Majestic places to view solar eclipse in AZ

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What the eclipse will look like at 10:35 a.m. (Source: NASA) What the eclipse will look like at 10:35 a.m. (Source: NASA)

August 21, 2017 – a date highlighted on many calendars as the first total solar eclipse visible in the “lower 48” states since the 1979 eclipse in the Pacific Northwest – and the last chance to see one until 2024.

For cities and towns in the states under the path of total coverage, next Monday’s edition has created a great deal of excitement with public events, local viewing parties and sold-out hotels.

What about here in Arizona? Sure, we won’t get the total eclipse, but the show here will still be quite impressive, particularly in the northernmost parts of the state where the percentage of coverage will range from the high 70s to low 80s.

Since the eclipse is on a Monday, consider making a long weekend of it, using some popular northern Arizona towns as a jumping off point.

Flagstaff, Page, Holbrook, Winslow and Kayenta range from very near, to within a few hours' drive of, some of our state’s most famous and beautiful landmarks. As of this writing, there are still hotel rooms to be had, and at reasonable rates, so pack up the car and make an event of the eclipse.

So, where might you go to make the most of the solar eclipse? Here are a few suggestions, along with information about when to see it:

Monument Valley

Percentage of coverage: 81 percent

Eclipse begins at 10:15 a.m. (the Navajo Nation observes daylight saving time), with maximum coverage at 11:37 a.m.

You can see parts of Monument Valley from Highway163, the main route through the area. But for the most spectacular views, it’s worth paying the $20 per car entry fee (for up to four people) to go into the Tribal Park land on the loop road.

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Lake Powell

Percentage of coverage: 81 percent

Eclipse begins at 9:13 a.m., with maximum coverage at 10:34 a.m.

Personally, I can think of no better views than from the water, but if that’s not in the picture for you, the parking lots at the marinas and campgrounds are a solid option.

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Grand Canyon National Park

Percentage of coverage: 78 percent

Eclipse begins at 9:12 a.m., with maximum coverage at 10:33 a.m.

You’ll have lots of options here, with the many stunning vistas and lookout points. The current entry fee for Grand Canyon National Park is $30.00 for a carload, good for seven days. Plan on entering the National Park early, to find your perfect eclipse viewing spot. 

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