Our small town will witness a spectacular, annular solar eclipse in October 2023.   We are preparing to welcome visitors from all over the world for this occurrence.

We suggest you also need to plan ahead because thousands of people are already gearing up for this one-of-a-kind event.  Lodging options in Bluff, such as motels and RV parks, have been fully booked for months.

If you plan on coming to Bluff for the eclipse, it’s very important to know what to expect.  On this page, we’ve assembled loads of useful tips to help you have the best eclipse experience.

So, what are you waiting for?  Grab a pen and paper and start planning your visit right now!

Eclipse Tips

Eclipse Tips is an important resource for anyone planning to visit the Bluff area during eclipse weekend.  You’ll find a pack list of essential items to bring, emergency information in case of an unexpected event, and tips on how to respect and care for the land while visiting.  We hope with these helpful tips, you can be well-prepared for your trip and enjoy your experience.

Please remember to print out or download Eclipse Tips and area maps before you leave home.  Cell service may be limited. 

2023 Annular Solar Eclipse 1

What Is An Annular Solar Eclipse?

An Annular Solar Eclipse occurs mid-morning on October 14th, 2023.

The word ‘annular’ comes from the Latin word “annulus” which means ring.  An Annular Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun’s center, leaving the sun’s visible outer edges to form a ‘ring of fire’ around the moon.    It is different from a Total Solar Eclipse.  You must have protective eyewear to view this Annular Solar Eclipse.

Types of Solar Eclipses

Where Is The Eclipse Path?

The annular eclipse path extends over North, Central and South America.  In the United States, the eclipse will first be visible in Oregon.  The eclipse path travels directly over Bluff, Utah, and the Four Corners area.

2023 Annular Solar Eclipse Path of Totality
2023 Annular Solar Eclipse Path of Totality. Copyright: GreatAmericanEclipse.com. Used with Permission.

How Long Does the Annular Solar Eclipse Last?

The eclipse duration is dependent on location.  In Bluff, the darkest or maximum eclipse will be on October 14th, 2023, around 10:30 a.m. and last about 4.5 minutes.  A partial eclipse will begin around 1 hour, 15 minutes prior and last 1 hour, 15 minutes after.  Bluff observes Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

Annular Solar Eclipse Path over Four Corners and Bluff, Utah
October 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse Path over Four Corners and Bluff, Utah. Credits: ©2021 Great American Eclipse, LLC, Used with Permission.


Come for the Eclipse, Stay for the Experience

Enhance your Eclipse Experience by arriving 1-2 day early and staying 1-2 days after.

Bluff is surrounded by public lands which showcase some of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders.  This is a living, cultural landscape once inhabited by Indigenous peoples and is considered sacred by Tribes Today.  Please Visit With Respect.

Choose from one of our great southeastern Utah itineraries.  And, for stargazers and amateur astronomers, a New Moon occurs in the evenings just before the eclipse which makes for great stargazing in our pristine dark, night sky.  Three International Dark Sky Parks are also near Bluff.


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This Is The Backcountry

  • Even if you’re only here for the day, compare prepared because the area has limited resources.
  • For example, Bluff has 1 gas station.  The next closest gas station is 11 miles away.  Fill your car with gas before you go.  Keep an eye on your gas gauge.
  • The area has 1 north-south highway (Highway 191). In Bluff, there are no side street detours to bypass Highway 191.

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Indigenous Sensitivity

  • Indigenous people have cultural sensitivities regarding eclipses.
  • Some tribes, like the Navajo and Ute Indian Tribes, are not allowed to look at the eclipse, including photos.  
  • Businesses in Bluff may be short-staffed as Indigenous business owners and employees may be out for the morning or day of the eclipse.

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Public Lands Surround Bluff

  • Bluff is surrounded by Tribal (Navajo and Ute lands).  Dispersed camping is not allowed on Tribal lands.
  • Sites near Bluff are on federal lands (Bears Ears National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument) or state lands (Goosenecks State Parks).  
  • Please Visit With Respect.  Federal law protects archeological sites and artifacts on federal lands.  Do not collect artifacts or deface rock images.  Violations may result in jail time or fines.

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Come Early-Stick Around

  • In Bluff, the maximum darkness begins around 10:30 am MDT and lasts around 4.5 minutes.  
  • A partial eclipse begins 1 hour and 15 minutes prior and lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes after the eclipse.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to your eclipse viewing site.
  • Highways may be very crowded before and especially after the eclipse.

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Have a Backup Eclipse Viewing Site

  • Have a backup viewing site or two.  Your first choice may not be available. 
  • No need to be near a landmark or deep in a canyon.
  • You will be viewing the sky.  Any open area where you can comfortably park and set up is suitable.
  • Know the route(s) to your sites.
  • Remember:  No dispersed camping on Tribal lands.

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Go Old School-Bring Printed Maps

  • Download or print maps of the area before you go.
  • Cellphone service may not be available.
  • Click here for area maps.

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Stay Safe

  • Whoa there, thrill-seeker!  Let’s not go Evil Knievel during the eclipse weekend.
  • If something goes wrong, emergency services may be stretched thin and your call to 911 could be triaged (pushed to the bottom of the list).

This information brought to you by the Town of Bluff, Business Owners of Bluff, and Bears Ears Partnership.

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