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What we do International Dark Sky Places

UBarU Camp and Retreat Center

The Milky Way seen over the iconic windmill of UBarU Camp and Retreat Center. Photo by John Phelps.


The UBarU Camp and Retreat Center UBarU is a 57.5-hectare (142-acre) property in southwest Gillespie County, Texas, owned and operated by the Unitarian Universalist Friends Retreat Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist congregations of Texas and beyond, and received the land in 2001 from a resident Quaker community with the request that the Foundation care for the land as they had done for the benefit of the community and the Earth. Most of the land is subject to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife management plan. UBarU is situated in a part of the Hill Country that largely shields it from the light domes of Interstate 35-corridor cities from Austin to San Antonio.

As part of the IDA certification process, outdoor lighting at UBarU was improved and its impact on the night skies above the property reduced. Also, UBarU staff have delivered astronomy-themed programming both to registered meeting attendees at UBarU as well as to visitors from the public, including Astronomy Weekend and Perseid meteor viewing events.




Dark Sky Park

UBarU Camp and Retreat Center IDSP map


277 UBarU Drive
Mountain Home, TX 78058 USA
Google Maps


Dr. Roy Ellzey

Land Area

0.57 km2


Press Release
Annual Reports


Photos of the UBarU Observatory, inaugurated October 2017 (all photos courtesy of John Phelps):

UBarU Observatory interior.
UBarU Observatory interior.
UBarU Observatory open during evening twilight.
UBarU Observatory by night, looking east.

UBarU Observatory telescopes silhouetted against the Moon and Milky Way.