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Marathon, Texas is located in a remote section of West Texas known as the Big Bend Region, in Brewster County which fortuitously is the largest county in the country with the lowest population density. It is situated in what is known as, the Great Marathon Basin, and surrounded by mountains which protect it from light intrusion from neighboring towns.

An elevation of approximately 4100' in a dry, high desert environment, in addition, the Marathon Motel/RV and Marathon Sky Park is located a half mile west of the community of Marathon, Texas, on approximately 10 acres under a Class 1 Dark Sky.No wonder Marathon and the Marathon Motel/RV and Marathon Sky Park boasts some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 contiguous United States!

Amenities include wifi, 3 level concrete pads featuring 110 power, and a shade cloth barrier to prevent any stray light intrusion. Click here for more information.

Marathon is a Scale 1 on the Bortle Light Pollution Scale. What does that mean? It's dark! As a matter of fact, as dark as it gets without going to space!

Bortle Light Pollution Scale 1 properties:

Excellent dark-sky site
Naked-eye limiting magnitude:
7.6 - 8.0
Stellar limiting magnitude (with 12.5" reflector):
• the Zodiacal light (sunlight reflecting off space dust and comet debris after sunset) is visible
• the gegenschein is visible
• the zodiacal band is visible
• M33 is a direct vision naked-eye object
• Scorpius and Sagittarius regions of the Milky Way cast obvious shadows on the ground
• airglow is readily visible
• Jupiter and Venus affect dark adaptation
• surroundings are basically invisible.

Marathon's Dark Skies

(Inset: light pollution map of southern Texas)

star gazing texas

Marathon Clear Sky Chart:

Helpful Links:

Marathon Motel's Astrophotography Gallery

Bortle Light Pollution Scale

Marathon Clear Sky Chart

NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals Stunning Views of Earth at Night


McDonald Observatory