Our eclipse countdown clock is ticking away and we can’t believe there’s only one month to go before we’ll witness this spectacle in the sky. For those planning on visiting the Siuslaw National Forest to view the eclipse, here is some additional information to help finalize your plans.
In anticipation of the large numbers of visitors to the forest to view the August 21 total solar eclipse, forest officials are taking measures to ensure public safety and clear access for emergency vehicles, while protecting certain sensitive areas. As announced this spring, private vehicle access to Marys Peak and Mt. Hebo the day of the eclipse will be by reservation only (sorry – all reservations were booked by March 30), while access to Forest Service Road 1861 at Cascade Head will be first come, first served until maximum vehicle capacity is reached.
Access to these three areas will be temporarily limited in the days leading up to the eclipse in order to effectively provide for public safety and resource protection. Eclipse and other visitors should be aware of the following (details and maps available online):
Marys Peak: Marys Peak Road above Conners Camp closed to private vehicles nights of Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 (8pm – 6am). Marys Peak Road closed to private vehicles above Hwy. 34 8pm Aug. 20 to noon Aug. 21; eclipse permit holders and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6am Aug. 21. Woods Creek Road, which accesses the North Ridge Trailhead, will be closed to vehicles from 8pm Aug. 20 to noon Aug. 21; eclipse permit holder and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6am Aug. 21. The small Marys Peak Campground will be closed Aug. 17 through Aug. 21 to be used as a staging area for emergency services, staff, and volunteers supporting the event. As always, camping and campfires are prohibited on Marys Peak.
Mt. Hebo: Mt. Hebo Road (FS 14) closed to vehicles between Pioneer Indian Trailhead (milepost 5.3) and intersection with FS 1428 (milepost 11.4 just north of South Lake) starting 5pm Aug. 18 through noon Aug. 21. Eclipse permit holders and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6am Aug. 21. All eclipse viewers will be required to stay in a designated viewing area to protect critical habitat for the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly. As always, camping and campfires are prohibited on Mt. Hebo.
Cascade Head: FS 1861 west of Hwy. 101 closed to vehicles nights of Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 (7pm – 7am). Gate opens at 6am Aug. 21 and will remain open until parking areas reach capacity limit. As always, camping and campfires are prohibited at Cascade Head.
Forest officials are also preparing to issue a special use permit to an outdoor event organizer to operate a shuttle to Marys Peak on the day of the eclipse, as well as to provide a range of camping opportunities and enhanced visitor services on the peak. More information on this service is available at Visit Corvallis.
For other forest areas, many Siuslaw National Forest campgrounds are available by reservation and are already booked for the nights leading up to the eclipse. Some areas of the forest are available for dispersed camping, yet the steep slopes and dense forests of the Coast Range limit the availability of suitable camping locations. While access to other forest recreation sites will be available as usual, standard recreation fees may apply and crowding and congestion should be anticipated.