Trek the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas with Shumla!

Join us on a journey to visit ancient sites led by experienced Shumla Archaeologist, Vicky Roberts.
Space is limited. Sign up today!

Register Here!

Shumla periodically 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 discoveries 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.

Seminole Canyon
and Zuberbueler Bend Treks – May 2021

Join one or both of our Shumla Treks this Memorial Day weekend to see ancient and historic art in the rockshelters of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.

Each Trek costs $160 per person. Fees fund the Shumla Treks program (expert guide, entrance fees, etc.) and a portion contributes to our preservation efforts.


  1. Saturday, May 29th: Visit Painted Shelter and Vaquero Shelter
  2. Sunday, May 30th: Visit Fate Bell Annex and Fate Bell Shelter and Running Horse

Space is limited to 25 participants per day. See below for detailed itineraries and guidelines. Due to the strenuous nature of the hikes, Shumla Treks are not suitable for children under 8.

Questions? Send us an email at

May 29, 2021


A tour offers the opportunity to enjoy the biodiversity of the Chihuahuan Desert.Vaquero Shelter is located within Presa Canyon in the Seminole Canyon State Park. The shelter gets its name for 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, however, these are not well preserved. This shelter will be accessed from outside the state park with permission to cross private property.

Painted Shelter is located in an unnamed tributary canyon of the Rio Grande on private property. We will access this site with permission from the landowner. 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 examples of the Red Monochrome style rock art, as well as remnant Pecos River Style murals.

8:00 AM – Meet at Shumla HQ, drive to start of Vaquero hike.
9:00 AM – Hike to and visit Vaquero Shelter.
11:00 AM – Drive to start of Painted Shelter hike.
12:00 AM – Hike to and visit Painted Shelter. (We will eat sack lunches at this site and pack out all trash.)
2:00 PM – Return to Shumla HQ for tour of our research facility and laboratory.

Tours to Painted Shelter and Vaquero Shelter require visitors to 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 vehicles are required to travel across rough, unpaved roads. Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, and long pants are strongly encouraged to hike through the brush. There are no bathroom facilities. 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 tour provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

More information and a detailed itinerary will be provided when you register. If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at We would love to hear from you!

May 30, 2021


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.

Participants on this trek will descend into the canyon guided by an experienced Shumla archaeologist to view these nationally-recognized sites. You’ll hear about the incredible rock art, the lifeways of the people who painted it and our most recent discoveries. After our visit to Fate Bell Annex and Fate Bell, we will return to the Visitor Center for a tour of the museum. Then, after lunch, 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.

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

Hiking in and out of Seminole Canyon is strenuous. The elevation change is very steep. Hiking to the Running Horse site requires walking through brush and uneven terrain. Visitors should be in good health and physical conditioning. Hiking sticks, long sleeve shirts, and long pants are encouraged to hike through the brush.

All vehicles can make the trip. There will be no need to drive over gravel roads or off-road. There is a parking lot available for visitors. Restrooms are located within the Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site visitors center. Minors age 8 and up are welcome on this tour provided they are supervised by a parent or guardian.

More information and a detailed itinerary will be provided when you register. If you would like more information prior to registration, please email us at We would love to hear from you!

Meet your trek guide!


Vicky Roberts, Shumla Archaeologist and Outreach Coordinator, has lived and worked in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands for nearly 10 years. She has experienced the landscape and archaeology in a variety of settings and roles. Each Shumla Trek will be informed by Vicky’s personal experience and Shumla’s 23 years of rock art preservation and research.
Shumla Treks Guidelines and Expectations


  • Read the description of each trek carefully. Before registering, consider the length and difficulty of the trek to determine whether you can safely participate. Your safety and well-being while on a Shumla Trek is 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 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 through dense brush.
  • Due to the strenuous nature of treks, Shumla Treks are not considered suitable for children under the age of 8.
  • All minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • We recommend a face covering or mask be worn when indoors and outdoors when it is not possible to physically distance a minimum of 6 feet from other participants.
  • Alcohol, firearms, and pets are not allowed on any trek.
  • Always stay with the group and follow the instructions of your 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
  • Sunglasses

What to Bring

  • Face covering or mask
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small backpack for your gear, water, and food
  • Water, at least 2 quarts per day
  • Meals and/or snacks, as appropriate according to your tour itinerary. Bring no food that requires refrigeration.
  • Walking stick, if preferred
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • 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 or arrange transportation if you do not have a suitable vehicle.

Payment and Cancellation Rules

  • All treks must be paid for in advance to confirm your reservation. Payment must be made no later than 10 days prior to the trek date to guarantee a space on the trek.
  • 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, therefore, 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, tours 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.


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. To turn off geotagging:

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:


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                                                                                     Date




 Emergency Contact




Name/Relationship                                                            Primary Phone

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.                                                                              




Signature / Date


Printed Name




Signature of Parent or Guardian / Date

(If participant is under 18)


Printed Name of Parent or Guardian


Lodging and Restaurants

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



Del Rio is about a 35 minute drive from our trek meeting locations. There are many wonderful lodging and restaurant options in Del Rio.