Shoshone Forest expecting huge crowds for Eclipse; Lander and Dubois districts prepared
Coverage of the August 2017 solar eclipse and related events is brought to you by Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel.
(Lander, Wyo.) – The Wind River and Washakie Ranger Districts on the Shoshone National Forest will have extra staff on hand for the August 21st eclipse. It’s no surprise that Rick Metzger and Steve Schact don’t really know what to expect, except that it will be a busy four days or so as the path of totality of the eclipse passes over the forest.
Officials have already predicted a record visitation for both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks during those four days, and on August 21st itself as day trippers are expected to flood into the area. The path of totality passes over Grand Teton, but only a partial eclipse will be visible in Yellowstone.
“We are focusing our efforts on the 17th through 22nd with extended office hours at our Ranger Station in Dubois, and we’ll have forest entry portals staffed by forest service personnel to hand out information and trash bags and remind people not to leave their coolers unattended and to pick up trash when they leave and put out any campfires,” Metzger said. “We are directing folks to the Sheridan Loop and Union Pass as those two routes have multiple ways out. We’ll have dry camping at Brooks Lake turnout.” He said the Falls Campground downstream from Brooks Lake is almost full right now. “There’s a 16 day camping limit, so they can stay there through the eclipse.”
Schact said the Washakie District will also staff portals around Lander and at Dickinson Park. He said if people leave coolers unattended, forest service personnel will collect them and leave a note where they can be claimed after the event. He said over 100 coolers were abandoned along the Loop Road during the 4th of July. This time he said those unattended coolers will be collected, but no fines issues. He said bears are getting human food rewards along the Loop Road and along the Middle Fork Trail. One bear has already been euthanized for being habituated to people.
He said extra USFS personnel have been assigned to the forest for the event, including several additional fire units.