Total Solar Eclipse in Stanley: Events and What You Need to Know


Unless you have been living off the grid as a mountain man in the Sawtooths, you know about the solar eclipse on August 21. As for us in Stanley, it’s all we seem to talk about. And rightfully so since Stanley is right in the path of totality!

What is a total solar eclipse? Merriam-Webster defines it as “an eclipse of the sun in which the moon completely hides the solar surface or photosphere and thereby cuts off all direct rays of sunlight from the observer.” In other words, the moon is directly between the earth and sun turning day into night.

The eclipse timeline in Stanley:
Start of the partial eclipse: 10:12:03 am
Start of total eclipse: 11:28:19 am
Maximum eclipse: 11:29:26 am
End of total eclipse: 11:30:32 am
End of partial eclipse: 12:52:19 pm
Total elapsed time is 2 minutes and 12 seconds

We know the sky will get dark, but did you know……..

  • Birds will stop chirping.
  • Stars and a few planets will make an appearance in the night sky.
  • Air temperature will cool.

Want to learn more facts about the solar eclipse? Stanley has a great line-up of fun, FREE and educational events throughout the weekend.

Friday, August 18, Stanley Museum, 5pm
Starlight and Darkness: Idaho’s 21st Century Total Solar Eclipse
Paul Cox, Observatory Director and Chief Astronomical Officer at Slooh, will discuss — in a very practical and accessible way — the misconceptions and misinformation about the eclipse plus how to watch and photograph it. In a non-sciencey way, Paul will cover the timings and what to watch for during each phase in addition to the mechanics and causes of the eclipses. Paul will touch a little on what Slooh does every night with their live telescopes in the Canary Islands and Chile with the possibility of some live views. He’ll also enlighten you on ways to keep your kids engaged long enough to enjoy totality.

Saturday and Sunday, August 19 & 20, Sawtooth Valley Pioneer Park, 10:30pm
Star Party
The Boise Astronomical Society (BAS) is organizing a two-night free public access Star Party. They will provide supervised public access night-viewing telescopes plus at least one solar telescope from noon until sunset. You don’t want to miss their free laser-guided constellation tour at approximately 10:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

stars over the mountains Stanley, ID | Stanley chamber

Photo Courtesy of Ray Gadd

Sunday, August 20, Stanley Community Building, 3pm
Awesome Solar Eclipses from Ancient Time Until Tomorrow
Woody Sullivan, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington, will talk about the history of eclipses, their importance in astronomy, how they work and what they are. He will answer the question of what you should be looking for during and after the eclipse. Woody will discuss the 1925 solar eclipse that went across Manhattan as well as when and where is the next solar eclipse.

Off the beaten path….if you like ghost towns and motorsports, there is an  adventure  for you! On Saturday at 10am, ride your ATV, motorcycle or UTV (50” and under) from the Land of the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center to Bayhorse ghost town. This is a fun option to explore if you’re heading to Stanley via Challis.

mill at the bayhorse ghost town | Stanley chamber

Mill at the Bayhorse Ghost Town

It has been predicted there will be up to 30,000 people flocking to Stanley to experience the total solar eclipse. Wow! We all want you to be safe throughout your visit in Stanley so please read the Solar Eclipse Preparedness for Stanley Residents and Visitors and the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Ordered for South Central Idaho.

Areas of interest in the Sawtooth National Forest include viewing areas, developed campgrounds, trails opened to motor vehicles, paved/unpaved roads, highways, RV sanitation station, etc.

This Sawtooth Eclipse Brochure is a quick reference guide to plan ahead on things to know about the solar eclipse, emergency phone numbers, vehicle travel and much more.

And if you plan on hiking and camping in the backcountry, please read this informational brochure.

Here’s some advice…….don’t focus on trying to take photos or you’ll miss your chance to experience the total solar eclipse in all its glory. And wear your eclipse eyeglasses!

You don’t need to be an astronomer or an eclipse chaser to appreciate the awesomeness of this natural phenomenon. You just need to appreciate the opportunity of witnessing this once-in-a-lifetime event in Stanley!

Blog written by Erica Cole