The biggest event this summer is something that hasn’t happened in 100 years. It is awe-inspiring. It is incredible. It’s a total eclipse. Total eclipses occur when the moon lines up directly in front of the sun, blocking out the light save for the glowing halo. They turn the sky dark; they make the earth cooler; they can blind you if they aren’t careful, and they are very rare. Many people cite total eclipses as one of the natural phenomena you have to see at least once in your lifetime. Some people dedicate their entire lives to chasing eclipses around the world.

Weather is the enemy, but aside from that, location is just as important. There is a very small trail where viewers can see the total eclipse, rather than a partial one. Total eclipses are stunning. If you aren’t naturally in their trail path this summer, and live in North America, you should absolutely make a trip to see it. The eclipse will be making its way across the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and viewers will only be able to see the total eclipse for two minutes (the maximum a total eclipse can last for is seven minutes).

There are guaranteed to be massive crowds, and hotels and resorts in the area have jumped on the opportunity. For some, it means something as hefty as $13,000 USD a night, and a minimum of a five-night stay. For others, the price is far more reasonable. White Buffalo Club is the perfect destination for any eclipse seekers. Not only can you be directly in the path for the eclipse, but you can also experience the majesty of Jackson Hole, which offers beautiful hikes, rock climbing, white water rafting, and many other fun outdoor activities.

The eclipse will occur at 11:42 MDT and last for two minutes and twenty seconds. Spend the days hiking the beautiful Grand Teton National Park, and relax and enjoy some incredible stargazing at night. It is the perfect place to witness the biggest summer event of the year.

Before you head out on August 21st for the total eclipse, make sure to have protective gear with you. Looking at partial eclipses is dangerous on your eyes, as they are less “bright” than direct sunlight, but emit just as many UV rays that damage your eyes. Typically, the sunshine is bright, so your eyes hurt and water, and force you to look away before the sun can permanently hurt them. With partial eclipses (anytime outside of the two-minute window of the total eclipse) that pain and natural reaction aren’t there. It’s important to use eye protection equipment specifically meant to protect your eyes from partial eclipses. Regular sunglasses won’t work!

The partial eclipse will last until 1pm MDT, meaning that you have a long time where your eyes are in danger after the total eclipse is over. Be prepared, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic experience! Who knows, you might love the experience so much you’ll be on the chase for the next one. The next one after this summer’s total solar eclipse will occur in 2019 and only appear in Argentina and Chile, so enjoy this one while it lasts!