Under the direct path of the solar eclipse, towns of Wind River Country, Wyo., offer out-of-this-world opportunities to experience a historic moment.
The last time a total solar eclipse passed over the contiguous 48 states in the United States was Feb. 26, 1979. Earlier that month, the Village People’s song “YMCA” hit no. 2 on the pop charts, Pink Floyd premiered the live version of “The Wall” in Los Angeles and Patty Hearst was released from prison for bank robbery.
For a great seat to the next show-stopping total solar eclipse Aug. 21, 2017, head to the Wyoming towns of Lander, Dubois, Riverton, Shoshoni, Hudson and the Wind River Indian Reservation.
While Lander, home to the National Outdoor Leadership School, will experience one minute and six seconds of totality (the period time where the moon completely obscures the sun), the festivities will last all day with live music, food trucks and traditional Native American dances. In Riverton, you’ll experience 2 minutes and 13 seconds of totality. Head to the Wind River Hotel & Casino to hear Northern Arapaho storytelling and to watch tribe members perform a ceremony to bring back the sun during the eclipse. In the tiny cowboy town of Dubois, there will be two minutes and 18 seconds of totality.
Staying around after the eclipse? Explore Sinks Canyon State Park in Lander to hike, spot rock climbers and see the Popo Agie River disappear. Find out how it reappears about a quarter of a mile away in what is called “the Rise.” From there head to South Pass City, a well-preserved mining town that drew gold-seekers from 1868-69 and offers gold panning and mine tours today.
For more information:
Eclipse 2017 with Map of Eclipse Path in Riverton Area
Wind River Country Eclipse Information
Read our interview with astronomer Douglas Duncan of the University of Colorado Boulder.