Total Solar Eclipse FAQ
February 8, 2024
by GO STOWE
On April 8, 2024, a rare total solar eclipse will cross the U.S., plunging a 124-mile-wide path stretching from Mexico to Canada into night-like darkness. Stowe, Vermont will be part of the state to experience the rare marvel of “totality” of the eclipse, causing day to turn to night. If you are traveling to Stowe to view the solar eclipse, read through these frequently asked questions to help plan ahead. More information, including special events and watch parties will be available in the upcoming weeks.
What is a total solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. Totality is the maximum phase of a total solar eclipse, during which the Moon’s disk completely covers the Sun’s face. Totality can last anywhere from 10 seconds to seven and half minutes. The last total solar eclipse viewable from Vermont occurred in 1932 and you won’t see the next one in the Green Mountain State until 2106.
Where can I see the eclipse?
The 2024 Great North American Solar Eclipse will plunge a 124-mile-wide path stretching from Mexico to Canada into night-like darkness. Stowe falls in the part of Northern Vermont that will experience the rare marvel of totality. There are lots of places and events taking place in Stowe where you will be able to view the total solar eclipse. Stowe Mountain Resort will have various points for viewing and is offering free parking open to the public that day. Various points along the Stowe Recreation Path will offer a good place to set up and view the spectacle. Depending on weather conditions leading up to the day of the eclipse, trails and grassy areas could be soft, muddy and not open for recreation so we are recommending guests utilize paved areas for their solar viewing.
Do I need anything specific in order to view the eclipse?
Special eclipse glasses need to be purchased and worn while solar viewing. It is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection specifically for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.
What will the weather be like in Vermont in April?
Vermont in April can welcome all different weather conditions and temperatures. Visitors should come prepared with all types of warm layers, waterproof footwear, etc. Always remember that temperatures drop and weather conditions can change more frequently at higher elevations so plan accordingly.
The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse falls during the time of year where winter is coming to an end and we begin the transition to spring. Often referred to as “mud season,” the ground becomes soft from thawing temperatures and runoff snowmelt. Not all areas of our destination will be viable places for your viewership depending on muddy conditions.
What people can see during a total solar eclipse depends on the weather and the location from which they view it. Clear skies are ideal to have a full eclipse experience, with a clear view of the sun and moon. However, the eerie daytime darkness associated with eclipses is still noticeable with some cloud cover.
Will there be a lot of people in Stowe at that time?
While April is a traditionally quieter time of year, Stowe is expecting high volumes of people for the solar eclipse. The state is estimating anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people flocking to Vermont for this astronomical event. Due to this increase of expected guests, those visiting Stowe should also anticipate an increase in traffic and plan accordingly. Please be respectful as everyone is navigating this busy time.
Where can I stay? Is lodging still available?
There is very limited lodging still available in Stowe, so book now if you need to secure accommodations. Inventory may change as we get closer to the event so check back frequently to see what is available. If your plans are subject to change at all, be sure to read and understand the property’s cancellation policy to avoid any incurring fees.
What is there to do in Stowe other than view the solar eclipse?
Stowe offers a diverse menu of activities and attractions all year round. In addition to special eclipse events happening around town, there are a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy in Stowe this time of year. Stowe Mountain Resort will still be open for spring skiing and riding. Spring is often referred to as Vermont’s sweetest season as it marks the start of maple sugaring season. Guests can take in the sugaring process and take home their favorite sweet, maple treats at one of our local sugar houses. While not all trails are open during this time of year pending weather, road biking and rail trails are popular amongst cycling enthusiasts. Vermont is home to more craft breweries per capita than any other state.