Location Scouting

As the eclipse nears… curious if anyone has anything to share with regards to location scouting?

I typically aim for parks, boat launches, (obvious public spaces) for this kind of thing. I’m heading east of Dallas where the eclipse line mostly goes over lots farm roads and tiny towns. What do you look for, or perhaps avoid, when searching for a suitable location?


During the 2017 eclipse we came across a country church with a wide expanse of grounds right on the centerline. Living near Charlotte we didn’t have to drive far or stay over so basically just drove toward a spot that was away from larger cities. This particular spot was near Belton, SC. The church was Shady Grove Baptist. There was a very large turnout of folks and the church was providing restrooms, snacks and drinks.

This year I’m taking the easy (not cheap) way and booked an AirBnB on Lake Ontario. Will stay there 3 days.

Seriously, check the map for churches that may be making a festival out of it. I did a video of the event and have posted it in “Flashback to 2017Solar Eclipse”


I’m some what lucky we have 3 nights (Sat Sun & Mon) complimentary at the Seneca Casino. Ive got one location is the roof of the parking garage or leave early & go to Buffalo Harbour State Park. Just checked the 7 day forecast 14c & 20% chance of whatever. I hope the weather is great all along the path!!!

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Arrived in Mexico City today, where we’re staying with friends until Friday. After that our fate is in the hands of Astro Trails and the weather gods (who are not yet smiling it seems).

It’s going to be an interesting week ahead!


Eclipse newbie here :raising_hand_woman:t2: (but astrophotographer for a while, so not new to scouting). I chose Mexico mainly because of the weather outlook (joke’s on me with that terrible prognosis ahead). That part of Mexico, however, was near impossible to scout with Google Maps, as it’s extremely unpopular. What I did was scout photos with Google Earth (you just have to turn on the layer with user photos!) and take a look everything users have shared. It’s great for locations like these. So I found a gorgeous national park with a waterfall and some amazing rocks near El Salto.

It’s also about 2500 meters above sea level, so I’m guessing we will have a more clear image of the corona (less atmosphere). Fingers crossed the skies clear for all of us, at least for totality :sunny:


That’s a great idea to look for church gatherings - thanks!

I was headed to Vincennes, IN on April 8 but that’s now in question due to cloud cover. I’m wondering if there is anyone who may have an idea where I might go that looks a little better in terms of the forecast. What I’ve seen so far this week is pretty variable between the different services available. I’d like to set up a backup target ahead of time. Any assistance would be appreciated since I will be doing this on my own for the first time.

If you haven’t done so already, check out the various weather sites linked in the April 8 Weather Overview thread. But what you will see will be still a lot of inconsistency and uncertainly among the models. That will improvise in the next few days, but for many areas it will remain uncertain. There will come a point where you will have to integrate all the information and make your best guess.

For what it’s worth the area between northern AR and central IN still looks pretty good, as in this current maps from the Washington Post. The NWS Blend looks similar. But nothing is certain.



There’s a lot of forecast tools out there, pivotalweather.com etc, personally I use https://www.astrospheric.com as I have found the most practical success with it with chasing aurora and I like the interface. It only projects out 3 days so won’t really know for another 48 hours or so. In my anecdotal experience, cloud cover models more than 3 days out have tended to be less reliable than I need for solid planning.

For me, I’ll be getting my rental car Sunday afternoon and will be ready to drive!

I think it largely depends on the images you want to create. For this eclipse, I’m planning to focus (ha!) on the sun, not the environment. So any place with a clear line of sight works. If you’re wanting to shoot the eclipse next to a church tower, find that. I’ve seen some really interesting shots of the horizon lit up under a dark sky. So for that, you’d want something scenic, perhaps rolling hills at the horizon.