The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has unveiled its plans and viewing options for the 'Great American Total Eclipse.'
On Aug. 21, 2017, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun during the total solar eclipse. It will transform afternoon skies to night. It'll be the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918.
To celebrate, the park will be hosting a ticketed event at Clingmans Dome, as well as informal viewing sites at Cades Cove and Oconaluftee.
At 6,643 feet in elevation, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park and will offer the possibility of seeing the moon's shadow approaching across the spectacular landscape.
According to projections from NASA, the site could see about one minute and 23 seconds of totality during the eclipse.
Tickets to the Clingmans Dome event will be $30 and sold online at recreation.gov starting March 1. Just 1,325 tickets will be sold.
The actual event will take place in the parking area. There will be a large screen set up to participate in a national NASA TV broadcast, telescopes, educational exhibits, and a stage for special featured speakers.
The tower will be reserved for live broadcasting teams so that the view can be shared worldwide.
“We are thrilled that the park lies within the narrow viewing band of this spectacular, natural phenomena,” said Deputy Superintendent Clay Jordan. “I have great memories of the time I experienced a partial solar eclipse as a child and I am thrilled to view my first total eclipse from the top of the Smokies in the company of a passionate group of visitors.”
Those attending the Clingmans Dome event will have to take shuttles from either Gatlinburg or Cherokee, North Carolina.
There are logistical challenges that the park wants guests to consider before making a reservation.
"Due to its remote outdoor location, an inflexible transportation schedule, and limited service facilities on site, interested visitors should closely review event details and consider which of the park opportunities, among many other planned eclipse events in surrounding communities, would best fit each personal situation," the park said in a release.