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Smith Rock to open temporary campsites for eclipse


If you missed your chance to reserve a campsite for the biggest event of the summer, there’s still time.

Oregon State Parks is opening up 1,000 more campsites for the Aug. 21st solar eclipse.

State officials are working to accommodate the thousands upon thousands of people expected to descend on parts of Oregon during the eclipse.

Smith Rock State Park sits in the path of totality, without interference of city lights, and because of that, the climbing hot spot also will be a hot spot for eclipse enthusiasts.

On April 19th, 38 Smith Rock campsites will be made available for reservation at 8 a.m., but they’re not expected to last long according to Park Ranger Josie Barnum.

“I think it’s going to go pretty quickly,” she said. “I think they’ll fill up. We’ve been getting lots of calls from all over the world, people wanting to photograph it and watch it, so there’s definitely a lot of interest in it.”

The area being turned into a temporary eclipse campsite is the current RV overflow area, just north of the regular campground. Half of the parking lot will be kept for regular day use and the other half will be used for eclipse campers.

According to Barnum, “The tent area is going to be in the center of that lot, so that’s where the cooking will take place. We’ll have portable restrooms and wash stations temporarily set up there as well.”

Oregon state parks allow eight people per campsite, so those 38 extra sites will allow a maximum of 304 additional people.

Along with the current bivouac camp area, there will likely be more than 1,000 people camping in the area during eclipse weekend.

So why allow this temporary expansion now?

“A customer service thing,” Barnum said. “We know a lot of people are coming, so we want to provide as much service as we can to them, and give them that experience. So we’re doing things a little bit differently than we usually do. having people camp in areas they wouldn’t usually camp.”

Despite the enormous task of planning for thousands of extra visitors, officials seem to be up for the task.

“It’s been kind of a trial getting set up and figuring it out logistically, but I think it will go well.” Barnum said.

If you would like to reserve a campsite, you can visit or or by calling the reservation line at 800-452-5687

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