Skygazers in eight western U.S. states will be treated to a rare “ring of fire” eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14. With the moon covering all but the outer edges of the sun, it will briefly look as though there’s a blazing ring of fire igniting the sky.
The ring of fire 2023 eclipse path will cross parts of the United States, Mexico and several countries in South and Central America, according to NASA. Eclipse viewers have plenty of unique spots to watch the annular eclipse, from the sandstone formations in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park to Albuquerque, where it’s all eyes on the skies as the New Mexico city will be simultaneously hosting its international hot air balloon festival.
But some of the very best places to see the ring of fire eclipse in 2023 is from national parks and sites, especially in the Four Corners region where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona meet.
In fact, more than two dozen national parks, monuments and recreation areas are in the Ring of Fire Eclipse 2023 Path, according to the National Park Service.
For instance, the annular eclipse path will clip the southwestern portion of Colorado, passing over Mesa Verde National Park, the site of well-preserved cliff dwellings and where Ancestral Puebloans were keen observers of the night sky from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D. One of Colorado’s four national parks, Mesa Verde today is a UNESCO World Heritage site and, in 2021, it became the world’s 100th International Dark Sky Park.
Here’s a ring of fire eclipse map from GreatAmerianEclipse.com that shows all of the parks it will pass over:
Some other notable places the ring of fire eclipse will be visible from include Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, where eclipse viewers can watch the celestial event amid the otherworldly red rock hoodoos. At the end of the path, you can watch the ring of fire eclipse from a barrier island at Padre Island National Seashore.
What’s the Path for the 2023 Ring of Fire Eclipse?
Some consider the ring of fire annular eclipse a warm-up to the total solar eclipse of 2024 that will cross over North America from Mazatlán to Newfoundland. Texas is at the bullseye of both eclipses, according to GreatAmerianEclipse.com. Texas Hill Country and San Antonio is being referred to as the “Texas Nexus.”
It won’t be until 2039 until another ring of fire eclipse happens, and only those in Alaska will be able to see it, according to NASA, which makes Saturday’s event an exciting one, especially since it will be visible in so many destinations.
Here’s a map of both the 2023 ring of fire eclipse and the total solar eclipse that will happen on Monday, April 8, 2024:
A List of National Parks and Sites on the 2023 Ring of Fire Eclipse Path
Want to watch the annular eclipse from a national park. Pack your solar eclipse glasses and be braced for the crowds.
Here’s a list of the national parks and sites where you can see the annular eclipse on Oct. 14. This interactive map from the National Park Service will help point you to park-specific events and eclipse-viewing tips.
- Lava Beds National Monument
- Crater Lake National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Yucca House National Monument
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Rainbow Bridge National Monument
- Natural Bridges National Monument
- Canyonlands National Park
- Hovenweep National Monument
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park
- Aztec Ruins National Monument
- Bandelier National Monument
- Valles Caldera National Preserve
- El Malpais National Monument
- Pecos National Historical Park
- Petroglyph National Monument
- Valles Caldera National Preserve
- Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
- Great Basin National Park
- Canyon De Chelly National Monument
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
- Padre Island National Seashore