Trek the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas with Shumla!

Join us on a journey to visit ancient sites led by experienced Shumla Archaeologist, Katie Wilson.

Space is limited. Sign up today!

Shumla offers day-long Treks to promote engagement and public education in support of our mission to preserve the ancient rock art of the Lower Pecos. We’ll share our latest research and show you how modern science is helping us to understand the complex worldview and fantastically rich culture of the people who created these masterworks.

SHUMLA TREKS

Join Shumla Treks to visit ancient and historic rock art in the rockshelters of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.

Shumla Trek cost $120 for a full-day or $60 for a half day per person. Fees fund the Shumla Treks program (expert guide, entrance fees, etc.) and a portion contributes to our preservation efforts. Pack a sack lunch, a water bottle (or 3) and your sense of wonder. You won’t believe what we’ll show you!

Space is limited to 25 participants per day. See below for Trek dates, detailed itineraries, and guidelines. Due to the strenuous nature of the hikes, Shumla Treks are generally not suitable for children under age 8. Minors age 8 and up are welcome on Treks provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

Hiking sticks, long sleeved shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are encouraged to hike through the brush. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours. There are often no bathroom facilities. Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. In addition, many Treks require high clearance 4×4 vehicles, we recommend 9 inches of clearance or more. If you do not have access to such a vehicle, please indicate at the time of registration. A limited number of seats are available in the Shumla truck but we will work with you to ensure you have a ride. 

Most Treks begin and end at Shumla Headquarters at 28 Langtry Street, Comstock, TX 78837. When we return to HQ, we will welcome you with refreshments and show you our plasma oxidation laboratory, where we prepare rock art samples for radiocarbon dating. We’ll also give you a glimpse of our research and our high-resolution gigapanoramas and 3D models of rock art panels based on your interests and questions from our day together.

Questions about Treks?
Send us an email at treks@shumla.org. We love to hear from you!

Give the Gift of Shumla Treks

Shumla Treks make a great gift
for any occasion. Click below to purchase a gift voucher anytime!

Click here to learn more.

25th Anniversary Discount

There’s no doubt about it. Shumla Treks are a hit! Our rock art tour program, started in May of 2021, has become a must-have experience for those interested in indigenous art of the Americas and the spectacular west Texas landscape.

For 2023, Shumla’s 25th Anniversary year, we have a special surprise. Incoming Shumla Board President, Mike Webb, has pledged a gift of $10,000 to cover some of the staffing and management costs of the Treks program. This means, you, the trekker, can Trek for less!

In 2023, full day treks will go from $160 per person to $120 per person and half day treks will go from $80 to $60.

As always, your trek will be led by a Shumla Archaeologist and be informed by Shumla’s latest research. You will visit sites inaccessible to the public and see sacred places that hold as much power today as they did when they were painted thousands of years ago. Come trek with us!

SHUMLA TREK DATES

(Click your desired Trek date below to register.)

Halo Shelter and Devils River Overlook – Saturday, March 11 (Full Day Trek)
Painted Shelter and Vaquero Shelters – Sunday, March 12 (Full Day Trek)
Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter, and Kelley Cave – Saturday, March 25 (Full Day Trek)
Vinegarroon Historic Railroad Camp – Sunday, March 26 (Half Day Trek)

VV75 and the Red Linear Type Site – Saturday, April 22 (Full Day Trek)
Fate Bell, Fate Bell Annex, and Running Horse Shelters – Sunday, April 23 (Full Day Trek)

Ultimate Shumla HQ and Lab Tour & Pecos Overlook – Saturday, May 6 (Full Day Trek)
Running Horse Shelter and Seminole Canyon Museum – Sunday, May 7 (Half Day Trek)
Meyers Springs Shelter and Historic Fort Site – Saturday, May 20 (Full Day Trek)
Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter – Sunday, May 21 (Full Day Trek)

Ultimate Shumla HQ and Lab Tour & Pecos Overlook – Saturday, September 9 (Full Day Trek)
Running Horse Shelter and Seminole Canyon Museum – Sunday, September 10 (Half Day Trek)
Halo Shelter and Devils River Swim – Saturday, September 23 (Full Day Trek)
Painted Shelter and Vaquero Shelter – Sunday, September 24 (Full Day Trek)

Los Vientos and Sunburst Shelter – Saturday, October 28 (Full Day Trek)
Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter – Sunday, October 29 (Full Day Trek)

Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter, and Kelley Cave – Saturday, November 4 (Full Day Trek)
Vinegarroon Historic Railroad Camp – Sunday, November 5 (Half Day Trek)
Meyers Springs Shelter and Historic Site – Saturday, November 18 (Full Day Trek)
Fate Bell, Fate Bell Annex, and Running Horse Shelters – Sunday, November 19 (Full Day Trek)

SHUMLA TREK ITINERARIES

Ultimate Shumla HQ Tour

Saturday, May 6 (Full Day Trek)
Saturday, September 9 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Easy
Hiking distance: None

This is a great option for any rock art enthusiast– especially for those who are interested in Shumla’s digital preservation methods and for those who would like to see the rock art but for whom hiking into the canyons is not possible.

Description:
Spend the day with Shumla staff at our Comstock headquarters for an in depth look at our digital archive! This Trek will take place in the office, with time spent learning about Shumla’s methods, research, and history. See our one-of-a-kind plasma oxidation lab and get a glimpse of what processing samples for radiocarbon dating looks like. We will virtually explore several rock art sites through Shumla’s gigapanorama photos and 3D models. You’ll get an in depth look at the region’s rock art through our digital preservation methods in this behind-the-scenes tour of what it’s like to work at Shumla!

Itinerary:
9:00am – Meet at Shumla’s HQ, 28 Langtry St, Comstock, TX
9:00am– Digital tour of the region’s rock art and Shumla’s research methods
12:00pm – Lunch : Bring a lunch or go across the street to Comstock’s The J and P Bar & Grill
1:00pm– Return to Shumla’s office for a tour of the plasma oxidation lab
2:00pm – Visit the Pecos River Overlook for a stunning view of the river
3:00pm – Day concludes

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Meyers Springs Shelter and Historic Site

Saturday, May 20 (Full Day Trek)
Saturday, November 18 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Easy
Hiking Miles: <0.5miles

Trek Description:
Meyers Springs is an impressive rock art site with images relating to the Historic period, including horses, warriors on horseback, missions, crosses, figures wearing ecclesiastical garments, a horse-drawn wagon, teepees, shields, bows and arrows, and bison. Part of the late-nineteenth and twentieth century history of the region also appears in the form of graffiti: initials, names, dates, the names of U.S. Army units, and the names or initials of ranchers ortravelers. Fragments of Pecos River style rock art can be seen scattered throughout the panel as well. The spring that gives the site its name still flows at the site. No doubt that this place was important even before historic times.

After visiting the rock shelter, participants will have the chance to see the site of the nearby historic Camp Meyers Springs (also Camp Mayers Springs). This camp was a United States Army sub-post for Fort Clark in Brackettville from 1880-1884. Most of the structures for the camp were tents and left little to not trace on the landscape, but one stone structure still stands. Walk through the camp and imagine the lives of the Army soldiers and Black Seminole scouts who were stationed here over a century ago.

Trek Itinerary:
10:00am – Meet in Dryden, TX in the store parking lot near the intersection of TX-349 and US-HWY 90. Caravan to Meyers Springs Ranch.
10:45am – Arrive at bunkhouse for a bathroom break
11:15am – Arrive at Meyers Springs rock art panel
12:45pm – Lunch (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
2:00pm – Visit Camp Meyers historic military ruins
3:00pm– Depart for Comstock.
5:00pm – Arrive at Shumla HQ for a tour of our research and laboratory facilities.

Considerations:
– Tours to this private ranch require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– High clearance vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Restrooms are located within the bunkhouse on the property and at Shumla HQ; when passing through Langtry, visitors could stop at the Judge Roy Bean Travel Center to use the restroom as well. Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek, provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Los Vientos and Sunburst Shelter

Saturday, October 28 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty:
Strenuous
Hiking distance:
1.25 miles

Trek description:
Los Vientos and Sunburst Shelters are located within the Devils River State Natural area, located 45 miles north of Del Rio. Hiking to these sites, you will not only see Pecos River style rock art but also stunning views of the Devils River. The pristine Devils River is one of the last wild rivers in Texas and is a haven for adventurers from all walks of life. Access to this spring fed river is extremely limited and is one of the reasons why this river has remained one of Texas’s most protected treasures. These state-protected lands are home to a diverse range of plants and animals and also designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.

Trek Itinerary:
Itinerary will be announced in 2023. Check back here for more information. This will be a full day trek – 8:00am-5:00pm.

Considerations:
– Tours to Devils River State Natural Area require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– High clearance and 4×4 vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads. The DRSNA website recommends “High-clearance vehicles with 8-ply rating minimum (to minimize flats and blowouts).”
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

VV75 and the Red Linear Type Site

Saturday, April 22 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Very strenuous
Hiking distance:
5.0 miles

Trek description:
VV75 and the Red Linear Type Site are both located in Seminole Canyon, a major tributary of the Rio Grande River and part of Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site. VV75 is an impressive archaeological site containing Pecos River style rock art in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands Archeological District — A National Historic Landmark. The archaeological deposits within the shelter are extremely well-preserved here, and this is the location where the very first radiocarbon samples for rock art in the Lower Pecos were collected.

After our visit to VV75, we will head further down Seminole Canyon to Presa Canyon, stopping along the way to have lunch in a shady part of the canyon. The second site, the Red Linear Type Site, is a shallow overhang containing some of the best-preserved examples of the Red Linear style of rock art in the region. Dozens of images of red, human-like figures wielding net and atlatls adorn the walls. Some figures are seen interacting with various animal-like figures, like canids and deer, and provide us with an interesting contrast to the better-known Pecos River style rock art.

Trek Itinerary:
8:00am – Meet at Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site Visitor Center parking lot
8:30am – Begin hike to VV75
10:45am – Hike to Red Linear Type Site
12:15pm – Lunch at Red Linear Type Site (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
1:30pm – Hike back to state park visitors center
4:00pm – Depart for Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory

Considerations:
– Tours within the state park require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within the park visitors center.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Fate Bell Annex, Fate Bell Shelter and Running Horse

Sunday, April 23 (Full Day Trek)
Sunday, November 19 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Hiking distance: 1.5 miles

Trek description:
Fate Bell Annex, Fate Bell Shelter and Running Horse Shelter are all situated in Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site. Seminole Canyon is a major tributary of the Rio Grande River. Fate Bell is one of the most famous and largest Pecos River style rock art sites in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands Archeological District — A National Historic Landmark. Not only is the rock art breath-taking, but the archaeological deposits within the shelter are also extremely well-preserved. You’ll hear about the incredible rock art, the lifeways of the people who painted it and our most recent research.

Then, we will hike together across the uplands to Running Horse Shelter which offers, in addition to beautiful remnant Pecos River Style rock art, intriguing Historic Period art and even a historic stone wall. Together, we’ll see 4000 years of history in this single shelter.

Trek Itinerary:
8:00am – Meet at Seminole Canyon State Park parking lot
8:30am – Hike to and visit Fate Bell Annex and Fate Bell Shelter
10:30am – Hike out of canyon and return to Visitor Center
11:30am – Lunch
12:15pm – Hike to and visit Running Horse
2:00pm – Return to Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory

Considerations:
– Tours within the state park require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within the state park visitor center and Shumla HQ.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Painted Shelter and Vaquero Shelter

Sunday, March 12 (Full Day Trek)
Sunday, September 24 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Moderate
Hiking miles: 1.0

Trek Description:
Painted Shelter is located in an unnamed tributary canyon of the Rio Grande on private property. A spring-fed stream runs in front of the rock art panel and creates several long pools through the site. Major flash flood events have washed out most of the archaeological deposits, but there is a remnant burned rock midden and lithic scatter on the bedrock benches in front of the shelter. Painted Shelter is home to the best-preserved example of the Red Monochrome style rock art, as well as remnant Pecos River style murals.

Vaquero Shelter is located within Presa Canyon in Seminole Canyon State Park. The shelter gets its name from the Historic period rock art depicting two riders mounted on horseback with a Longhorn cow and calf, adjacent to a structure resembling a Spanish mission and a man in a Spanish uniform. The shelter also contains a dense body of Pecos River style art, as well as Red Monochrome style figures.

Trek itinerary:
8:00am – Meet at Shumla HQ; drive to the start of the Painted Shelter hike
9:00am – Hike to and visit Painted Shelter
11:00am – Return to vehicles; Drive to start of Vaquero Shelter hike
12:00pm – Hike to and visit Vaquero Shelter (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
2:00pm– Return to Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory.

Considerations:
– Tours to this private ranch and the state park require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– High clearance vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.
– Hiking to Vaquero Shelter will require climbing an a-frame ladder over a fence-line.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter

Sunday, May 21 (Full Day Trek)
Sunday, October 29 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Hiking miles: 1.5 miles

Trek Description:
Black Cave is a large rockshelter in Upper Presa Canyon within Seminole Canyon State Park. The site gets its name from the black ceiling of the shelter, which has been discolored from a combination of carbon staining, organic growth, and natural accretion. The Pecos River style rock art at Black Cave is striking and iconic. Many of the pictographs are located quite high above the shelter floor and would have required the construction of scaffolding.

Vaquero Shelter is also located in Upper Presa Canyon. The shelter gets its name from the Historic period rock art depicting riders mounted on horseback with a Longhorn cow and calf, adjacent to a structure resembling a Spanish mission and a man in a Spanish uniform. The shelter also contains a dense body of Pecos River style art, as well as Red Monochrome style figures.

Trek itinerary:
8:00am – Meet at Shumla HQ; drive to the start of the Vaquero Shelter hike
9:00am – Hike to and visit Vaquero Shelter
10:30am – Drive to start of Black Cave hike
11:00am – Hike to and visit Black Cave. Lunch (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
2:00pm – Return to Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory

Considerations:
– Tours through this private ranch and to the state park require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– High clearance vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within Shumla HQ.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.
– Hiking to Black Cave and Vaquero Shelter will require climbing an a-frame ladder over a fence.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Running Horse Shelter and Seminole Canyon Museum

,Sunday, May 7 (Half Day Trek)
Sunday, September 10 (Half Day Trek)

Difficulty: Easy
Hiking distance: <0.25 miles

The hike into Running Horse is very gradual and is one of the easiest rock shelters to access in terms of hiking. While still requiring some hiking, this Trek is a good option for those who do not wish to do a full day of hiking, but would still like to see some of the area’s stunning rock art first hand.

Description:
Running Horse Shelter is located within Seminole Canyon, a major tributary of the Rio Grande River and part of Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site. Running Horse Shelter offers, in addition to beautiful remnant Pecos River Style rock art, intriguing Historic Period art and even a historic stone wall. Together, we’ll see 4,000 years of history in this single shelter.

Participants will also get to spend time in the museum located within the visitor center at Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site. The museum covers the full range of the park’s history—from its earliest painters to the more recent railroad and ranching history of the region.

Itinerary:
9:30am – Meet at Seminole Canyon State Park parking lot to visit the museum
10:30am – Hike to and visit Running Horse Shelter
11:30am – Trek concludes

Considerations:
– Tours to the state park require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times in the canyon.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Vinegarroon Historic Railroad Camp

Sunday, March 26 (Half Day Trek)
Sunday, November 5 (Half Day Trek)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Hiking miles: 0.5-1.0 mile

Trek Description:
We will start our day at the Judge Roy Bean Museum and Langtry Travel Information Center to learn more about Langtry’s history with the railroad and Judge Roy Bean himself. Then, we will drive to the site of Vinegarroon to explore the historic remnants and the spectacular view of the Rio Grande.

The Vinegarroon Camp was a railroad town where the legendary Judge Roy Bean, “Law West of the Pecos,” started his first saloon. This camp was founded by hundreds of railroad laborers as they worked to overcome the last major hurdle for the construction of the southern transcontinental route, linking New Orleans and San Francisco. Walk among the ruins of this ghost town and consider what it may have been like to work on a railroad in the 1880s. Afterwards, we will go to Shumla’s headquarters in Comstock to tour the facility and learn more about the work being done by the team.

Trek Itinerary:
9:00am – Meet at Judge Roy Bean Visitors Center in Langtry, TX
10:30am Drive to Vinegarroon
11:00am Explore Vinegarroon
12:30pm Arrive at Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory.

Considerations:
– Tours to this private ranch require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– High clearance vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within the Judge Roy Bean Visitors center and Shumla HQ.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter, and Kelley Cave

Saturday, March 25 (Full Day Trek)
Saturday, November 4 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Strenuous
Hiking distance: 1.0 mile

Trek Description:
Eagle Cave, Skiles Shelter, and Kelley Cave are large rockshelters located within Eagle Nest Canyon in Langtry, Texas. Combined, all three sites contain evidence of human occupation spanning over 10,000 years. The rock art predominantly consists of Pecos River style rock art with the art in Eagle Cave having returned radiocarbon dates between 3350 – 3210 years ago. These sites also showcase the immense amount of plant baking that went on in the rock shelters with huge piles of fire cracked rock and numerous bedrock features for food processing. Following the Eagle Nest Canyon tour will be a chance to visit the Judge Roy Bean Museum and Langtry Travel Information Center to learn more about Langtry’s history and then a tour of Shumla’s research facility and laboratory in Comstock, Texas to learn more about the work being done by the team.

Trek Itinerary:
8:30am – Meet at Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in Langtry, TX; drive to the start of the hike.
9:00am – Hike to Skiles Shelter
10:00am – Hike to Kelley Cave
11:00am – Hike to Eagle Cave
11:30am – Lunch (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
2:00pm – Drive to Judge Roy Bean Visitors Center
3:00pm – Return to Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory
4:30pm – Trek concludes

Considerations:
– Tours to this private ranch require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within the Judge Roy Bean Visitors Center.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or
guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Halo Shelter and Devils River Swim

Saturday, September 23 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Strenuous
Hiking distance: 0.5 miles

Trek Description:
Halo Shelter sits within a small tributary canyon approximately 5 km from the Devils River on a private ranch in Val Verde county. Halo Shelter boasts one of the best-preserved Pecos River style pictograph panels in the region. The site gets its name from a unique arch motif with rayed lines extending from it over the top of several figures’ heads. Along with the halo motif, there are a wide assortment of unique and vibrant Pecos River style figures and motifs intricately executed.

The pristine Devils River is one of the last wild rivers in Texas and is a haven for adventurers from all walks of life. Access to this spring fed river is extremely limited and is one of the reasons why this river has remained one of Texas’s most protected treasures.

Trek Itinerary:
8:00am– Meet at Shumla HQ, depart for Halo Shelter
9:30am – Arrive at halfway point for bathroom break
10:45am – Arrive at parking spot and begin hike to Halo Shelter
11:00am – Arrive at Halo Shelter (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
1:00pm– Depart Halo Shelter, drive to halfway point for bathroom break; change into swimsuits, if you choose
2:30pm – Arrive at the Devils River for a swim
4:30pm – Depart from the river for Shumla HQ
6:00pm – Arrive in Shumla HQ

Considerations:
– Tours to this private ranch require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
– High clearance and 4×4 vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads.
– Accessing this site requires descending a steep elevation change; a rope is available for stability, but participants should be prepared for this challenging aspect of the hike.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within Shumla HQ and a bunkhouse restroom stop along the way to the site.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Halo Shelter and Devils River Overlook

Saturday, March 11 (Full Day Trek)

Difficulty: Strenuous
Hiking distance: 0.5 miles

Trek Description:
Halo Shelter sits within a small tributary canyon approximately 5 km from the Devils River on a private ranch in Val Verde county. Halo Shelter boasts one of the best-preserved Pecos River style pictograph panels in the region. The site gets its name from a unique arch motif with rayed lines extending from it over the top of several figures’ heads. Along with the halo motif, there are a wide assortment of unique and vibrant Pecos River style figures and motifs intricately executed.

The pristine Devils River is one of the last wild rivers in Texas and is a haven for adventurers from all walks of life. The unique vantage point from this high overlook provides an unforgettable view of one of Texas’s most protected treasures. From this overlook point, you’ll get to see an unforgettable view of this Texas treasure.

Trek Itinerary:
8:00am– Meet at Shumla HQ, depart for Halo Shelter
9:30am – Arrive at halfway point for bathroom break
10:45am – Arrive at parking spot and begin hike to Halo Shelter
11:00am – Arrive at Halo Shelter (Bring a sack lunch and pack out all trash)
1:00pm– Depart Halo Shelter, drive to halfway point for bathroom break
2:00pm – Arrive at the Devils River overlook
2:30pm – Depart for Shumla HQ
3:30pm – Arrive at Shumla HQ for lab tour

Considerations:
– Tours to this private ranch require visitors to be with a Shumla representative at all times.
– Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to hike over uneven terrain. In case of an emergency, medical response times to this remote area can take hours.
High clearance and 4×4 vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads. 
– Accessing this site requires descending a steep elevation change; a rope is available for stability, but participants should be prepared for this challenging aspect of the hike.
– Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats, and gloves are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush.
– Participants must be prepared to go to the bathroom outdoors, if needed, and pack out all trash. Restrooms are located within Shumla HQ and a bunkhouse restroom stop along the way to the site.
– Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this Trek provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at treks@shumla.org. We would love to hear from you!

Meet your Trek guide!

 

Katie Wilson, Shumla Archaeologist and Outreach Coordinator, has been drawn to this region for over 15 years and is excited to share the stories of the landscape and archaeology with you. She has experienced the landscape and archaeology in a variety of settings and roles. Each Shumla Trek will be informed by Katie’s personal experience and Shumla’s 25 years of rock art preservation and research.
Shumla Treks Guidelines and Expectations

Safety

  • Read the description of each Trek carefully. Before registering, consider the length and difficulty of the Trek to determine whether you can safely participate. While Shumla takes all necessary precautions throughout each Trek, ultimately, your safety and well-being on a Shumla Trek are your responsibility.
  • Treks are conducted in remote locations across uneven terrain and often in extreme environmental conditions and temperatures. In most cases, medical help and care are several hours away. Participants must be in good health and physical conditioning to be able to traverse rugged terrain, including hiking considerable distances, scrambling over rocks and boulders, steep ascents and descents, walking in or over loose rock, and walking through dense brush.
  • Due to their strenuous nature, some Shumla Treks are not considered suitable for children under the age of 8. Trek descriptions will detail those Treks open to children.
  • All minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Alcohol, firearms, and pets are not allowed on any Trek.
  • While on a Trek, all participants are required to always stay close to the Guide and follow the instructions of the Guide.

What to Wear

Clothing that is appropriate to the weather and terrain:

  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants are strongly recommended for protection from sun and thorns.
  • Closed-toed, supportive footwear
  • Hat or other covering for head
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses

What to Bring

  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A backpack to carry your gear, water, and food
  • Water, at least 2 quarts per day, or more as appropriate to your trek itinerary
  • Meals and/or snacks, as appropriate according to your tour itinerary. Bring no food that requires refrigeration.
  • Walking stick or hiking poles, if preferred
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

Vehicles

Check your Trek itinerary to find out if your Trek requires that you bring a 4WD high clearance vehicle. Your vehicle may be subject to harsh conditions. Shumla does not supply vehicles and has limited space in Shumla trucks with staff. Shumla will work with visitors to find a ride in a suitable vehicle but cannot guarantee vehicle access. Participants must indicate at the time of registration if they will drive their own vehicle or if they need a ride and communicate with the Trek leader.

Payment and Cancellation Rules

  • All Treks must be paid for in advance to confirm your reservation. Space is limited on each Trek; if all spaces are filled, a waiting list will be maintained in the event of cancellations.
  • Cancellations initiated by a participant must be made a minimum of 10 days prior to the date of the Trek to receive a full refund. Cancellations made after the 10-day minimum will not be refunded. If a participant does not show up at the Trek meeting place on time and, misses the Trek, their fee will not be refunded.
  • Treks may be canceled due to weather conditions, extreme heat/cold, limited participation, road conditions, lake/river levels, etc. If a Trek is cancelled by Shumla before the Trek begins, a full refund will be issued.
  • For the safety of the group and at the discretion of the Guide, when possible in consultation with Shumla’s Executive Director, Treks may be canceled at any stage during the Trek for any reason. If this occurs, all participants are required to immediately abide by the direction of their Guide to safely vacate the property.

Photography

While photography of your experiences during Treks and other activities is allowed, we ask all participants to abide by the following:

  • The rock art sites are considered sacred spaces and should be treated with respect. In particular, please do not pose in front of the art while making obscene or rude gestures.
  • Photography of the art for the purposes of printing, selling, reselling, or displaying in public spaces or online without the landowner’s permission is not permitted for any reason.
  • Do not share any locational information for sites on private land. This includes GPS or geotagged information associated with your photos. Instructions for turning off geotagging can be found here:
    • For iPhone:

https://www.techbout.com/turn-off-geotagging-for-photos-iphone-ipad-8738/

    • For Android:

www.ubergizmo.com/how-to/turn-off-geotagging-android/amp/

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

Shumla Treks are designed to provide guests with immersive experiences. For the enjoyment of our guests and for the protection of cultural resources, we respectfully ask that guests minimize the use of electronics. Your Guide may request that electronics not be used at particular locations or during specific events. Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (drones) are not permitted.

Respect for Rock Art and Cultural Resources

Shumla Treks and programs include visiting archaeological sites. Artifacts and other archaeological remains are important sources of information that archaeologists use to determine how people lived in the past. It is a violation of the Society of American Archaeology code of ethics for participants to keep any artifacts or other cultural or paleontological remains from any archaeological site, and it is against federal law for participants to keep any such materials collected from state, federal, or tribal lands without a permit.

The award-winning video “Visit with Respect” shows how Pueblo people of the United States feel about visiting archaeological sites. It was filmed at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and Acoma Pueblo and features members of the Hopi Tribe and Santa Clara and Acoma Pueblos. While the Lower Pecos Canyonlands may be removed in distance from the areas shown in the video, Shumla supports the sentiments and requests described by members of those communities, we request that Trek participants and visitors maintain the same awareness and respect. Participants may watch the “Visit with Respect” video produced by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in preparation for their experience with Shumla: https://youtu.be/zwDrLqThhYY.

Liability Release and Indemnification Agreement

All participants in Shumla Treks 18 years of age or older must complete the Liability Release and Indemnification Agreement prior to being allowed to participate. Participants will be asked to carefully read and sign this form by a Shumla staff member. By signing this form and participating, you are confirming that you have read and will abide by all provisions of the Agreement, including the Shumla Treks Guidelines and Expectations included in this document.

 

 

 

_____________________________                     _______________________

Name of Participant                                                                      Date of Trek(s)

 

 

 

______________________________________________

Name of Emergency Contact / Relationship to Participant

 

 

______________________________________

Primary Phone Number for Emergency Contact

 

Release of Liability and Indemnification Agreement

This form must be completed and signed by all persons 18 years of age or older prior to being allowed to participate in Shumla Treks organized by The Shumla School, Inc.

Please read the information carefully. By signing this form and participating, you are confirming that you have read and will abide by all provisions of the Agreement, including the Shumla Trek Guidelines and Expectations attached.

In consideration of being permitted to participate in a Shumla Trek, I, the undersigned, release,  and forever discharge Shumla School Inc., the Landowner(s) of the property upon which the  Treks are conducted, and their affiliates, successors and assigns, officers, employees,  representatives, partners, and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”), from all liability to  me and my personal representatives, assigns, heirs and next of kin, for any and all loss, damage,  injury or death to my person or property, whether caused by the negligence of the Released  Parties or otherwise, while I am participating in a Shumla Trek program. I agree to indemnify the Released Parties against any and all claims, actions, lawsuits, damages, and judgments, including attorney’s fees, arising out of, or relating to my participation in the Shumla Trek. I understand that participation in a Shumla Trek involves inherent risks, including risk of injury, pain, suffering, illness, disfigurement, paralysis and/or death, and I assume all related risks and voluntarily participate in the Shumla Trek. I, the undersigned, further agree that the foregoing release, waiver and indemnity agreement is intended to be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by the laws of the State of Texas, and that if any portion of it is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance shall, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect.

I have carefully read and fully understand all the provisions of this Release and am freely, knowingly, and voluntarily entering into this Release. 

 

____________________________________         ___________________________

Name of Participant                                                       Date of Trek(s)

 

 

____________________________________         ____________________________

Signature of Parent or Guardian                                Printed Name of Parent or Guardian

If Participant is under 18

 

Lodging and Restaurants
DEL RIO, TEXAS

Del Rio is 30 minutes from Shumla’s Comstock Headquarters. Be sure to check driving times for Treks that begin from some place other than our HQ. There are many wonderful lodging and restaurant options in Del Rio. You can also fly into and out of Del Rio on American Airlines.

COMSTOCK, TEXAS

Comstock Motel
Providing an ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience, Comstock Motel offers a family-friendly setting with an array of amenities. Guest rooms offer amenities such as a refrigerator and air conditioning, with free access to wifi. Free parking is also available.

31984 W US Highway 90
Comstock, TX 78837

(432) 292-4484

The J and P Bar & Grill
Comstock’s one and only restaurant offers classic American food such as salads, burgers, wraps and more!

32137 W US Highway 90
Comstock, TX 78837

(432) 292-4338