Total Solar Eclipse

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

Countdown Until The Great American Solar Eclipse


Jackson County, North Carolina, is one of the few areas in North Carolina where visitors and residents can experience this year’s extremely rare celestial phenomenon, a total solar eclipse. All of the county’s towns, including Sylva, Dillsboro, Cullowhee and Cashiers, are in the direct path of The Great American Solar Eclipse. At 2:35 p.m. on August 21, 2017, the towns will have a stellar view of one of nature’s most visual displays followed by a couple minutes of complete darkness.

For cities inside the 70-mile-wide path of the solar eclipse, the sky will turn pitch black, the air will cool, and stars will be visible in the middle of the day. This is the first time in 26 years that America has seen a total solar eclipse, and it is one of the few that will sweep the nation from Atlantic to Pacific coasts. (View 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in the U.S.)

Jackson County is working to develop events, specific viewing locations, public safety, and accommodation promotions specifically for the eclipse event. The times of total darkness for Jackson County cities are as follows:

  • Sylva: 1 minute, 45 seconds
  • Dillsboro: 1 minute, 50 seconds
  • Cullowhee: 1 minute, 55 seconds
  • Cashiers: 2 minutes, 23 seconds.

The place with the longest totality is about 2 minutes 40 seconds, but some destinations throughout the country will only see 15 seconds of darkness. Learn more at the National Eclipse website.

View Frequently Asked Questions about the Solar Eclipse >

It’s easier than you think to get to Jackson County, NC. Visit our Getting Here page for more information.

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Dillsboro's Monteith Park

Enjoy $2 parking with a free shuttle to shops & restaurants, Italian ices, funnel cakes, pizza, BBQ, interpretive nature trails, a kid's recreation area and more! Eclipse glasses and water will be available will be available for a small donation to the Dillsboro Merchants Association for the Luminaries.


Cashiers Designer Showhouse

The 2017 Cashiers Designer Showhouse will stage place Aug. 12-27 (the entire weekend of the Total Solar Eclipse, excepting the day of the eclipse). Interior Designers representing the Southeastern region will not only bring trending design to Cashiers but will again create the magic that is The Cashiers Designer Showhouse.


Groovin' on the Green

The Village Green Commons is the stage for artist performances with lawn seating. The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association sponsors the popular concert series, Groovin’ On the Green. Additional concerts and musical programs are also held during the summer.


Mad Batter Food and Film

Mad Batter Food and Film in Sylva will play a space- and solar eclipse themed movie throughout the weekend.


Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad will offer a special ‘Eclipse Train’ departing Bryson City at 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 21 to arrive in Dillsboro to view the Eclipse.


Arts & Crafts Festival in Dillsboro

Over 40 artisans displaying and demonstrating their hand made arts and crafts. Family entertainment and food. Festival is on Saturday, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.


Arts & Crafts Festival in Sapphire Valley

Alongside the arts & crafts festival, Sapphire Valley will offer discounted golf, tennis, foot golf and zip line rates at $30 for small groups.


Solar Eclipse Educational Panels at Southwestern Community College‘s Myers Auditorium

Featuring Astronomy Professors and subject matter experts. Panels begin at 6 p.m.


Moonlight Run

The Moonlight Run in Cullowhee is a 2-mile fun run that starts and ends at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Center. Race starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19

Innovation Brewing

Innovation Brewing will sell a limited release bottle of eclipse-themed beer commemorating the event.


Sneak E Squirrel

Sneak E Squirrel brewery will feature a dark (dark!) stout in the middle of the summer to commemorate the sun disappearing; they are also offering a special “sunny side down” burger with egg and served on a pretzel bun.


Lodging Availability

Climbing Bear Creekside Cabin

  • 2br/2ba Cabin
  • $139.00 + cleaning fee and taxes.
  • Call 904-305-3549 for more information

Dillsboro Motel

  • 2-night min
  • $125/night
  • Call 828-342-2180 for more information

Innisfree Bed & Breakfast by-the-lake

  • Champagne, craft beers & wine, as well as genuine Moon Pies and Twinkies will be available before, during, and after the eclipse
  • Special eyeglasses will be supplied for all guests
  • 4-night min required
  • Nightly rate from $189-$360
  • Call 828-743-2946 for more information

Mountain Lake Rentals

  • 7 Homes with 2+ br
  • Cabins available in Glenville and Sapphire
  • 3-night minimum stay
  • Call 828-743-6875 for more information

Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove

  • Home that sleep 10 adults
  • Call 404-323-9444 for more information

Smoky Mountain Getaways

  • Big Sky Cabin – 4br/3.5ba, sleeps up to 9 ($810 plus tax)
  • Cozy Cabin – 2br/1ba, sleeps 4 ($295 plus tax)
  • Family Jewel – 2br/2ba, sleeps 4 ($310 plus tax)
  • Bear Bottoms Welcome – 3br/3ba, sleeps 6 ($445 plus tax)
  • Call 828-586-8058 for more information

Quality Inn

  • 2-night stay min
  • $200 for double occupancy
  • Call 828-586-3315 for more information

Viewing Locations & Parking

Solar Eclipse Tips & Facts

Don’t Look Directly at the Sun

Looking directly at the Sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the Moon entirely blocks the Sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun. To date four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

Click here to learn more about how to view the eclipse safely.

The Path of Totality

If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the Sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright Sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Similarly, do not look at the Sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

Map courtesy of

Pinhole Projection

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed Sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the Sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the Sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

Photo Credit: Mark Margolis

Visitor Bucket List

  • Attend the Eclipse Festival Saturday night at Bridge Park in Sylva; and the Eclipse Festival at the Village Green in Cashiers on Monday.
  • Visit one or all of our breweries in Jackson County; Innovation Brewing, The Sneak E Squirrel, and Heinzelmännchen Brewery. Balsam Falls Brewing will open this summer adding a fourth brewery to the Jackson County Ale Trail.
  • Cool off and enjoy some sun and water at Lake Glenville.
  • Take a selfie family photo during your trip and/or of your view of the eclipse. Mention @NCEclipse on Twitter or #PlayOnNC / @DiscoverJacksonNC on Instagram and we will share the best ones!
  • Visit the highest point in the Blue Ridge Parkway- Richland Balsam (elevation: 6,053 feet).
  • Float down the Tuckasegee River or bring your rod and fly fish the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. (
  • Race in the 2-mile Moonlight Madness run on Sunday night at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Center in Cullowhee.
  • Attend a panel discussion with astronomers and scientists at Southwestern Community College on Sunday at 6:00 PM.

10 facts about the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

  • The total solar eclipse 2017 has been coined “The Great American Solar Eclipse” because it is the only solar eclipse to appear across the entire continent of North America in recent history.
  • A solar eclipse happens when the Moon, in the “new moon phase” passes between Earth and the Sun.
  • The last solar eclipse viewable here was July 20, 1506. The next total solar eclipse to pass through our area won’t be until October 17, 2153.
  • During an eclipse, air temperatures can drop from 5 to 20 degrees.
  • Looking directly at the sun can cause damage to your eyes including total blindness, so all viewers must wear protective eclipse glasses.
  • After a total solar eclipse, it takes about an hour before total daylight is restored.
  • The sun’s corona can only be seen during a total solar eclipse. The corona is the outer part of the sun’s atmosphere of glowing gases.
  • The moon’s shadow zooms across Earth’s surface at up to 3,000 miles per hour.
  • When peak totality occurs 2:35 p.m., you can look at the sun/moon with no eyewear. Be sure to check with local Eclipse Ambassadors as to whether totality has actually begun!
  • Bright stars and planets will become more visible during the solar eclipse.

For more information, visit For event updates and public safety updates during the eclipse follow @NCEclipse on Twitter.

Photo Credit: NASA

Visitor Tips for the Solar Eclipse Weekend

  • Allow an extra day for travel coming to Jackson County. Trying to arrive the day of the eclipse may result in you being stuck in traffic during the eclipse! Thousands of cars are predicted to be traveling on Monday, so come up a day early and enjoy the mountains, our trails, waterfalls, breweries, restaurants and shops.
  • Keep an eye on @NCEclipse on Twitter for event and public safety updates.
  • Book your lodging early. Properties are expected to fill up well in advance of the event. View lodging options at
  • For those visitors arriving on Friday or Saturday, expect longer waits in traffic until about 3 p.m. due to Western Carolina University move-in traffic on those days. An arrival after 3 p.m. to Sylva/ Cullowhee/Dillsboro will ensure less wait time in traffic and is the time most hotels will allow for check-in.
  • Arrive early and stay late. On the day of the eclipse, Monday, August 21, plan on coming to the event sites in Sylva and Cashiers several hours early and stay for a while after the eclipse.
  • It will take a considerable amount of time for traffic to clear after the event. We want you to have an enjoyable experience in town, not sit in traffic. So after the eclipse is over, enjoy our downtowns and all they have to offer.
  • We will have portable toilets and first aid stations for most needs the day of the eclipse at Cashiers VIllage Green and Sylva’s Bridge Park viewing sites.
  • More information:

    Where to find Solar Eclipse Glasses in Jackson County?

    Cashiers: Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, Zoller’s Hardware, The Village Green.
    Dillsboro: Dogwood Crafters
    Sylva: Livingston’s Photo, Lowes

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