CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) — The month for the annular – or “Ring of Fire” – eclipse is finally here. The day is circled on your calendar and you have your eclipse glasses, now all you need is the best place to see it.
On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 14, the moon will sweep across the face of the sun and Utah is in its direct path. During the eclipse, the moon will never fully block out the sun, leaving what appears to be a ring around it as the sun’s edges appear in a “ring of fire.” The eclipse will begin just after 9 a.m., with the maximum eclipse happening around 10:15 to 10:30 a.m.
While you’ll be able to get a great view of the eclipse no matter where in Utah you are, there are several breathtaking places in the direct path of the eclipse. From National and State Parks to lakes and more, there is no shortage of places to choose from when it comes to your eclipse viewing.
We have put together a list of seven of the best places within the direct path you should consider visiting on the day of the eclipse:
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
In Bryce, Utah there is a sprawling concentration of hoodoos, or irregular columns of rock. Sitting along a high plateau at the top of the Grand Staircase, Bryce Canyon National Park’s highest elevations include fantastic views of Utah’s dark skies. While the eclipse will take place in the early morning, Bryce Canyon National Park provides a beautiful backdrop of geological wonders and an environment perfect for astrological viewing.
CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Just southwest of Moab, Canyonlands National Park is over 500 square miles of deep canyons and mesas. The National Park provides a more remote feel and is home to one of the West’s most photographed landforms, the Mesa Arch, according to Visit Utah. Another beautiful location for stargazing with the unique Southern Utah desert feel, providing a prime location to see the annular eclipse.
CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
If you want to get to a National Park where you don’t have to stray too far from the road, Capitol Reef National Park near Torrey, Utah may be the best place for you to go. An 8-mile scene drive through the national park provides many breathtaking viewpoints along a paved road. The drive makes for an easy-going and casual way to see the eclipse in a dark sky location away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities.
GOBLIN VALLEY STATE PARK
One of the most unique places in Utah, Goblin Valley State Park may be one of if not the best places to see the Ring of Fire eclipse on Oct. 14. Located between Hanksville and Green River, along State Road 24, Goblin Valley is a certified International Dark Sky Park. With sandstone “goblins,” wide open spaces and beautiful plant life, Goblin Valley would be a prime central Utah destination for the eclipse.
MANTI-LA SAL NATIONAL FOREST
If desert scenery isn’t your cup of tea, but you still want to get out in the wilderness, Manti-La Sal National Forest may be the place for you. Located in central Utah, near Ephraim and Manti on U.S. 89, the Manti-La Sal National Forest is a beautiful mix of canyonlands and forest trees. The National Forest also makes for an easy getaway for those seeking a casual eclipse-viewing experience. The Canyons National Scene Byway winds over the Wasatch Plateau at 5,000 to 10,000 feet, according to Visit Utah, with several high-elevation lakes.
OTTER CREEK STATE PARK
A reservoir located in Piute County just north of Antimony, Utah, Otter Creek State Park is an easy destination to see the eclipse. The crystalline lake and nearby hills make for a beautiful viewing of the eclipse. The state park is a place perfect for boaters and campers, and a calming location to take in the breathtaking astrological event.
PALISADE STATE PARK
Beautiful hikes, a gorgeous lake, and a lovely view of the horizon, all within easy reach, you’ll find it all at Palisade State Park. Visit Utah calls the state park a “vacation oasis” situated just two and a half hours south of Salt Lake City. The State Park is located just outside of Sterling, Utah, and makes for an easy and convenient getaway right into the direct path of the annular eclipse.