The August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse starts in the community of Lincoln Beach, Oregon, before tracking across the United States. It ends far out to sea beyond the coast of South Carolina. Eclipse watchers may consider viewing this event at Lincoln Beach. If they do, however, they should be plan extensively in advance.
Lincoln Beach, located on US highway 101, is a picturesque seaside city located north of Depoe Bay. It is a popular vacation destination due to the natural scenery, wildlife viewing possibilities and the unspoiled layout. While there are many hotels and resorts in the area, August is always a busy booking period. Eclipse visitors may find accommodation options difficult to secure. Advance reservations are a must.
Eclipse Viewing Venues
Perhaps the best eclipse viewing location at Lincoln Beach will be anywhere on the ocean beaches. At the start of totality, the sun will be at 39 degrees elevation, fairly low in the southeast. There are many tall trees, and hills, to the east of Lincoln Beach. To view the eclipse, you will need to position yourself to avoid these obstacles.
There are few other venues to use. Highway waysides are limited, and quite small. These are likely to be heavily congested. There are few open fields with viewing possibilities in this area.
Parking is likely to be difficult for an extensive area north and south of Lincoln Beach. There are no large parking lots. Road shoulders are narrow. The lands beside the road is rugged and even marshy in many places.
Last Minute Accommodations
Those who would arrive at Lincoln Beach at the last minute to view the eclipse may be quite disappointed. In addition to the lack of accommodation options, suitable viewing venues may be limited in number, and capacity, as well. This is a rather rugged area with extensive forests and few large open spaces. As well, highway 101 is not particularly suited to on street parking. It is highly likely that last minute eclipse visitors will cause extensive traffic jams in the area before, and particularly after, the total solar eclipse.
Area Weather Possibilities
The Oregon coast often has sunny and clear weather in August. Unfortunately, there can be storms or ocean fog banks that rise at this time of year. Since clear weather is vital for eclipse watching, eclipse viewers will want to monitor the forecast in advance of August 21. If bad weather is predicted for the area, moving to a more suitable viewing location is advised.
Alternate Viewing Possibilities to Counter Bad Weather
Unfortunately, the area around Lincoln Beach offers few options for those who seek to avoid bad weather. Travel to the Salem, Oregon area may be an option to consider. This city is about 1.5 hours away and may have somewhat better viewing conditions. Salem is not normally affected by sea fog as much being inland by more than 50 miles. In addition to Salem, the nearby communities of Dallas and Monmouth are in the zone of totality as well.
If Salem, Oregon is also beset with poor eclipse viewing weather, the next best viewing opportunity may be found in Madras, Oregon. This small community is another 3 hours travel to the east. Obviously a decision to travel this far from Lincoln Beach should not be taken lightly. To travel this far before the onset of the eclipse, one would want to leave very early. The departure from Lincoln Beach should being well before 6AM to ensure a successful trip before totality at 10:19am in Madras. Note that the few main roads around Madras are likely to be very congested at this time, especially if the weather is poor at Salem.