By Delaney Rea | Photo by Michael Davies

This summer, a total solar eclipse will cross the country, enveloping it for mere seconds in utter darkness. For the first time in U.S. history, the eclipse will be visible exclusively in America.

The eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017. For a few moments, parts of the nation will be completely enclosed in darkness as the sun becomes completely blocked out by the moon. All of North America will experience a partial eclipse, but only some states will get to witness the total eclipse – and Oregon will be one of the lucky states getting a glimpse at the total eclipse.

A total solar eclipse, also known as a total eclipse of the sun, occurs when the moon passes through a rare trajectory. This path places the moon directly between the sun and the Earth, entirely covering the visible surface of the sun. The phenomenon is a brief one, however – the eclipse usually only lasts for around two minutes before the moon lets the sun peek through once more. Observers of the eclipse will only have this brief window to experience the event in its entirety.

In Oregon, anticipation for the eclipse has been rampant. Part of this enthusiasm is due to our state’s offer of advantageous eclipse viewing: Madras, Oregon is on the list of the premier viewing spots in the entire country. While areas along the coast are a gamble due to the possibility of marine clouds, interior areas of the state are among the nation’s top weather prospects for late August.

If you want to camp out for the eclipse, it’s a good idea to book your reservation now. The best way to find camping sites available in Oregon is through the website ReserveAmerica. The site provides online campsite reservations for private, state and federal campgrounds throughout the United States. And through ReserveAmerica makes it easy to find sites, the tricky part is finding one that isn’t already booked; these reservations tend to be filled months in advance. Since the eclipse isn’t until August, you still have an opportunity to find your ideal spot to view the eclipse – but act fast if you plan on doing so. Remember, central Oregon is your best bet for clear skies on the night of the eclipse. Try to find sites located in the area around Madras for best viewing results.