When the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse captures the sky, a first-class bikepacking trip is the best way to view it
Imagine pedaling through surreal desert landscapes, conquering rugged terrains, only to witness the cosmos align in a breathtaking solar eclipse. To top it all off, you don’t worry about a single detail of planning an outdoor excursion. On October 14th, experience this unique event as seasoned tour operator Escape Adventures hosts a five day Death Valley mountain biking and camping tour that times up perfectly with an awe-inspiring solar eclipse.
Choosing the Perfect Location
When it comes to observing a solar eclipse, location is crucial. Death Valley National Park, with its expansive desert landscapes and clear skies, presents an ideal vantage point. The park’s remote location and low light pollution enhance the experience, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the celestial show.
As an astronomy refresher, solar eclipses occur when the moon’s orbit aligns in such a way that it temporarily blocks out the sun, casting a shadow on the Earth. This year’s solar eclipse is particularly special because it will be an ANNULAR solar eclipse, with a ‘ring of fire’ that will be most visible in 8 of the United States including Nevada and parts of California. This rare occurrence is a treat for skywatchers, offering an opportunity to witness the sun’s corona, which is usually invisible to the naked eye. We can’t think of a better way to witness this than camping in the wide open space of Death Valley.
The Total Experience
As the sun begins its descent, trade your mountain bike for a spot beneath the open sky and prepare to witness the dramatic dance between the moon and the sun. As darkness envelopes the desert, you’ll find yourself in the path of totality—a front-row seat to a cosmic spectacle.
Starting a few days before the eclipse, we will have ventured into the stark beauty of the park with its milder fall temperatures. Luckily, this tour Death Valley National Park offers a diverse range of trails that cater to mountain bikers of novice to intermediate levels. From winding canyons and sand dunes to rocky descents and challenging climbs, the park’s trails are a playground for thrill-seekers.
Planning for an Eclipse:
- Safety First: While witnessing a solar eclipse is a breathtaking experience, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Special solar viewing glasses or telescopes with solar filters are highly recommended to prevent permanent eye damage.
- Capture the Moment: If you’re a photography enthusiast, pack a camera! A solar eclipse provides a unique opportunity to capture stunning images. If you can find space in your bike bag, pack a tripod and any necessary filters to document this once-in-a-lifetime event.
- Embrace the Experience: Beyond the scientific marvel, a solar eclipse connects us with nature and a profound sense of wonder. This is our favorite part, enjoying the stillness and beauty of the desert as the moon slides across the sun.
- Awe and Inspiration: A solar eclipse reminds us of the vastness of the cosmos and our place within it. As you stand under the darkened sky, you’ll feel a sense of awe and wonder that transcends the everyday. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, see Outside Magazine’s recent essay on the power of awe in nature.
A biking trip through Death Valley during a solar eclipse promises an unmatched combination of physical adventure and celestial spectacle. As you pedal through the stark landscapes of this National Park, you’ll enjoy a gorgeous ride before and after the visual drama of the eclipse. Consider this an invitation to explore the limits of both Earthly and cosmic terrain. This the kind of trip that gets etched into memory as a convergence of physical accomplishment and cosmic majesty. So, gear up, embrace the thrill, and get ready to chase the eclipse as it transforms the desert sky.
For the full Solar Eclipse experience, select the October 12th departure in the tour below: