Madras, Oregon, is located at the junction of highway 97 and 26. The population is about 6,000 in the city. There is only a little developed infrastructure of commercial services such as hotels, shopping and other services. Area attractions include many acres of Nation Forest and several local parks. A number of hotels are situated in and around Madras and the community of Bend, to the south, offers accommodations as well.
Eclipse Viewing Venues
There are many open fields near Madras. The town is situated in a wide valley to the east of a mountain range. At the start of totality, 10:19am, the sun will be at 41 degrees elevation, fairly low in the southeast. To view the eclipse, find a location with a clear view to the east is possible. There are many such open spaces near Madras.
Official eclipse viewing venues may be established as August 21, 2017 nears. These may be set up to take advantage of the open spaces near the city where a large number of visitors could park.
Because the roads around Madras are quite small, congestion is likely on the day of the eclipse. Travelers should arrive early and expect some difficulty when departing.
Last Minute Accommodations
Those eclipse viewers arriving at Madras at the last minute may be disappointed. Accommodation options, if any, will likely be extremely limited. Visitors may want to consider staying in Portland and driving for about 2.5 hours to an eclipse viewing location. As mentioned, however, traffic congestion is likely to be heavy on the day of the eclipse.
Area Weather Possibilities
Madras, Oregon is usually sunny and dry in August. Unfortunately, storms may roll in 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
If the weather in Madras is poor for eclipse viewing, a viable option may be to travel south, then east on US Highway 26. This road travels along the eclipse centerline as it stretches towards Interstate 84 at the eastern border of the state. A suitable viewing location may be found along this road, but services are few. Obviously a decision to travel from Madras should not be taken lightly. If the decision is made to leave, one should be on the road well before 7AM to ensure adequate eclipse preparation before the onset of totality.