Solar Eclipse 2017: A Guide to Dispersed Camping Locations

August 01, 2017

  • by
  • Melanie Ott

The 2017 total solar eclipse is a once in a life time experience, and watching from the path of totality – where the complete total eclipse is visible – will ensure you get the best possible show. The buzz around is that everywhere in the path of totality will be so congested with expectant onlookers that it’s not even worth the trip. In fact, most reservable campgrounds in the path have been booked for months.

However, Active Junky has put together a list of national forest and recreation areas within the path of totality where you can find a little solitude – places that will draw smaller crowds than national parks and touristy big cities.

Dispersed, or primitive, camping in national forests is free and first-come, first-served, and sites get you away from packed established campgrounds that have been reserved for months. Some recreation areas may require permits for dispersed or primitive camping.

Check out our off-the-grid options below, and use this interactive Solar Eclipse Map from the USDA Forest Service to ensure your location is within the path of totality. And sign up for Active Junky for more articles, product reviews, exclusive deals and cashback on your gear purchases.

Willamette National Forest, Oregon

Willamette National Forest: permit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Idaho National Forests

Idaho National Forests: permit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming

Shoshone Nation Forestpermit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

  • Wind River Range: North of Willow, Soda, and Half Moon Lakes; including and south of Buffalo Plateau

Nebraska National Forest, Nebraska

Nebraska National Forest: permit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Missouri National Forests

Missouri National Forestspermit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky

Land Between the Lakes$7 for three-day permit available online

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina

Nantahala National Forest: permit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia

Chattahoochee National Forestpermit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Francis Marion National Forest, South Carolina

Francis Marion National Forest: permit-free dispersed camping

Dispersed Camping in the Path of Totality

Looking for more options? Check out our Active Junky Solar Eclipse Vacation article.

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