Wednesday is your only chance to see a super blood moon this year

May 24, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published May 13, 2021.


What’s round and red and made of cheese? The super blood moon that will be making an appearance over much of the Western U.S., Australia and New Zealand on Wednesday, that’s what (except the cheese part isn’t true).

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What’s a super blood moon?

During a total lunar eclipse Wednesday, the moon will turn reddish-orange as Earth passes between it and the sun, creating a shadow. Just before totality — when the moon turns completely black — it will take on the ruddy hue, which earns it its blood moon designation.

Lunar eclipses only happen a handful of times annually, but this one, taking place in the early-morning hours of May 26, is even more rare. Because the moon will be full and at its closest point to Earth all year, it will also be considered a supermoon, which will appear larger and brighter.

Qantas is offering an already-sold-out flight to nowhere to allow passengers a closer look at the super blood moon. (Photo by Nutkamol Komolvanich/Getty Images.)

Where can I see the super blood moon?

But, speaking of appearances, not everyone will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the action. According to NASA, only people in select parts of the Pacific Northwest, South Pacific, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica will be able to watch the whole thing. However, a large part of it will be visible in the Western United States, assuming the skies aren’t cloudy.

Although cruises to many of those destinations — which could have offered excellent viewing opportunities — are still on hold, Australia-based airline Qantas is operating a special already-sold-out flight to nowhere on May 26 to afford passengers an incredible vantage point from the sky.

If you happened to plan a road trip out west in time for totality, you might want to tack on visits to national parks and other landmarks along the way. (If you’re not jumping on the current RV trend, you can bring points into the mix by staying at hotels near national parks.)

It’s not too late to plan a road trip out west to catch more of the super blood moon lunar eclipse. (Photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Where can I stay to see the super blood moon?

Here are a few examples of national parks you can visit to watch the action, along with a list of hotels we recommend — most of which allow you to earn and use points. (Rates are subject to change. At publication, they reflect prices for the night of the eclipse.)

Yosemite National Park

  • Quality Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway (Mariposa) — from $162 or 20,000 Choice Privileges points per night.
  • Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn (Oakhurst) — from $198 or 32,000 Best Western Rewards points per night.
  • Comfort Inn Yosemite Area (Oakhurst) — from $162 or 30,000 Choice Privileges points per night.

Zion National Park

  • Hampton Inn and Suites Springdale/Zion National Park — from $381 or 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection by Hilton — from $667 or from 234,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • La Quinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham at Zion Park/Springdale — from $370 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

  • Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo – A Doubletree by Hilton — from $269 or from 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night

The Grand Canyon

  • Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn — from $260 per night or 40,000 Best Western Rewards points
You can watch the lunar eclipse and super blood moon from most locations in the Western U.S., but the best views will be in the Pacific Northwest, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. (Photo by Dana Neibert/Getty Images.)

When can I see the super blood moon?

The event will begin at 2:45 a.m. PDT on May 26, 2021, and run for about three hours, with totality estimated to occur at 4:11 a.m. PDT. If you miss it or you’re not lucky enough to be in an area with visibility, your next chance to see a lunar eclipse will be the partial one on November 19 of this year. (You’ll have to wait until May 16, 2022, for the next full one.)

Featured photo by Carlos Manchego/Getty Images.

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