State parks day pass reservations for eclipse open

AUSTIN – State Park day pass reservations for April 8 will open 8 a.m. March 8 (CST).
Those hoping to view the total eclipse from a state park location can call the Texas State Parks Reservations Center at 512-389-8900 or go online for all parks except Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Reservations for Enchanted Rock will need to be made March 11 by phone only.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will take calls to the reservation line on a first-come, first-served basis, and the limited number of day passes are expected to go quickly. TPWD anticipates a high call volume on March 8 and March 11 and asks callers to exhibit patience as agents help answer calls in a timely manner.
To make the reservation process easier, members of the public should have their vehicle information ready, including license plate number, make, model and number of occupants broken down by adults and kids under 12 years of age. Reservations must be confirmed with a credit card, so callers and those reserving online will need to have that information available as well. Agents will be available to take reservations in Spanish.
Texas has 31 state parks within the path of totality, and a partial eclipse will be visible in other state parks. Parks in the line of totality are expected to reach capacity, and members of the public are asked not to visit unless they have a pre-purchased day pass or overnight reservation.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of tourists are expected to flock to the Hill Country and other small towns in the prime viewing path of a rare solar eclipse on April 8. Some counties have already issued emergency declarations to help them prepare and respond to an expected strain on their infrastructure.
Bell and Kerr counties have already issued emergency declarations, and San Saba County is expected to do so as well. Hill Country officials are urging residents to stay home, avoid driving, refill prescriptions, buy groceries and fuel vehicles several days before the eclipse.
Some counties expect their population to double or even triple as folks flock to Texas to glimpse the rare phenomenon.
When the moon passes between the sun and Earth, the eclipse will result in total darkness for more than four minutes in areas in the path of totality. It will enter the state southwest of Uvalde at 12:10 p.m. and exit at 3:06 p.m. north of Texarkana.
Gary Borders is a veteran award-winning Texas journalist. He published a number of community newspapers in Texas during a 30-year span, including in Longview, Fort Stockton, Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Cedar Park. Email:

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