Site Surveys and Selection
Site Survey Maps
These maps are based on actual trips to the areas where we might park to view the eclipse. The locations marked with "P" are potential viewing sites. There are also layers you can turn on and off that show waypoints for the eclipse centerline and other points of interest from my drives. Most of these markers have pictures attached. Larger photos and site descriptions will be include below on this page.
Site Survey 1
Smith's Ferry to Riley Butte
Site Survey 2
Third Fork Ridge
We have selected our site! It is located on Third Fork Ridge above Squaw Creek. You will find pictures of it and more info below. It is about 8 miles north of Ola and as long as traffic doesn't keep us from getting through to Ola we should be ok! The elevation is 5700 ft so it will be cooler than down in the valleys and we will have less atmosphere to look through. Even if a bunch of people beat us there we should still be able to find a spot because it is so large and open an area.
If we cannot make it to our chosen spot due to traffic problems we will adjust our plans and if necessary, sit by the side of the road! If we make it as far north as Horseshoe Bend of Black Canyon we will see at least a minute of total eclipse.
Of course you will need solar filters/glasses for viewing. We will all need to bring plenty of water and food to keep us through the day in case of the "trafficgeddon" some are predicting. Chairs are a good idea. Chuck is bringing a couple of pop-up sun shades for us. I am bringing chaise lounge chairs for my crew so that we can lay back near horizontal without laying on the ground. This is an ideal way to view with binoculars as the sun will be pretty high overhead. Next best, bring a tarp and a blanket to lay on. Don't forget the sunscreen!
Timing at Our Viewing Site
Start of Partial:
10:11 AM
Start of Total:
11:26 AM
End of Total:
11:28 AM
End of Partial:
12:49 PM
2 min 7 sec
Click on photos below for larger image.
OUR SITE (see Site Survey 2)
Third Fork Ridge Site A - Elev: 5692 ft - Drive time: ~2.5 hrs
This is the best site yet! A co-worker of Mike's suggested this area and Mike, Carrie, and myself went to investigate. Nice flat parking/camping area with good view to the west! Pictures do not do it justice. Although it is a longer drive it looks worth it. Higher elevation means cooler. Has trees for shade and enough parking for 30 vehicles or more. Probably remote enough to discourage having much company but there is plenty of room if others show up. Road is slow the last few miles but is good gravel and not difficult. This site is about 8 miles north of the umbra center track which makes the eclipse duration 2 minutes and 7 seconds. The maximum time we will see in this part of Idaho is 2 minutes 11 seconds, so we loose 4 seconds by not being on center track...
Site Survey 2 - Third Fork Ridge Site B - Elev: 5687 ft - Drive time: ~2.5 hrs
This would be the backup site for Site A above. It has a good view west but does not have the parking area or flat ground. Parking is on the side of the road. But if somehow the other site was full of assholes this would do! It is only a short distance south of Site A.
Site Survey 1 - Tripod Meadows - Elev: 5106 ft - Drive time: 58 min
Large meadow area about 2 miles from Smith's Ferry. About a thousand feet north of the centerline. Lots of parking and quite a few bugs! This is a Forrestry Service camping area and the locals say it is "packed" during the summer months. View to west is limited.
Site Survey 1 - NF-653 - Elev: 3644 ft - Drive time: 1 hr 22 min
Less than 10 miles north of Ola on National Forest Road 653. Plenty of room to park, fairly level areas to watch from. Hills to west. Within 50 ft of center line!
Site Survey 1 - North Crane Rd - Elev: 4253 ft - Drive time: 1 hr 45 min
Parking alongside the road, right on centerline. Fairly open but there are low hills to the west.
Site Survey 1 - Riley Butte Road - Elev: 3530 ft - Drive time: 2 hr
Wide open grazing land, unfenced and on an unmaintained road. Dead on the center line! Hard to imagine too many people showing up here! View to west limited by low hills. Will be brown by August!