Campsite Eclipse Booking Time Is Running Out
We’re just about six months from the big solar eclipse that will cross over Oregon, and campsites within the event’s path are booking up fast, the Oregonian reported.
Of the campsites that can be reserved online, most in the ideal viewing area in Oregon – east of the Cascade Range – are already filled. Some sites remain as of this writing, but they won’t likely last for long.
The U.S. Forest Service has a six-month window on reserving campgrounds, but it also allows stays of up to 14 days. A loophole in the system allows guests to book ahead of the reservation window if their arrival date is within the six-month time frame.
That means people have been able to reserve sites for the eclipse over the last week, dwindling the supply for those unable to camp out for several days in advance.
“For the eclipse we are expecting very large crowds, many people may be planning on staying for a longer period,” Stephen Baker, regional spokesman for the forest service, said. “We’re just encouraging people to plan ahead [and] have a backup plan.”
A quick search of campgrounds with online reservations in the Mount Hood, Willamette, Deschutes, Ochoco, Umatilla and Malheur National Forests – within the the path of the eclipse – showed only a few with available spots.
Complicating matters is the fact that a vast majority of U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in that area are first-come, first-served, causing potential for a chaotic couple of weeks come August.
Campgrounds offered by other agencies with longer reservation windows have already filled up. Oregon State Parks saw a flurry of activity when it opened campground reservations at the end of 2016. Portland General Electric’s Pelton Park campground has no more room. Hotels in the area have been booked for more than a year.
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