Total Solar Eclipse


A Total Solar Eclipse will be visible on August 21, 2017 across the continental United States.


The 2017 Solar Eclipse Across America will be visible on August 21, 2017 across the continental United States. The center-line of the solar eclipse will pass through the Jackson Hole valley, placing it in the path of totality. 

Visitation to the area is expected to be record-setting for single day visitation. Area lodging is already booked, and few, if any, campsites will be available on the day of the eclipse.  

During the eclipse, visitors are asked to ensure a successful day by respecting area resources, respecting private property and all signage, following all temporary routes and restrictions, packing out all litter, and prioritizing safety for people, wildlife, and habitat. 

A comprehensive, eclipse-dedicated web site,, has been developed for the Town of Jackson and Teton County, Wyoming and is an excellent resource for visitors to the area for the celestial event. 

Additionally, a Teton Solar Eclipse Community Operations Manual (Adobe PDF)  is available to help visitor centers, hotel concierges, businesses, local government employees, and others who have direction interaction with the public as they disseminate information about planning and travel related to the event. (Due to the 13,706 KB size of the document, the Community Operations Manual may take a few moments to load.) Click here to read a news release announcing the availability of the operations manual. 

The Teton Total Solar Eclipse Pocket-sized Survival Guide is another resource that can help visitors and residents be prepared, view the eclipse, preserve and conserve our iconic landscapes, and move around the valley. Copies are being distributed around the Town of Jackson and information locations and is available online here. 


What is an Eclipse? 

A solar eclipse is a celestial event when the moon passes between the Sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the sun. At a given location, the event can last up to an hour and a half. For this eclipse, the period when the moon completely blocks the sun will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. 

At 10:17 am on Monday, August 21st, 2017 the solar eclipse will begin over Jackson Hole. At 11:35 am, the moon will pass directly in front of the sun, blocking out most of the sun’s light. For the following 2 minutes—the exact duration depends on your location—the Sun’s corona will be visible around the disk of the moon. Approximate key times to note include:

  • 10:16:43 a.m. - Start of partial eclipse
  • 11:34:55 am - Start of total eclipse
  • 11:37:10 am - End of total eclipse
  • 13:00:21 pm - End of partial eclipse
  • Duration of totality - 00:02:15

Top 10 Things to Bring / Know

The Jackson Hole area is expecting a large influx of visitors that will be using the community's lodging, food, gas, ATMs, and bathroom facilities. We anticipate additional impacts on our public lands. Suggesting planning and preparation for up to two weeks prior to the August 21 eclipse include: 

  • Cell phones may not work due to high usage demands. Some of the remote locations in our region have no/low cellular coverage. Text messages may be more reliable than phone calls, especially when trying to contact 9-1-1 for an emergency.
  • In an emergency, you may send a text message to 9-1-1. Simply text the number 911; in the message, include your location, the nature of your emergency, and if you need police, fire, medical, or search and rescue response. Do not use abbreviations. Be prepared for a delayed response.
  • Stock up on groceries or make dining reservations in advance, as restaurants will likely be crowded.
  • Fill your gas tanks. We are expecting additional demand and congestion on the roadways.
  • Visit the banks / ATMs early, as ATMs may run out of cash due to a visitation surge.
  • Lodging accommodations are limited. Hotels, camping, and RV camping are near capacity. Visitors may need to look outside of Jackson and Teton County for accommodations. Be sure to have your accommodations arranged prior to arrival.
  • Area roadways will likely be congested and regular routes are subject to temporary restrictions. Variable traffic signs will provide up-to-date information on specific roadways. Visit
  • Be prepared for heavy bicycle traffic. Remember to share roads, trails, and pathways and be courteous to other users, including any emergency service vehicles that may be using pathways for emergency response.
  • The hospital and urgent care facilities are increasing staffing to handle heavier than normal walk-in and emergency visits. Fill your medical prescriptions in advance and have an extra supply of any medications.
  • August is prime fire season. Be extremely careful with cigarettes, campfires, recreational burns, and parking a vehicle on dry grass. Know and respect any burning restrictions for the area you are visiting. Report any signs of smoke immediately.
  • Residents should stock up on essential including groceries, medications, water, tarps, emergency emergency generators, and camping equipment. The more self-sufficient you can be, the better. Emergency response times will be affected with the additional visitors.


Refuge-Specific Regulations

It will be business as usual during the eclipse, with the same regulations in effect during the period preceding, during, and after the eclipse. The only change in regulations will be the closure of fishing access on August 21 only.

Note the following year-round regulations that will also be in place during the eclipse:

National Elk Refuge access is restricted to open public roads and trails designated as "authorized routes." All other foot, vehicle, bicycle, and horse travel is prohibited. This includes travel between the Refuge and adjacent National Forest lands. You must be on an authorized route at all times while within the Refuge boundary. 

Visitor use is not allowed on the Refuge between legal sunset and sunrise, other than vehicle traffic on the road to a designated location. Overnight parking on the Refuge Road is not allowed.

More information on Refuge access routes and restriction can be found on the Rules and Regulations tab of this web site.

A printable (Adobe PDF) two-page handout outlines regulations and provides questions /answers to general information about National Elk Refuge use during the eclipse.

Safe Viewing    

Proper eye protection is necessary to safely look directly at the sun before and after eclipse totality. You can cause severe, potentially permanent damage to your retinas if you view the eclipse without approved eye protection. Eclipse glasses are the simplest method to view the eclipse from start to finish. 

It is never safe to look directly at the sun, even if the sun is partly obscured. During the short time when the moon completely blocks the sun during an eclipse, known as the period of totality, it's safe to look directly at the sun. However, it's crucial to know when to remove and replace your glasses. The stakes are high; your safest option is to leave your approved eclipse glasses on throughout the event.

Special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers, provide the only safe way to look directly at the un-eclipsed or partially-eclipsed sun. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not sufficient.
 You should inspect your glasses prior to the event to ensure they aren't scratched or damaged.

Eclipse glasses are available at the National Elk Refuge while inventory lasts at our two cooperating association outlets:  

  • Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, 532 N. Cache Street, Jackson, WY
  • Historic Miller House, 3/4 north of Broadway Avenue on the Refuge Road, National Elk Refuge

If you begin to experience blurry vision while viewing the eclipse, it is recommended to rest your eyes for 10-15 minutes. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention. Do not drive yourself to a medical facility if you are experiencing impaired vision.

Safe solar viewing is described on the Teton Eclipse web site. Additionally, two printable eclipse safety flyers are available on the American Astronomical Society web site:



View or photograph the eclipse using your personal camera or telescope using special equipment and precautions. If you want to use personal equipment for the eclipse, please learn about the necessary techniques and equipment. Capturing a good image requires multiple exposures and correct camera settings.

Special solar filters are required on all camera lenses and telescopes during the partial phase of the eclipse. For the total phase these filters need to be removed. These steps are critical for eye safety and successful photography. 

Fire Danger

The total solar eclipse will take place during our peak fire season. Whether it's because of an unattended campfire, a discarded cigarette, or the hot undercarriage or tailpipe of a vehicle parked in dry grass, a fire can easily start and rapidly grow. It's imperative everyone in the area be extra vigilant about preventing unwanted wildfires. 

Many thanks to our local KHOL Community Radio and all others who helped to produce and record the following series of public service announcements to keep fire danger and prevention on everyone's minds.

Don't Have an Eclipse in Judgment - audio file only (mp3 file)  or  YouTube file with graphics

Right in Your Backyard - audio file only (mp3 file)  or  YouTube file with graphics

Conditions are Lining Up - audio file only (mp3 file)  or  YouTube file with graphics 

Ring of Fire - audio file only (mp3 file)  or  YouTube file with graphics 

Keep Fire Prevention in Mind - audio file only (mp3 file)  or  YouTube file with graphics


Leave No Trace 

Proper Food Storage: Jackson is in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem; wildlife is abundant. Keep your foot properly stored at all times to avoid wildlife encounters with bears, ravens, foxes, and other animals. We don't want to make easy opportunities for wildlife to become accustomed to people. Familiarize yourself with the proper food storage requirements for each area you are visiting.

Pack it in, Pack it out: Pick up all trash and take it with you when you leave. This includes toilet paper! Wildlife is attracted to scents on garbage. Keep garbage contained in a hard-sided vehicle and dispose of it properly when you leave.

Trail Etiquette: Stay on existing roads and trails. Don't drive through meadows or create new roadways which can cause erosion, spread noxious weeks, or damage resources. Be sure to know regulations before venturing out.


Additional Resources

The official Town of Jackson and Teton County, WY solar eclipse site: 

Multiple eclipse topics:

For securing safe and certified eye protection:

For learning what's required for taking photos of the sun during an eclipse: