Read More: Space.Com
The National Park Service (NPS) expects "very large crowds" to flood the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, as "Eastern Oregon is predicted to be one of the best total eclipse viewing areas in the country," according to the NPS website. Located within the John Day River basin, the national monument is known for its abundance of well-preserved layers of plant and animal fossils, ranging from the late Eocene, about 45 million years ago, to the late Miocene, about 5 million years ago. The park consists of 13,944 acres (5,643 hectares) of semidesert shrublands and colorful badlands. All three units of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument will plunge into darkness for up to 2 minutes. Both the Painted Hills Unit and the Sheep Rock Unit are directly under the centerline of the eclipse. The Clarno Unit, however, is north of centerline but still within the range of totality.