Torrington, Wyoming is in TPOT (the path of totality). (As are the relatively nearby towns of Fort Laramie, WY and Jay Em, WY.)
Where is Torrington in relationship to Cheyenne?
If you look for driving directions to Torrington on your GPS, make sure you look for Torrington, Wyoming and not Torrington, Connecticut. Of course if you’re in Colorado or Nebraska and your GPS tells you you’ve got a 27 hour drive in front of you, that’ll be a clue that you input the wrong Torrington.
Torrington is 83.2 miles northeast of Cheyenne, and it’s a straight shot there on US-85N. For the most part, it’s a pretty easy drive. On any day but Eclipse day, there’s little traffic.
As you can see from the map above, Torrington is near the bottom edge of the 60-mile wide TPOT. That means that you need to be pretty close to Torrington to the south, in order to see the eclipse in totality.
Torrington is 31.7 miles northwest of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Scottsbluff is also in the path of totality. To get to Scottsbluff from Torrington or vice versa, you’d take US-26E (or W). Scottsbluff is twice as large as Torrington, with 15,000 people, and so correspondingly will have more things going on for eclipse day. And more people crowded into the town.
When is totality? According to Total Solar Eclipse 2017, partial phase – when the moon first starts moving over the sun, will start at 10:25 am and the total eclipse will start at 11:47 am.
Where to View the Eclipse near Torrington
The eclipse is going to take place just before noon mountain time, but as the sky gradually goes dark, streetlamps will automatically come on. If you want to be in a place without “light pollution” (as opposed to in Torrington where there will be events taking place throughout the day) here’s a viewing list from the Goshen County website.
The Bucking Horse Steakhouse. (6431 Rd 49, Torrington) $30 to park. They are giving away free glasses. They’ll be open at 7 am, with a coffee bar and breakfast.
As you drive along US-85, you’ll see a sign for the Bucking Horse on your right hand side, just before you enter the town. The steakhouse is situated on a bluff and it’s a somewhat steep climb for a few hundred yards along a narrow dirt road.
Fort Laramie National Historic Site. Despite the name, Fort Laramie isn’t in Laramie, which is waaaaaay west, not to mention south, but rather at 965 Grey Rocks Road in Fort Laramie, an hour and a half north of Cheyenne. Drive past Torrington until you see the exit for WY-160, and follow it for 21 miles to get to Fort Laramie.
You can also take I-25 North up to Fort Laramie. On your way up toward Fort Laramie, you’ll pass Wheatland, population 3000+, which is also in the path of totality.
Historic Jay Em. This tiny town, practically a ghost town, still has a post office which is going to offer an eclipse cancellation on The Day (which is more than can be said for Torrington!) No light pollution here, as there are no streetlamps. If you want to go to Jay Em, it’s a further 34 miles north on US-85.
As you drive up to Jay Em, you’ll see a small sign announcing Jay Em, before a larger sign right where you should turn. These signs will be on your right as you’re driving north, and you will turn to your left.
Then, it’s less than a mile to the Jay Em post office, which will be on your right. Watch out for cats on the road!
Where to View the Eclipse in Torrington
Obviously you can watch the eclipse from anywhere in Torrington, but an official spot is the Torrington Sports Complex at 820 Fremont. Bringing chairs and blankets is encouraged. If you drive up to Torrington via US-85 (and you probably will!), enter the town and head to the west. The sports complex is on a dirt road, and consists of a few ball fields.
The streets of Torrington are wide, and most of it is residential, so you’ll find plenty of places to park.
While You’re Waiting
Many Torrington businesses are actually going to be closed until after the eclipse – except for the restaurants. many of which will be open specially to cater to visitors (for example the Bread Doctor, featuring artisan breads and sandwiches, which is normally closed except on weekends).
You’ll enter Torrington via US-85, first going through a bit of an industrial section, where you’ll pass the Homesteaders Museum on your right. It will be closed until after the eclipse, but make sure you stop there on your way home. It’s free, and its chock full of interesting history of Goshen County.
Continue on further, driving past the signs for highways to Scottsbluff and so on, and you’ll be on Main Street – full of restaurants and other businesses which will be selling souvenirs on the day.
Also on Main Street is the Visitors Center with a very well done history display. They’re in the same building that houses the Java Jar. It’ll be on your left, on the corner of Main Street and 20th street.
In addition to locally owned restaurants, Torrington has the standbys – a Subway, an Arby’s, a Dominos. There’s a McDonalds but it’s on the other side of town and might be further away than you’d want to drive, unless you’re going to head to Jay Em.
In summary, Torrington is a nice, laid back little town and an excellent place to view the Great American Eclipse.