Safety Tips for the Wind River Eclipse: Visitors & Residents #helpatourist
With an estimated 10,000–20,000 travelers flocking to Wind River Country the week surrounding the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, travelers and residents alike should give a little extra thought to safety and preparation.
- Roads and parking areas will be in high demand. Schedule extra time for travel Aug. 17-22.
- Guests: Traveling to your viewing location that Monday will be a busy time on relatively few routes. Give yourself ample time, and travel with a full tank of gas, water and snacks in the car.
- Hosts: Set your alarm early for your commute Monday, and expect heavy traffic.
- Guests: Know land ownership and plan to park at established, safe, and public viewing areas, like those listed at windrivereclipse.org/parking-viewing-areas/
- Guests: It is your responsibility to know land ownership, to heed trespass laws, and to care for the public lands you use in the manner expected (leave no trace). You can find maps of land ownership with an app like OnXMaps, on a GPS, and through local agencies like the Wyoming State Lands, Wyoming BLM, and Wyoming Forest Service .
- Hosts: Be aware of the potential for accidental trespass and take steps to prevent it, for example installing additional signage or locking gates
Kids & Pets
- Guests & Hosts: Remind your children of the “stranger danger” lesson. Consider giving your child a wrist band or card with their first name and your phone number on it.
- Guests & Hosts: Take extra precautions for the protection of your pets during this busy and excitement-filled weekend.
- Guests: Businesses will have extra supplies on hand, including gasoline, water, sunscreen, food, bathrooms, folding chairs and approved safety viewing glasses.
- Hosts: Stock up on food, beverages and ice, and gasoline, and refill your prescriptions early during the week of Aug. 14 before the stores get busy, for everyone’s convenience.
Phones & Wi-Fi, 9-1-1 & 2-1-1
- Fremont County will likely experience a complete—temporary—drain on cellular service, internet service and data transfer in the county.
- Guests & Hosts: Do not rely on the ability to make cell phone calls, livestream your eclipse experience online from your phone, or even send photos in the hours surrounding the approximately two-minute solar eclipse. In fact, the fewer people who try, the lower the demand on the limited bandwidth in the county.
- Guests & Hosts: If you can’t get a call through, try a text, as it will require less data.
- Guests & Hosts: 9-1-1 will work, and these calls will always be answered. However, they may be answered by a dispatcher outside of the county. State your location right away if you have to call 9-1-1.
- Guests: 2-1-1 is a statewide information and resource service. It is available 24/7 in all languages. Call 2-1-1 for information about medical services, lodging, eclipse safety tips, and more. If you have a non-emergency need or question, call 2-1-1 instead of 9-1-1.
Navigation & 5-1-1
- Guests: Don’t rely on your phone or car GPS for navigation. It is not uncommon for visitors to become lost in Wyoming because they only used their phones to navigate. Pick up a county or state map at a local store or Chamber of Commerce, or ask for directions to check your route.
- Guests: Not all roads are paved. Dirt roads may not be navigable. Travel with water, food, extra layers, and a good spare tire, especially if you plan on getting off the main highway.
- Guests & Hosts: Sign up for the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s eclipse travel alerts.
- Guests: Wyoming tourism information is available by calling 5-1-1.
- Guests & Hosts: Listen to local radio stations for eclipse news: All area stations will be airing information live about the eclipse, traffic, and resources.
- Guests & Hosts: This is very important to protect your eyesight. Do not look directly at the sun without eye protection except during the brief period of totality—when the sun is completely blocked by the moon. Use approved eclipse-viewing safety glasses or shadow devices at all other times to view the sun. Take the time to review NASA’s eye-safety tips. Make sure all children follow the eye-safety rules.
- If you are viewing the eclipse through binoculars, camera lenses (including cell phones), telescopes or other magnifying devices, you must also have a safety filter on the lenses, as the lenses magnify the sun’s impact on your eyes.
- Guests & Hosts: August is peak fire season in Wind River Country, and your car, your cigarette, and your campfire could all easily start a wildfire.
- Don’t park your car (or leave it running) on grass, as it may ignite. Instead, park in designated camping, parking, or viewing areas.
- Don’t toss cigarettes anywhere.
- Thoroughly douse any campfire, and make sure your campfire is legal—they are currently banned in many locations in Fremont County.
- Guests: Wind River Country’s elevation ranges from 5,000 feet to nearly 14,000 feet. Be sure to drink lots of water, limit caffeine and alcohol, and don’t over-exert yourself. Know the symptoms of altitude sickness.
- Guests: The high altitude also means the sun’s rays are harsher; wear sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, hats, and pants to avoid sunburn.
Animals & Bugs
- Guests & Hosts: Know and practice bear safety while at campsites or in the mountains, including following public lands food storage regulations. Carry (and know how to use) bear spray.
- Guests & Hosts: Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes and rattlesnakes.
First Aid Stations
- Guests: Know the location of the medical clinic or hospital of the town you’re in. You will find additional aid stations in Riverton at the City Park, Lander at Jaycee Park, Crowheart, Lysite fire hall, and Pavillion town hall.
Wind River Indian Reservation
- Guests & Hosts: The Shoshone and Arapaho Fish and Game is selling eclipse permits for August 14-23 for the following areas: Boysen Peak, Trout Creek and the entrance to Crow Mountain. These areas will be marked with orange signs.
- Day permits are $50 and are good only for the day of purchase. Overnight permits are $100, and a multi-day permit good from August 14-August 23rd is $500.
- The permitted areas will be marked and monitored. All permits must be in the purchaser’s possession at all times.
- Viewing the eclipse from reservation side roads will also require a day permit.
- Due to the remote nature of the camping areas, portable toilet facilities or garbage cans will not be provided.
- All other areas will be closed unless fishing permits were previously purchased. Persons who have purchased Tribal Fishing Permits must remain by open waters as indicated in the fishing regulations. As with all permit purchases, the purchaser agrees to be prosecuted in tribal and federal courts for any and all violations committed. All tribal rules and regulations apply when entering these areas.
- Permits can be purchased over the phone using a credit card or at one of these locations: Rocky Mountain Sporting Goods-Riverton, 307-856-7687, 709 N Federal Blvd; Fastlane-Shoshoni, 307-876-2221, 110 W. 2nd; Wind River Outdoor Co.-Lander, 307-332-7864, 8114 WY-789; Wind River Canyon Whitewater-Thermopolis, 307-864-9343, 210 Hwy. 20 South. Also providing van transport to Boysen Peak. Call for info; Blair’s Market-Thermopolis, 307-864-3112, 600 S 6th St.
Use #windrivercountry and #windrivereclipse to share your photos.