Broken Bow Lake Solar Eclipse 2024

Broken Bow, Oklahoma, is the premier April 8, 2024, total eclipse-viewing hotspot in Oklahoma. The eclipse will be visible completely within the Choctaw Nation. The eclipse will cross into Oklahoma from the Texas border at the Red River in no-man's-land where there are only back roads to the river beginning at 1:44 p.m. The moon’s shadow exits Oklahoma into Arkansas on US 83, just southeast of Poteau, Oklahoma, at 1:51 pm CDT.

The speed of this eclipse will accelerate from 1,680 mph to approximately 1,745 mph throughout Oklahoma. The width of its path will be 115 miles. It will be visible in Oklahoma at first 18.5 miles east of the western end of the Red River on the Red River. If you want to be one of the first Oklahomans to see the eclipse in Oklahoma, you can take US 82 to FM 1897 north to FM 1753 east and figure your way there on the back roads. But this is not the best place to view the eclipse by far. 

Broken Bow’s population is about 5,000. Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake provide scenic camping options. Broken Bow Lake is simply gorgeous. Its southwestern end is 10 miles north of Broken Bow on US 259 and the northern loop of 259A, and Beavers Bend State Park is straight east of Broken Bow off of US 259 and the southern loop of 259A.  

If people are planning to visit the Broken Bow region to view the eclipse, they need to make their reservations ASAP for viewing opportunities of the eclipse. The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce reports that there are 200 hotel rooms within the city limits of Broken Bow, about 800 around Broken Bow Lake, and approximately 3,000 rental cabins and vacation home rentals. Check with sites like Airbnb and Vrbo for rentals.

Another accommodation option is the Choctaw Casino and Resort, which is 95 miles east of Broken Bow Lake in Durant, Oklahoma. This 5 star resort has plenty of hotel rooms, but they could not tell at this writing if they are expecting high occupancy rates in April 2024. You can only book the Choctaw Casino and Resort 45 days in advance. 

If you are visiting to Oklahoma to see the eclipse from Europe, the best route to Broken Bow and Broken Bow Lake is to fly to DFW International Airport in Dallas and rent a car to drive to Broken Bow. The Choctaw Nation takes up a sizable portion of the southeastern corner of Oklahoma and touches the Arkansas and Texas borders, but this region is extremely rural. 

Travel OK Coordinator Saxon Smith of Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation forwarded this information to me from Travel Promotions Director Jennifer Mullins:

“I haven’t seen any forecasted data for Oklahoma as of yet, but I do have this information from the 2017 eclipse. During the 2017 total solar eclipse, Wyoming was in the path of totality. According to an economic impact study commissioned by the Wyoming Office of Tourism, more than 261,000 people traveled in the state, with about 75 percent being out-of-state residents. 

“A total of $63.5 million in travel spending in Wyoming could be attributed to the eclipse, $59.8 million of which was made by out-of-state tourists. This travel spending generated $3.8 million in local tax revenue. For reference, Wyoming has a population of 578,803, while Oklahoma has a population of 3.8 million. So, the visitation from in-state will be substantially higher.”

What Will the 2024 Total Eclipse Look Like?

This eclipse event will be a total solar eclipse that will comprise five phases. The first contact, or partial eclipse, is when it looks like the moon took a bite out of the sun. For the first hour and a half after first contact, the sky increasingly darkens. The second contact occurs just a few minutes before the total eclipse. Birds might quiet down, and some animals may change eating and sleeping habits at this point. 

The total eclipse happens when the moon completely covers the sun. The sky darkens more, and you may see a ring of light around the moon, called a “ring of fire” eclipse, which is an annular eclipse. The fourth and fifth contacts appear in reverse of the first and second contacts. A persistent myth exists that total solar eclipses happen once in a lifetime. 

But, that is not a true fact, depending on where on earth you live. Every year, somewhere on earth, two to five partial eclipses occur per year. Total eclipses happen about every 18 months somewhere around the globe. The eclipses begin when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. We view eclipses as they travel from west to east. The earth orbits the sun while rotating, and the moon orbits the earth in 27.3 days. 

There are partial solar eclipses, total solar eclipses, and annular solar eclipses. Annular eclipses happen when the moon’s perceivable diameter is less that the sun’s perceivable diameter, and the moon does not totally cover the sun like in a total eclipse. Partial eclipses look like a Venn diagram with one circle sun-colored and the other circle dark. 

Humans have long been fascinated with total solar eclipses. In Anyang, China, ancient scribes recorded eclipses on tortoise shells and oxen shoulder blades, and they called these materials oracle bones. These eclipses occurred in 1226 B.C., 1198 B.C., 1172 B.C., 1163 B.C., and 1161 B.C. The Chinese scribes wrote, “The sun has been eaten.” Other solar eclipses are recorded on clay tablet carvings in ancient Babylonia, now Syria on May 3, 1375 B.C.

NASA’s Shortened Time Table for the April 8, 2024, Total Eclipse


Partial Begins

Totality Begins


Totality Ends

Partial Ends

Dallas, Texas

12:23 p.m. CDT

1:40 p.m. CDT

1:42 p.m. CDT

1:44 p.m. CDT

3:02 p.m. CDT

Idabel, Oklahoma

12:28 p.m. CDT

1:45 p.m. CDT

1:47 p.m. CDT

1:49 p.m. CDT

3:06 p.m. CDT

Little Rock, Arkansas

12:33 p.m. CDT

1:51 p.m. CDT

1:52 p.m. CDT

1:54 p.m. CDT

3:11 p.m. CDT

Poplar Bluff, Missouri

12:39 p.m. CDT

1:56 p.m. CDT

1:56 p.m. CDT

2:00 p.m. CDT

3:15 p.m. CDT

Paducah, Kentucky

12:42 p.m. CDT

2:00 p.m. CDT

2:01 p.m. CDT

2:02 p.m. CDT

3:18 p.m. CDT

Evansville, Indiana

12:45 p.m. CDT

2:02 p.m. CDT

2:04 p.m. CDT

2:05 p.m. CDT

3:20 p.m. CDT

Cleveland, Ohio

1:59 p.m. EDT

3:13 p.m. EDT

3:15 p.m. EDT

3:17 p.m. EDT

4:29 p.m. EDT

Erie, Pennsylvania

2:02 p.m. EDT

3:16 p.m. EDT

3:18 p.m. EDT

3:20 p.m. EDT

4:30 p.m. EDT

Buffalo, New York

2:04 p.m. EDT

3:18 p.m. EDT

3:20 p.m. EDT

3:22 p.m. EDT

4:32 p.m. EDT

Burlington, Vermont

2:14 p.m. EDT

3:26 p.m. EDT

3:27 p.m. EDT

3:29 p.m. EDT

4:37 p.m. EDT

Lancaster, New Hampshire

2:16 p.m. EDT

3:27 p.m. EDT

3:29 p.m. EDT

3:30 p.m. EDT

4:38 p.m. EDT

Caribou, Maine

2:22 p.m. EDT

3:32 p.m. EDT

3:33 p.m. EDT

3:34 p.m. EDT

4:40 p.m. EDT


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