A solar eclipse is an exciting planetary phenomenon. If we’re fortunate, we can usually experience a few in our lifetime.
However, not all eclipses are equal in their totality. And the one coming up in 2024 is sure to impress, so planning where you’ll be for it is crucial.
Today, we’ll share details to help you optimize your total solar eclipse viewing experience.
Let’s hit it!
About the 2024 Solar Eclipse
April 8, 2024, is the date to remember and plan around. While the solar eclipse will pass across Mexico, the US, and Canada, not every location in its path will have ideal viewing. That’s why it’s a good idea to figure out where you need to be on the date of this incredible occurrence if you haven’t already.
During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and Sun, completely blocking the light from the large bright star.
It’ll be midday or afternoon, depending on your time zone, but the sky will darken in an almost eerie way. The lighting will be more like it is at dawn or dusk.
About 20 million people witnessed The Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017, passing across the country from Oregon to South Carolina. On that day, the Moon covered the Sun for two minutes and forty seconds. This next event will last nearly twice as long and will likely be viewable by millions more people.
Safety is essential when it comes to watching the eclipse. Using specialized protective glasses and solar filters for cameras, binoculars, and telescopes is crucial to protecting your eyes. Regular sunglasses won’t cut it!
You can also make a pinhole projector on paper to show an image of the Sun on a nearby surface.
Where Are the Best Places to See the Solar Eclipse?
You can be nearly anywhere in North America and still see the show. However, you’ll want to be in specific locations for prime viewing.
The solar eclipse will begin on the western coast of Mexico and spread across to Maine, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. You’re best chances of seeing the total show will be from southwest Texas through the Midwest and up to the Northeastern US.
While Texas will have numerous viewing options, you might consider other states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Vermont.
However, you’ll want to consider the weather in early April when making your plans. Many RVers will already be in the southern states, as the further north you go, the colder it’ll likely be.
The other key factor for optimal solar eclipse viewing is clear skies. Determining whether there’ll be clouds around noon or early afternoon in places along the eclipse’s path is difficult this far in advance. But being optimistic and choosing a suitable location now will help put you in an ideal position to see this fantastic display.
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Is It Too Late to Reserve an RV Spot for the Solar Eclipse?
Most RV parks along the path of totality are fully booked and have been for quite some time, don’t give up hope yet! We found a few places that still have openings. You’ll want to act soon as we can’t guarantee how long they’ll be available. Also, rates will likely be more expensive than usual due to the higher demand.
Camp Cold Springs, Texas
Located about 90 miles west of San Antonio, Camp Cold Springs looks to be a pleasant location for viewing the solar eclipse. Large trees throughout the park provide shade to many of the 53 sites. They have back-in and pull-through spots with 20, 30, and 50-Amp electric, water, and sewer hookups.
Activities while camping here include basketball, volleyball, fishing, and horseshoes. In addition, the on-site general store allows you to grab supplies if you run out of necessities. The cost to view the eclipse here begins at around $260 per night.
Golden Pond RV Park, Arkansas
Another spot along the path of totality is Shirley, Arkansas. And the Golden Pond RV Park still has sites available for $150 per night. It’s in a beautiful setting featuring large trees, walking trails, a pond, a swimming pool, and a hot tub fed by a natural spring.
Individual spots include electric, water, and sewer hookups. In addition, you’ll have access to an on-site restaurant, general store, and laundry facilities.
Previous guests mentioned how peaceful, clean, and enjoyable their stays were. If Arkansas is a place you want to be for the solar eclipse, you might want to make reservations soon.
Huggy Bear Campground, Ohio
Further north, in Middle Point, Ohio, Huggy Bear Campground still shows openings for the big event. They offer large sites suitable for rigs up to 45 feet long with electric-only or full hookup options.
On-site activities include mini-golf, horseshoes, fishing, volleyball, and basketball. You and the family will have plenty of fun things to do while waiting for the eclipse to begin.
And surprisingly, rates don’t seem to be higher than their regular prices. Depending on the type of spot you choose, you’re looking at paying around $40 per night.
Alternate RV Options for Viewing the Solar Eclipse
Reservable spots are still available, plus you can boondock along the path of totality. We know some of you prefer this way of camping anyway.
If you’d rather not commit to a campground, the following locations may be more to your liking. Plus, they’re all free, so the price is certainly attractive.
Blackwell Horse Camp, Indiana
Located in Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest, this looks like a lovely setting to camp for the solar eclipse. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s not only for horses and equestrians! You’ll find flat, grassy areas suitable for any size rig.
A vault toilet is the only amenity offered here, so you’ll want to be fully self-contained and ready for dry camping. Campendium reviewers mention the mile-long gravel road to access the site is easy to manage. You might want to get here days before the big day to find a prime spot.
Sulphur Springs Dispersed Camping, Missouri
This hidden gem is about two hours south of St. Louis, Missouri. While it’s only a parking lot, you’ll have a gorgeous lake to camp alongside. The Mark Twain National Forest is excellent for recreational activities, including boating, hiking, and birdwatching.
Sulphur Springs offers a vault toilet and mostly level ground for small to large-size RVs and trailers. A few Campendium users mention the site is peaceful, clean, and well-managed. If this spot is convenient for where you’ll be in early April 2024, bookmark it as a good option for viewing the solar eclipse.
Fort Sherman Dam Recreational Area, Texas
Another free waterside camping spot is the Fort Sherman Dam in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Located about two hours east of Dallas, this site looks to have plenty of open sky area perfect for eclipse watching. Birdwatching is big here, so be sure to bring your binoculars.
With a ten-day stay limit, you can get there early to find a good place to set up before the crowds arrive. A feature not often available at many boondocking locations is trash service. We love when dry camping sites offer a way to dispose of garbage.
Get a Move-On If You Want to View the 2024 Solar Eclipse!
A total solar eclipse is an event many of us look forward to. We hope some of these camping suggestions help you plan for the big day. The cool thing about it is you can choose from several different states to be in. But if you want to make reservations, the time is now to jump on them.
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