Start planning - 2024 Eclipse path runs over Katahdin

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Active member
Jun 25, 2004
Reaction score
With Augie on Carrigan

2024 total eclipse

The country's next opportunity to see a total solar eclipse comes in fewer than seven years, on April 8, 2024. This will be another major event for the United States, with some areas (i.e. Carbondale, Ill.) actually seeing their second total eclipse in just seven years. This is the event to begin planning for now, if you're totally jealous about missing out on Monday.

More detailed map here:
Last edited:
I traveled to a friend's home in Union, MO, just west of Carbondale. Totality was a wonderful sight today. The 2024 total eclipse path will pass over my home in northern NY state.
Last edited:
Yea..I'll be up in Pittsburg were it's quiet and fun. It's a Monday so this I can do easy like.
Last edited:
I would expect a huge influx of people to normally quiet places in northern New England. Maybe the Balsams will be up and running by then. :D
Yup, exactly our experience... traveling from CO to central NE was a breeze, and the eclipse was amazing, but trying to get to Chicago for the next leg of our trip took 12+ hours when it should have taken 8. Rural interstates are only 2 lanes in each direction, and one fender-bender there can close the highway when people don't know to get the heck off the pavement.
The pre-eclipse stories of huge traffic jams in the zone of totality never seemed to come true. In MO where I traveled to (not far from St. Louis), approaching the zone of totality in the days prior, Electronic billboards along the highways warned travelers to not stop along the side of the road and to expect long traffic delays in the area on eclipse day. Post eclipse reports showed the traffic density fears to be unwarranted.
The Grand Tetons were similarly quiet. We scoped out a parking area a few days before and arrived at 6:00 AM. But it never even got full, let alone overcrowded. Perhaps further south, where a few more seconds of totality could be seen, it was busier.
Central Wyoming was crowded where the band of totality crossed. We climbed a butte outside Riverton, one of our favorite walks, normally don't see anybody. But on the butte that day we saw a couple dozen others. Really cool because we could see the Wind River Mountains, 40 miles away, go dark a short while before dusk descended on us. Afterward the road south to Colorado became unbelievably clogged, never seen anything like it in our town of 10,000. I heard reports that Jeffrey city to Muddy Gap, normally less than an hour, took up to five hours to drive.
I did Central Oregon with my daughter and was very pleased. We camped on a cattle ranch of many acres and maybe 200+ people spread way out. Totality was more awesome than I ever imagined -- more so than any photograph can show. Traffic forecasts, not so much, but we picked the right route from Portland: not Rte 26 (14 hour traffic jams) but went I-84 east and Rte. 19 south instead (a breeze). All in all August in Oregon was a big success.

HOWEVER April on Katahdin is another story: it would be a climb with plenty of snow and very low probability of a clear sky. Is Baxter even open in early April? I think May 15th is the usual date. Yes, I know the big K is hardly the only mountain in the northeast but the eclipse path is mostly west and north of NY (except maybe a few places in the Daks), VT (not much) and NH (no much).

I will probably head to Mexico or Texas instead. Why? the weather is the #1 issue. Traffic, lodging etc.etc. are all easy compared to a "guaranteed" clear sky. An overcast sky can ruin a year of planning.

My planning:

Every April from next year till 2023 I will check the weather of every likely site on the path (here's a link: 2024 Eclipse path - you want to be a close as you can be to the red line, and you MUST be between the blue lies) and keep careful records. Then plan your lodging etc a year in advance including a plan B! where you can drive somewhere else in a hurry (a few hundred miles overnight) when detailed last-minute local weather forecasts become available.
Last edited:
For a number of my working years I had been surprised by a week or two of extremely nice dry weather in April. Too suddenly and unexpectedly to take time off from work to enjoy the time in the Adirondacks. You just never know.

My 2024 plan A is to be somewhere on center line around either Watertown (a short drive from my home, which is also within the zone of totality) or Plattsburgh (my daughter's home), depending on the WX at the time. Unfortunately, for any plan B, eclipses tend to not take a path along easily traveled roads in straight lines to quickly get to alternate locations hundreds of miles away. When in MO for this recent eclipse, I looked at what my plan B might be, but any amount of distance near center line where weather would not be a factor would not have been an easy direct or quick highway trip. Especially if everyone else has the same idea. Thankfully I didn't need any plan B this time.
Last edited:
Rural interstates are only 2 lanes in each direction.
If you're lucky. I-35 from southern Iowa was down to one lane for construction. It look us about 5 1/2 hours from Sweet Springs back to Des Moines; Google says normally 3:30 (and some acquaintances who started back home an hour or so after us took about another 90 minutes). That ratio sounds about consistent with what I heard from other people on north-south roads out of the zone of totality. I-5 was bad; I-25 from Wyoming to the Front Range was apparently a horror.
My guess is the Baxter park rules will not vary much from what they are today. Park loop and trails are sometimes open after March 30 if snow conditions allow. April the Alpine is always closed I believe.
Vision saving advice.... order your eclipse glasses early. They will be difficult to find in the final year leading up to April 2024. Be sure they are rated as eclipse safe, beware especially of cheap Chinese made film type filters. Some of those were recalled as unsafe prior to the 2017 eclipse. Welder's glass shade #14 is known to be safe. Whatever filter you use, if you can see anything through it at all other than a dim image when looking at the sun itself, then it is not safe. it is safe to use optical aid (telescopes or binocs) with magnification to look directly at a total eclipse only during the fully total phase (between second and third contact). But any sliver of the sun's surface showing outside of 100% totality is not safe to view witout proper filtering. Specialized appropriate filters on optics are only safe if they are placed between the objective end glass and the sun, not at the viewing plane (eye side) after magnification. There are timing apps available that will give you an audio countdown of the precise and exact safe viewing time of totality at your exact location. it worked vey well for me to remove my objective end filter and observe totality through a 6" telescope in 2017 and I still have good vision to this day.
Last edited:
The whites are just south and east of totality. Probably a bad combination of folks trying to cheat without the right gear.

Then again as evidenced by todays weather, April in NH is not known for clear blue skies.
The whites are just south and east of totality. Probably a bad combination of folks trying to cheat without the right gear.

Then again as evidenced by todays weather, April in NH is not known for clear blue skies.

I don't have a lot of hope or optimism for clear sky on 8 April 2024 in this region. I will be prepared to travel a couple hundred miles, but would need a better guarantee of the sky conditions. Not likely without a very major regional location change. Cloudy weather and storm tracks tend to align from south to north with the entire ecliipse track path during this time of year.

I have been skunked before. After a terrific view when at the end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1970(?), the next year in Cap Chat Quebec was clouded out with thin but opague clouds. Even so, the cloudy sky got dark, sheep in a nearby field headed toward the barn and began bleeting. Birds flew to roost. So there are some observable effects even if you can't see the clear sky.
It is of course, not necessary to be on a mountain top at totality. There are many cities and villages along the way. Unfortunately, I could not get PB's link to work, but I'm sure there will be more precise predictions of the path of totality as we get nearer.

As for travel, it would be a good idea to have a plan B if the major highways are clogged. I can imagine I-87 being a problem, but I-91 and I-93 are usually pretty lightly traveled at their northern ends. Who knows? Given the timing of mid-afternoon, at least it won't be rush hour.

The weather will be the big deciding factor. As a mildly avid eclipse chaser, (I've been to 3, 2 of which were SPECTACULAR), if I did not live so close to the path of totality, I would opt for places with the best weather. Mexico has the point of longest totality. My previous destinations were Aruba, Hawaii, and the Grand Tetons, all of which are usually very dry. (Hawaii?! Yes, the west side of the Big Island is like a desert. The east side gets 180" of rain a year!). The up side is you're still in a really nice place, even if the weather does not cooperate for a few minutes of your trip. Eclipses can make their own weather. In Wyoming, it got cold and windy before totality. In Hawaii, it rained on and off that day. Although it rained in the morning, Aruba's weather was perfect for the grand event.

Good luck!