Where to Camp for October’s Annular Eclipse and More Celestial Events

Where to Camp for October’s Annular Eclipse and More Celestial Events

Are you an umbraphile? Hint: your travel kit would include sunglasses and a telescope. Give up?? An umbraphile is a person who chases eclipses and that means October has a big event coming up for you. 

The annular solar eclipse, which happens when the moon passes between the earth and the sun at a time when the moon is at about its farthest point from earth, will occur on October 14. Unlike a total eclipse of the sun, it will not fully block the sun, but instead results in what is called the “Ring of Fire.” If you are an umbraphile, you will most likely want to head to EclipseFest23 (eclipsefest23.com), which will take place on a 157-acre field in Klamath County, Oregon, just outside of Crater Lake National Park. They plan to celebrate the event over several days with live music, games, food and more, and what’s cool is that Thousand Trails will have a presence. The first 5,000 attendees to EclipseFest23 will receive special eclipse viewing glasses, courtesy of TT. Plus, Thousand Trails will also have a booth at the event with games like cornhole and all kinds of prizes and other fun.

The eclipse will cross over 8 states, from Oregon down south to Texas, so plan a camping trip in our southern Oregon campgrounds or our Texas campgrounds (Thousand Trails Medina Lake near San Antonio is poised to have a great view or any of the age-qualified resorts in the Rio Grande area near Padre Island, which will have the longest view time) for the best views. To go all in on the fun, Six Flags San Antonio will host Solar Eclipse at the Park on the 14th. There are plenty of events planned in the states that are in the path so check out nationaleclipse.com/events_2023.

If all this sky watching makes you want to be an umbraphile or just gets you really interested in the magnificence of celestial events, you might want to keep in mind that Dark Sky locations, which include several National Parks, as well as designated cities throughout the United States, are great for stargazing and viewing evening sky events. Camp with us and visit these locations which are great for stargazing or are already designated “Dark Sky Parks.”


Pinnacles National Park is less than 20 miles from Thousand Trails San Benito; Yosemite National Park is a mere 5 minutes from Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes; and Joshua Tree National Park is less than 50 minutes from Thousand Trails Palm Springs in Palm Desert.


Black Canyon in Gunnison National Park was recognized as an International Dark Sky Park in 2015 and is near Thousand Trails Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch.


Any campground near Fort Myers is great for a visit to Big Cypress National Preserve and Encore Miami Everglades campground is a great location if you want to take in the shooting stars that can be seen from the darkness of the Florida Everglades. 


Acadia National Park, which is near our three Bar Harbor resorts, offers beautifully dark skies despite its proximity to New York, Boston, and Portland. It’s the perfect end to a fall day exploring the Bar Harbor area.

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