5 Places to Watch the Solar Eclipse So You Don’t Feel Alone in This Unforgiving Universe

It’s been four decades since we’ve seen a solar eclipse in L.A.

On Monday, August 21, a solar eclipse will cross the continental United States for the first time in 38 years. People in a thin band of the country, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, will experience a total solar eclipse, while the rest of us will have a partial view. In the Los Angeles area, the eclipse will begin at 9:05 a.m. and end at 11:43 a.m. When the eclipse is at its maximum, around 10:20 a.m., about 62 percent of the sun will be covered. (This page will tell you exactly when it peaks in your area.)

This natural phenomenon is a great reason to spend a little time in nature. The National Park Service is hosting three eclipse events that morning—one downtown, and two in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Many locations will have a limited supply of solar glasses and Junior Ranger eclipse books.

L.A. State Historic Park (1245 N. Spring St.)

At 8:30 a.m., park rangers will lead a hike from the Gateway to Nature Center in El Pueblo (130 Paseo de la Plaza) to this new park in Downtown L.A., but visitors are also welcome to come straight to the park.

King Gillette Ranch (26876 Mullholland Highway, Calabasas)

At the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center, park rangers will lead a solar eclipse program, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Rancho Sierra Vista (Via Goleta and Lynn Road, Thousand Oaks)

Meet at the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center for children’s activities, Native American sky stories, and to watch the eclipse together.

Big Bear Lake (41220 Park Avenue, Big Bear Lake)

Join the Big Bear Valley Astronomical society at a designated observing site at the eastern parking lot of Big Bear Swim Beach. You’ll observe 70 percent eclipse coverage here when it peaks at 10:23 a.m.

Mammoth Mountain (1 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes)

At 80 percent coverage, Mammoth may offer the closest to totality you can get within a reasonable drive of L.A., which would be impressive enough itself, but to make the experience more spectacular, this viewing party takes place at the mountain’s summit, 11,053 feet up. A $23 ticket includes your gondola ride and viewing glasses.

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