Places In Los Angeles To Catch The 'Great American Eclipse'

The “Great American Eclipse” is coming on August 21– the first total eclipse to cross the lower 48 U.S. states in 38 years! What’s a total eclipse you ask? It’s where the moon completely blocks the sun and casts a shadow over the land.

Although Los Angeles lands outside of the total eclipse’s prime zone, Angelenos will still be able to experience an eclipse that takes up just under 70% of the sun’s diameter.

According to E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory, the moon will start overlapping the sun at around 9:05 a.m. The max overlap will be around 10:20 a.m.  The effect will be done around 11:45 a.m.

If you plan on catching the eclipse, NASA says you will require additional equipment, which includes solar eclipse glasses (not the same as sunglasses), telescopes with solar filters, and pinhole cameras, among other items.

You can definitely catch the “Great American Eclipse” from the comforts of your backyard. If you want to be among other spectators, there are plenty of spots in Los Angeles that will be holding viewings. The National Park Service (NPS) will be hosting some of these events, and will have a limited supply of solar glasses and “Junior Ranger eclipse books” at each spot. All the following events are free unless noted otherwise.


Griffith Observatory (Photo by Al Pavangkanan via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Griffith Observatory

The Observatory will have a public viewing on its front lawn from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free of admission. According to organizers, personal telescopes won’t be allowed at the event.

The Griffith Observatory is at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles.

L.A. State Historic Park (Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)

L.A. State Historic Park (NPS Event)

Visit this 32-acre parcel of sprawling greens and either join the event directly at the park at 9:30 a.m., or you can meet up with NPS rangers at 8:30 a.m. at the Gateway to Nature Center in El Pueblo. From there, you can hike to the park to catch the eclipse.

L.A. State Historic Park is at 1245 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles. Gateway to Nature is at 130 Paseo de La Plaza, Los Angeles.

King Gillette Ranch (Photo courtesy of National Park Service)

King Gillette Ranch (NPS Event)

This 588-acre space features a Spanish Colonial Revival style mansion, a large constructed pond, and an abundance of sweeping meadows. According to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, “it offers a rare unspoiled view of California’s rich archeological, cultural, and historic resources, including a Chumash settlement.”

The NPS says that a ranger will be there at the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. to speak on the total eclipse. Afterward, guests will be invited to view the partial eclipse from the visitor center grounds.

King Gillette Ranch is located at 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.

Rancho Sierra Vista (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa (NPS Event)

At 9:30 a.m., visitors can gather at the park’s Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, where there’ll be children’s activities and presentations of Native American sky stories. You’ll also get to see the eclipse, of course.

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa is located at the cross street of Via Goleta and Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks.

The Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson. (Photo by Josh Patterson via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Mount Wilson Observatory

Thomas Meneghini, executive director at Mount Wilson Observatory, tells LAist that the site doesn’t have official plans just yet. Meneghini says that he’s thinking about pointing a 100 mm solar telescope at the sun, and having the image projected in the auditorium that seats about 250 people. If you’re interested, you can follow the observatory on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay up-to-date with developments.

To get to Mount Wilson Observatory: from the 210 take Highway 2 northbound for 14 miles, turn right on Red Box Road. Follow it 5 miles to the top.

Montebello Library (Via County of Los Angeles Public Library/Facebook)

L.A. Libraries

Many city and county libraries will host eclipse viewings. Within the Los Angeles Public Library system, branches in Little Tokyo, Pacoima, Woodland Hills, and South L.A., among others, will be hosting events. County libraries joining in on the party include branches in San Gabriel, Rosemead, and Norwalk. Many of the libraries will be projecting NASA’s live-stream of the event, and some offer eclipse viewing glasses and will have a solar telescope on hand. Contact the library for information for what, specifically, will be happening.

Here’s a list of LAPL libraries hosting viewing parts, and a list of county libraries hosting viewing parties. All these events are free of charge.