Blog Post

Expected crowds delay opening of Elk and Bison Prairie on eclipse day

Expected crowds delay opening of Elk and Bison Prairie on eclipse day

What we said…

Warning sign at Elk & Bison Prairie
Warning sign at Elk & Bison Prairie

Yes, we said the Elk & Bison Prairie would be open for viewing on eclipse day, Monday, August 21, 2017. A year ago, this sounded like a good idea.

Due to the increased estimation of how many people will be here, we had to rethink this.

Public safety is the key….

The Elk & Bison Prairie will open at 3pm on eclipse day. Here’s why…

  • No restrooms or a public source of water.
  • Designed only as a drive-thru, the prairie is not appropriate for all-day visitors, who must stay within ten feet of their vehicles at all times.
  • There is no shade within ten feet of the road and pop-up tents are not allowed in the prairie.
  • Adjusted expectations of congested traffic and early arrivals could generate overheated cars and overcrowding, an unsafe situation when combined with unpredictable large animals.
  • August is breeding season for the bison. We cannot predict how the bison will react to more traffic than normal for an extended period of time or how they may react during the eclipse.

A decision had to be made…

For public safety and the well-being of the animals, we have decided to close the prairie to viewing on eclipse day.

We apologize if anyone had their hopes up to view the eclipse from the prairie. However, there are many other excellent viewing locations across the recreation area. Pick out your spot at

For updates about the eclipse at Land Between the Lakes, visit Also check out NASA’s eclipse site at

Related Posts