Never mind that Tuesday, November 8, 2022, aka Election Day, will fall on the same day as a full moon lunar eclipse. Don’t think too much about the fact that it’ll be a Blood Moon as well, with the sun gracing the entire lunar face. On second thought, maybe it’s best to get out of town just in case (after you’ve voted, of course). Though this Blood Moon will be most visible in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the lunar eclipse will be visible across the United States beginning at about 10 p.m. in Honolulu and 3 a.m. on the East Coast. Outside away from human-made light pollution will be the best place to view this incredible natural phenomenon.
The Manual has teamed up with outdoor accommodation booking website Pitchup.com to determine the best destinations for a fall camping trip for all of you astrotourists out there. Grab your backpack and hit the road with us to find the best night skies from East to West this early November.
According to PitchUp, the Blood Moon will be visible on the East Coast from 3:02 a.m to 7:04 a.m. EST. Here’s where to get some of the best views.
Lone Mountain Riverfront Campground
Lone Mountain Riverfront Campground in Andover, Maine, is a secluded spot along the Appalachian Trail that features uninterrupted views of the Western Maine Mountains. This primitive camping experience offers untamed wilderness, showcasing Maine’s considerable natural beauty.
Of course, the campground does rent campsites along with tents, RV sites, and cabins, all available on Pitchup.com. There’s even a bathhouse with showers, fishing and swimming in the water, and hiking, ATV, and equestrian trails on land. Just make sure to bundle up. November in Maine is no joke.
Fort Wilderness RV Park and Campground
Traveling south down the coast, the Fort Wilderness RV Park and Campground in Whittier, North Carolina, offers a serene, wooded getaway to watch the moon rise in the night sky over rust-colored mountains.
A peaceful retreat under a leafy canopy just outside Nantahala National Forest, Fort Wilderness is within easy reach of kayaking, tubing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, trout fishing, and hiking for active outdoors people. It also has an outdoor pool, pavilion, shop, and park space to loll among hummingbirds, hawks, dragonflies, and butterflies below the rolling Smoky Mountains.
In the middle of the country, the lunar eclipse will be visible from about 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. CST, according to TimeandDate.com.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
November is getting into danger territory for cool weather in Minnesota, but the beginning of the month shouldn’t be too bad (probably . . .). Intrepid trekkers could be granted amazing views of a red moon sitting above Lake Superior.
The Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is so named for its historic lighthouse that harkens back to the 19th century. If you’re so inclined, a historic lighthouse tour could be a fun journey into the past. For the active among us, Split Rock’s incredible Lake Superior shoreline provides astonishing views out to the roaring waters crashing against the shore cliffs. Split Rock Wilds allows for hiking and mountain bike trail access.
At the campground, there are drive-in, cart-in, and hike-in campsites available right up to the edge of the Great Lake.
Petit Jean State Park
Too often overlooked by coastal types, Arkansas’s natural beauty rivals that of any other state. The Natural State offers lakes, rivers, national and state parks, and forests almost year-round. At Petit Jean State Park, nearly all outdoor amenities are accessible, including uninterrupted moon viewing.
Hiking trails lead through forests and meadows, over canyons, and along streams that flow down the mountainsides, bluffs, and caves that dot the state park. Arkansas’s first state park seems to have endless trails running around and between great, ancient pine trees. As to accommodations, there are several choices here for road trippers, from a luxury lodge to rustic cabins, and from yurts to drive-up campsites and hike-in primitive lodgings.
Moving westward to the vast left side of the continent, campers can see the lunar eclipse in the early hours of the morning from 3:16 a.m. to 4:41 a.m. MST.
Fossil Valley RV Park
At Fossil Valley RV Park in Vernal, Utah, visitors are taken back to paleolithic and prehistoric times. During the day, trekkers can follow dinosaur footprints and search for the bones of ancient giant reptiles. Red bluffs carved by the Colorado River recede into silhouettes in the vast night sky, protected from light pollution by the neighboring International Dark Sky Park in Steinaker State Park.
After the lunar show, visitors and locals alike can find Vernal’s shops and restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, hiking and biking trails, 4X4 driving paths, and the spectacular 200,000-acre Dinosaur National Monument within easy travel distance.
Terry RV Oasis
Just down the road from the Yellowstone River in Terry, Montana, stargazers can wrap themselves in blankets under a cool, vast November sky perfect for catching the eclipse. Travelers wanting to escape the Montana autumn evening can stay warm parking their own RV, or they can rent a mobile home or cabin at the Terry RV Oasis.
The RV park really is an oasis, as fresh water comes from an on-site artesian well. Trees offer ample shade, and there are several cleaning and storage areas for hunters and fishers. The carefully-kept spot is right on the edge of town that’s just down the road from the Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area and Theodore Roosevelt National Park a couple hours’ drive to the east.
If you can get there (or are already situated in aloha territory), the Pacific Islands will be the ideal place to watch the November 8 full moon lunar eclipse. From Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible from about 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., according to TimeandDate.com.
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
While the southside of Oahu, Hawaii, is well developed, you can find wild and unobstructed areas by driving north. It may be hard to find a campsite there, but the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden is worth the effort.
The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens rise under the majestic and verdant Ko’olau Range and offer the only Oahu campsites not on the beach shore. Set in a picturesque rainforest, the gardens were designed and built in the early 1980s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as flood protection for the settled areas of Kaneohe (per Hawaii Magazine).
Twenty weekend campsites at the site are supplemented by restrooms, outdoor showers, and picnic areas where you can post up after a long hike or set up to fish at the lake. Another good thing about Ho’omaluhia is that the campground is not usually crowded, but make sure to bring your mosquito repellent, and be prepared for rain that feeds the incredible array of flora at the park.
During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested, as totaled by Marie Claire magazine. On November 8, make sure that you make your voice heard and then head for the hills to get away from humankind’s insanity to bask in and witness nature’s glory.
- You can mountain bike into Death Valley and watch the next solar eclipse on October 14
- U.S. national parks have a plan to go carbon neutral — here’s what that means for visitors
- These are the best fly fishing spots in the U.S.
- Report: These are the best stargazing spots in the U.S.
- The future of e-bikes in U.S. National Parks could be decided in the next few months