If you haven’t heard yet, it’s eclipse time in the U.S. again! After the annular solar eclipse in October 2023, the U.S. is in for another treat: a total solar eclipse will pass across a large swath of the country in April 2024. This is a great opportunity for everyone to plan a trip to stand in awe of the celestial dance our planet Earth is part of – watching the Moon pass in front of the Sun is an incredible and humbling experience… Some people even say it is spiritual!
As part of a new series to prepare you for this eclipse, this post covers some basic information about the 2024 total solar eclipse and how you can see it. Below, you’ll find a list of the states within the path of “totality” (where the moon will completely block the sun, rather than a partial solar eclipse in other parts of the country).
Ready to discover the path across the U.S. states in the path of the 2024 solar eclipse?
2024 Total Solar Eclipse Details
While I have an entire guide to the 2024 solar eclipse forthcoming, I thought it would be helpful to cover the basics here:
- In the U.S., the totality will begin at 1:27pm CDT and will end at 3:35pm EDT on April 8, 2024.
- The path will go from southwest to northeast across 13 U.S. states, starting in Texas and ending in Maine.
- You will have to use special eclipse safety glasses or viewers at all times during the partial phases of a total solar eclipse. Don’t have protective eclipse-viewing glasses? Look for ISO-certified options on Amazon – and be sure to buy them in advance, as they sold out for the 2017 total solar eclipse!
Which States are in the Path of the Eclipse?
There are 13 states in the path of the 2024 eclipse. Here’s a list of them plus the details about which parts of each state will be in the path of totality.
Note: I’ve added night sky photos for each state, as well as links to the relevant stargazing guides I’ve posted about each state/major city – if you’re planning to travel for the solar eclipse, I hope you’ll also have time to enjoy the night sky in whichever destination you choose!
The centerline of the eclipse enters Texas, and the U.S., as it crosses the Rio Grande River at the Mexico-U.S. border at approximately 12:10pm CDT, with totality beginning in that location at about 1:27pm CDT.
Of all the states in the path of totality, Texas has the winning ticket. Besides the huge size of the state and how much ground the path of totality covers here, the path crosses three large cities in the Lone Star State: San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin.
If you’re in San Antonio, you’ll have to be in the northwestern part of the city to see a total eclipse. For those in Austin, since it sits on the eastern edge of the eclipse path, totality will be seen within most of the city’s limits. As for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the area extends from the western limit of the eclipse path all the way to the centerline, offering tons of places to view totality.
Oklahomans aren’t so lucky this year. Unlike Texas, the path of the eclipse through Oklahoma is a short one, only skims the southeastern corner of the state.
In Oklahoma, the path never crosses a town with a population of at least 10,000 people, except for Poteau. However, Poteau sits right along the western edge of the path, with totality lasting for only about 1 minute and 22 seconds in the middle of town.
Even though Oklahoma City sits far from the eclipse route, you can venture into totality with a day trip either to the south or east. A drive down Interstate 35 will lead you straight into the path of totality in Texas while heading east on Interstate 40 will guide you to the totality experience in Arkansas. So, whether you’re in the mood for a southern or eastern eclipse adventure, the highways have you covered!
The centerline of the eclipse enters Arkansas at approximately 12:29pm CDT, with totality beginning in that location at about 1:46pm CDT.
The centerline cuts across Ouachita National Forest, offering plenty of places to see long durations of totality in a natural setting. On the path’s western side, the eclipse will make its way over substantial portions of Ozark National Forest. Both of these regions promise a true eclipse spectacle if you manage to secure an open sky area where to set camp.
Halfway between the centerline and the eastern edge of the eclipse path is Hot Springs National Park, claiming its spot as one of only two U.S. national parks along the path of totality. Add to this, the lengthy durations of totality and the convenient amenities provided by the nearby historic resort city of Hot Springs, and you get a highly sought-after viewing destination on April 8.
Missouri is the first state along the path of the 2024 eclipse that was also along the path of the 2017 eclipse. Unfortunately, the 2024 eclipse misses any major population centers in its journey through the southeastern corner of Missouri.
Along the western edge of the eclipse path in Missouri, people can get a glimpse of totality in several districts of Mark Twain National Forest and the centerline travels through a small section of the preserve. Cape Girardeau is located very close to the eclipse centerline, which makes it the largest city set to join the totality celebration in Missouri.
The journey of the eclipse through Illinois is a brief one. Shawnee National Forest finds itself within the path of totality, with the central line passing through its landscapes. Interstate 57 plays a crucial role, running from the western limit of the eclipse path, up from the southern tip of the state, straight to the centerline. Meanwhile, Interstate 24 joins the journey, coming up from the eastern limit of the eclipse path in Kentucky to meet I-57.
Interstate 64 cuts across the entire path of totality in Illinois. If you’re looking for a prime viewing spot, St. Louis is right on the western side of the path, making it an ideal basecamp for eclipse enthusiasts. And if you’re keen to reach totality in a jiffy, a quick drive east on I-64 will have you immersed in the celestial spectacle in less than an hour. Get ready for an astronomical adventure in the Land of Lincoln!
On April 8th, only the eastern fringe of the eclipse path gets to see the Bluegrass State. It traces along the northwestern edge, embracing several small areas within the path as the state line, shaped by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, weaves back and forth across the totality line. Meanwhile, the western line and the central path of the eclipse bypass Kentucky.
Paducah sits near the eastern edge of the 2024 path. For those eager for an extended celestial experience, a drive north on Interstate 24 from Paducah into Illinois grants longer durations of totality closer to the centerline. A bit farther along, Henderson also resides close to the edge, but it enjoys a slightly more generous share of the eclipse, offering about 2 minutes and 30 seconds of totality in its downtown area.
For enthusiasts seeking even lengthier durations, a leap over the Ohio River and a journey on Interstate 69 to Interstate 64 beckon. This route connects with the eclipse’s centerline to the west, promising an extended duration of the cosmic phenomenon.
The path of totality enters Indiana, setting its sights on the heart of the state and lining up perfectly with numerous large cities. Indiana’s turn in the eclipse spotlight also marks the start of its journey through the “Rust Belt” of America, weaving over or coming close to numerous major northern cities and population centers.
Of all the cities, Bloomington is the winner of the eclipse jackpot, located almost directly on the centerline. For a total solar eclipse, the centerline offers the lengthiest duration of totality in any given area. This said, the residents of Bloomington are in for a treat, with durations surpassing the 4-minute mark. Right in the heart of downtown Bloomington, the Sun will disappear for approximately 4 minutes and 2 seconds.
Evansville finds itself situated between the centerline and the eastern boundary of the eclipse path, securing totality durations that surpass the 3-minute mark in various parts of this charming Ohio River town. In downtown Evansville, the totality will linger for about 3 minutes and 3 seconds. Moving east of Evansville, the eclipse gracefully traverses through a significant portion of Hoosier National Forest, completing the enchanting spectacle in this region.
Similar to its journey through Indiana, the eclipse targets several major cities in Ohio. Sadly, it narrowly avoids a couple of others. Dayton stands among the lucky cities, sitting just off the eastern edge of the eclipse’s path, approximately one-third of the way to the centerline – in downtown Dayton, totality is expected to last for about 2 minutes and 43 seconds.
Heading south of Dayton, the path of totality skirts past Cincinnati. If you’re up for a ride, Interstate 74 from Cincinnati converges with the centerline in Indiana, and Interstate 75 traverses Dayton, linking up with the centerline in Ohio.
Speaking of totality in Ohio, Cleveland is smack dab in the path – that’s where I’ll be watching, since it’s where I call home! (Assuming the skies are clear, of course…)
The eclipse briefly traverses Pennsylvania, making a passage over the northwestern corner of the state. Although the centerline technically extends into Pennsylvania, it only traverses water—skimming across Lake Erie on the U.S. side of the border that bisects the lake with Canada.
Unless equipped with a boat, observers in the Keystone State won’t witness totality along the centerline. The western edge of the eclipse path doesn’t reach Pennsylvania at all, having veered into Canada from Ohio. Erie, the most populous city along the eclipse path in Pennsylvania, stands as the sole significant population center on its journey.
The path of totality travels across the western and northern regions of New York. While sharing a portion of its journey with Canada, the majority of the eclipse’s width belongs to New York, and the centerline exclusively travels through it.
Upon entering the state, the centerline initially hovers over Lake Erie but comes back to land as it passes over Buffalo. Buffalo claims the spotlight on April 8 with a super-long totality duration of approximately 3 minutes and 45 seconds in its downtown area.
Similar to its course in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Interstate 90 parallels the centerline along the shoreline of Lake Erie in western New York, extending all the way to Buffalo.
At around 2:14pm EDT, the eclipse’s centerline enters Vermont, and totality starts at approximately 3:25pm EDT. The path of totality in Vermont is relatively brief, covering a distance of about 40 miles, with the western edge of the eclipse extending into Canada.
Lake Champlain stretches across the entire width of the eclipse path in Vermont and provides an opportunity for a great eclipse experience, both from the water or along the shoreline.
In addition to the lake, two notable cities in Vermont will be treated to totality on eclipse day. Burlington, the largest city in the state, sits more than halfway to the centerline from the eastern boundary of the path, offering approximately 3 minutes and 15 seconds of totality in the downtown area along the eastern shores of Lake Champlain. Montpelier, the state capital, is situated much closer to the eastern edge and anticipates about 1 minute and 35 seconds of totality in the downtown district.
In 2024, the eclipse makes its way to New Hampshire but does so without a centerline. The state only witnesses the eastern edge of the eclipse path, and this interaction is fleeting; both the western line and the centerline veer away from the Granite State toward Canada.
Essentially, only the narrow northern tip of the state, known as the Great North Woods, falls within the eclipse’s path. Given the limited ground covered by the eclipse in New Hampshire and the state’s sparse population, it’s no surprise that the eclipse doesn’t pass through any town with a population exceeding 10,000 residents. The largest town within the path is likely Lancaster, situated on the edge of the path. In Lancaster, totality lasts for a brief 43 seconds in the central part of the town, with durations decreasing rapidly as one moves south and east.
After 700 miles, the entire path of totality, once again, exclusively belongs to the United States, after a short excursion into Canada. However, this stretch of the eclipse track poses a notable challenge, being perhaps the most susceptible to cloudy conditions across the entire U.S.
The centerline goes across Mount Katahdin, Maine‘s tallest mountain and the northern terminus of the renowned Appalachian Trail. Moving eastward, more towns are scattered along the path, yet similar to the situation in New Hampshire, the path avoids any town with a population exceeding 10,000 residents.
Have any questions about which states are in the path of the 2024 total solar eclipse, or where to visit? Let me know in the comments below – and don’t forget your eclipse glasses when you pack to head out and see annularity!