parks, to broadcast the feed. They will teach kids how to make pinhole cameras, and professors will conduct a series of lectures relating to astronomy for older children and adults. Visitors can take advantage of free Pepsi products and get some free UW swag!
Park officials at each of the four state parks noted above have activities planned throughout the weekend. Take a special eclipse hike. Join a star-gazing party. Take in a campfire lecture.
Camping is available at all four parks, but most sites have been pre-booked. Please check with Wyoming State Parks as the event draws closer, as they may have some cancellations. Purchasing the Eclipse Day Pass as soon as possible is encouraged to ensure a safe and fun location for your viewing.
Can't find a Wyoming State Park to accommodate your interest? No problem. All of Wyoming State Parks are within a few hours driving distance of the path of totality. Spend the night in a state park outside the path of totality and drive to the nearest event for the big event on August 21!
Visit wyoparks.org or call 1-877-996-7275 to make your reservation. Eclipse Day Passes are also available online and good at all four parks, a pass includes free eclipse glasses and a souvenir parking pass!
Stay in the know about this total solar eclipse by following Wyoming State Parks on Facebook . (If you're not already, follow Sierra Trading Post on Facebook, too, for tips to help you get out and adventure more!)
Total Solar Eclipse, Courtesy NASA
Glendo State Park Sunset, Courtesy Wyoming State Parks
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