News Releases

Corps to host solar eclipse viewing at Willow Creek Dam

Published Aug. 8, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is partnering with the City of Heppner to open Willow Creek Dam to the public on Aug. 21 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. for the chance to view a rare total solar eclipse at 99 percent totality. 

Visitors are welcome to bring a chair and sit within designated areas on the dam to enjoy this rare solar eclipse. Solar eclipse viewing glasses will be available at no charge for the first 250 visitors.

Parking will be available in the ballfield parking lot, from which a shuttle will escort visitors to the dam in regular intervals from 8 to 8:45 a.m. Shuttle service will also be available after the event to return visitors to the ballfield parking area. Designated accessible parking will be available near the Willow Creek Recreational Vehicle Park. Please note the only available bathroom facilities during the event are at the Recreational Vehicle Park and Hagar Park. This is an alcohol and smoke-free event.

The solar eclipse will pass over several Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs and dams in western Oregon. As the total solar eclipse will cross Oregon for the first time in 38 years, people from all over the country are expected to come to the state to witness this short-duration, yet impactful phenomenon.

As Corps of Engineers dams are critical federal facilities and will continue to operate as usual during the event, all normal rules and regulations will remain in effect. Visitors should expect intense demand for open areas. Visitors must obey all signs and safety regulations, and stay out of restricted areas. Visitors must not attempt to climb or circumvent fences, walls or other restrictive barriers, and boaters must stay out of the restricted zone near the dams, which are identified by a buoy line.

Many of the recreation areas at Portland District projects are managed by Corps of Engineers partners. For information on specific sites, please visit the Portland District recreation webpage at

For more information about the solar eclipse viewing event at Willow Creek Dam, please call the Heppner Chamber of Commerce at 541-676-5536.

Oregon State Parks: 

Portland District recreation
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District manages 18 reservoirs and offers recreation at 135 parks on the water within the state of Oregon. More than 10 million people visit our locations annually to experience the diverse range of outdoor activities we offer to people of all ages. For more information on Portland District’s recreation opportunities, visit

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Karim Delgado

Release no. 17-027

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