Eclipse over North Carolina: As found from the NASA interactive eclipse map, the Moon’s shadow along the centerline crosses the mountain border to the west of Robbinsville, North Carolina at 2:33:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time (18:33:54 Universal Time). Totality lasts 2 minutes, 39 seconds and the path of totality is 71.7 miles wide.
The path of totality crosses the westernmost end of North Carolina, passing entirely within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the Nantahala National Forest. It seems unlikely that great crowds will converge on this area from outside North Carolina, except for outdoors lovers seeking a mountain setting for viewing the eclipse. At the centerline, the lunar umbra passes over 42 miles of the state of North Carolina in the span of 4 minutes, 13 seconds, at an average speed of 1440 miles per hour, or 1.89 times the speed of sound.
The Moon’s shadow along the centerline crosses the southern border at Highway 23 at 2:38:17 PM EDT (18:38:17 UT). The duration of totality is 2 minutes, 38 seconds and the path of totality at the border is 71.7 miles wide.
NOTE: Duration of totality is longest along the centerline. Duration of totality approaches ZERO near the edges of the path of totality. Please consult the NASA interactive eclipse map for precise times and durations of totality at each specific location in the state, along with locals times for the beginning and ending of the partial eclipse phases.
Lodging: As with all locations along the path, hotel reservations will fill up well in advance. Plan instead to tent camp or rent an RV. While there are many commercial and public campgrounds, primitive camping is inexpensive in the National Parks and free in the National Forests.
Visit the following in North Carolina: Nantahala National Forest.
Traffic Concerns: There will probably not be a lot of last-minute, impromptu eclipse day trippers, since this portion of the path of totality is through mountains, with no major roads leading in from population centers. However, if a lot of people drive in from Asheville and other parts of western North Carolina, it might still be high-volume for the size of the roads through the forests.
Weather: According to the Eclipsophile site, based on meteorological averages, the misty area along the Blue Ridge Mountains has the worst prospects for clear skies of stretch along the path of totality. If the forecasts are unfavorable on Eclipse Day, you might want to seek flatter land.
Planning Your North Carolina Eclipse Vacation: Please read the resources on our Be Prepared! page for finding opportunities for overnight lodging at your North Carolina eclipse viewing destination. There is some beautiful mountain country in that area, and ample open land for an eclipse backpacking outing over the forests. Check out the Visit NC site for more information on planning your North Carolina eclipse vacation.
Organized Eclipse Events in North Carolina:
Bryson City, North Carolina: the 70-mile-wide disk of total darkness will reach Bryson City at 2:35:12 pm and be gone in less than two minutes – a brief but unforgettable celestial display. We invite you to share the event with us here in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
This list is a work in progress! Please contact us if you know of any other North Carolina eclipse events!