CORTEZ, Co. – Southwest Colorado is located along the path of the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse, allowing those in the four corners region to see the "ring of fire" during the maximum eclipse.
Colorado is one of nine states along the path of the maximum eclipse where people can witness the "ring of fire," including at Mesa Verde National Park and The Four Corners Monument at Navajo Tribal Park.
Here's what you need to know about viewing the 2023 annular solar eclipse in Colorado.
What is an annular eclipse?
Unlike a total solar eclipse, you will need to wear special eclipse glasses during the entirety of the annular eclipse. Taking the glasses off at any point, even during the maximum eclipse, is unsafe.
Eclipse glasses will be available at the Mesa Verde park entrance and visitor center, but don't count on those supplies lasting long. Have some on hand before Oct. 14.
Where can I see the 'ring of fire' in Colorado?
Cortez in Montezuma County and Dove Creek in Dolores County will be along the path of the maximum eclipse. If hotels and campgrounds under the direct eclipse path book up, nearby cities along U.S. Highway 160, including Durango, may be an alternative for lodging.
Several National Parks in different states will fall under the eclipse path on Oct. 14. National Park Service rangers are expecting crowds and telling people to be prepared for traffic.
In Colorado, the ancient cave dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park will be among the most scenic locations experiencing the annular eclipse on Oct. 14.
The National Park has information on the park website for those hoping to witness the eclipse from within the park grounds.
The area within Navajo Tribal Park will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 14, and the park entry fee is $8, according to the website.
When is the solar eclipse in Colorado?
In Colorado, the partial eclipse begins at 9:11 a.m. MDT and ends at 12:04 p.m. MDT. The "ring of fire" or maximum eclipse will be visible at 10:33 a.m. MDT.
What will the weather be like in Colorado for the annular eclipse?
Cloud cover will be the biggest concern on the day of the eclipse for Colorado. More than 50% cloud cover is forecast near the Four Corners Monument.
High temperatures will be in the 60s with lows in the 30s near Cortez, Colorado on Saturday.