2016 RAF Tour Calendar
|Feb 6||Halo Shelter
|Feb 20||Bonfire Shelter/Eagle Cave
|Feb 27||RAF Board of Directors Meeting
|Mar 5||Curly Tail Panther
|Apr 9||Running Deer/Hybiscus
|May 14||Lewis Canyon Petroglyph Site
|May 14||Curly Tail Panther
|May 28||Meyers Springs
|Jun 4||Painted Shelter
|Sep 3||Meyers Springs
|Sep 3||Lewis Canyon Petroglyph Site
|Sep 10||RAF Board of Directors Meeting
|Oct 14 - 16||RAF Rendezvous 23
|Dec 10||Bonfire Shelter/Eagle Cave
About Our Tours
The Rock Art Foundation is proud to offer access to numerous rock art and historic sites throughout the Lower Pecos region of West Texas. This is only possible through cooperation with the various land owners. We are grateful for their concern and we firmly support their rights as private land owners to act as possibly the best stewards for these irreplaceable archaeological treasures. With trust and friendship they have offered their property as a truly unique experience. We hope you will enjoy the experience they have provided.
Please be aware that there is a rapid growth in crime of all types along the Mexico/US border. Please be alert when visiting this area. For the most current information please visit the State Department Travel Alert web site at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1766.html
Desert tours are not recommended for anyone with walking or balance issues and for children under 12 years of age. Parents are responsible for the supervision and safety of their children. We will be in isolated locations where response to a medical emergency or injury will be difficult and lengthy. For the safety of the group, the RAF guide in charge of each tour will evaluate each individual’s ability to participate in the tour and may limit participation accordingly.
White Shaman tours are offered each Saturday at 12:30 PM September through May - no reservations are needed. This tour is free of charge to all RAF members. For all other RAF tours listed below, a 1-week lead-time for reservations/cancellations would be appreciated.
For a complete listing of Seminole Canyon State Park events, please visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/calendar/?calpage=s0148. Fate Bell tours are offered at 10AM and 3PM Wednesday through Sunday — no reservations are needed. Afternoon tours are suspended during June, July and August. These are the hottest months of the year and the high heat index during these months can pose a significant danger to those not acclimated to the intense heat of the desert. The Fate Bell shelter is a 250' descent over paved trails into a wide clear canyon. Roundtrip is approximately 1.5 miles — a strenuous walk.
The Fate Bell shelter is a 250' descent over paved trails into a wide clear canyon. Roundtrip is approximately 1.5 miles — a strenuous walk.
Tour dates are subject to cancellation/revision due to weather conditions, limited participation, road conditions and lake levels. It’s always a good idea to confirm prior to your trip by e-mailing email@example.com. Desert tours may involve extreme heat (tours are cancelled when temperatures reach 100 degrees), limited water, long, steep walks and poor trails. Proper physical conditioning and proper equipment is an absolute necessity.
Guns, alcohol and pets can pose a danger for all tour participants. Please don’t bring them on the tours.
Questions and comments to our web site will be answered promptly. firstname.lastname@example.org is monitored daily.
DONATIONS REQUESTED (per person): $35 for Bonfire, Curly Tail Panther, Lewis Canyon, Cedar Springs/Mystic Shelter, Halo, Meyers Springs or Running Deer/Hybiscus; $10 for White Shaman. Reservations and advance payment are recommended. Donation must be received and liability release signed before participating in any tour. Speak to an RAF Guide for details, e-mail us, or contact the Rock Art Foundation toll free at 210.525.9907. Discounts are available for groups over twenty. Group tours can be arranged at other times with advance notice. Hiking in desert country can be strenuous. Don't forget water and sunscreen. Sturdy shoes are required to prevent injury and please, no alcohol, pets or firearms are permitted.
RAF Members receive notices of special tour offerings
and free tours to the White Shaman.
The Galloway White Shaman Preserve
U.S. Hwy 90 West at the Pecos River - Saturdays at 12:30pm
The "Enduring Spirit" Solstice Marker is a 15 ton carved limestone shaman effigy with White Shaman cutout to mark the Summer and Winter Solstices. It is encircled by a memorial brick walkway and was placed by the RAF in 1997.
Hunter Gatherer c. 2500 B.C. Lifeways Camp
Created entirely of local natural materials by Comstock artisan Steve Norman, this model of an archaic Indian summer camp is a unique one-of-a-kind interpretation of the daily life of the Ancient Texans. The remarkable accuracy Mr. Norman achieved in replicating shelters, stone tools, weapons, mats, baskets, and other everyday implements is astonishing and is based upon museum samples and scientific investigation.
White Shaman Site
One of the most well-photographed pictograph sites in the lower Pecos. On its walls is encapsulated the basic religious principles of the prehistoric inhabitants of the Lower Pecos region and the New World in general. The flight of the shaman to the land of spirits and his metaphorical death and rebirth are a message from the past about humanity's quest for solutions to life's mystery. Tour takes approximately 90 minutes. The White Shaman Site is a 250' descent into a narrow brushy canyon. It can be extremely hot and humid. The trail is steep with loose rocks and uneven footing. The roundtrip is approx. 1.5 miles—this is a strenuous hike.
The Curly Tail Panther
The site is located north of Del Rio in the Rough Canyon Marina area. You will be able to park above the site which is situated high on a cliff face above the Devil's River. This tour involves a very steep descent from the canyon rim to a shelter high above the river. Narrow, poorly defined trails with steep drop offs make this tour impossible for people who are afraid of heights and for all except the very surefooted. Roundtrip is approx. 0.5 miles. Trail is over loose rock, through brush, and along a high narrow ledge. This is a very difficult walk. Not recommended for the faint of heart! Classic views and remarkable rock art.
Lewis Canyon Petroglyph Site
Pecos River [High clearance vehicle required]
Amidst the elaborate body of splendid colorful pictographs in the Lower Pecos region, one very different rock art site stands apart as the only large petroglyph site yet discovered, its over 900 abstract designs in many ways more enigmatic and mysterious than the paintings. About a two hour drive from Seminole Canyon including over an hour on rough ranch roads to within 100 yards of the site. Also includes visit to pictograph site in side canyon below the site on the Pecos River. Twelve miles of rough ranch road lead directly to the site. The trip requires a high clearance vehicle but is an easy walk upon arrival. There is no protection from the elements as you are subject to weather extremes.
Bonfire Shelter/Eagle Cave
Located near Langtry, Bonfire Shelter (the bison kill site depicted in the exhibit at Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site) dates to 12,000 years BP and is the oldest example in the new world of the kill strategy demonstrated here. Eagle Cave, a large occupational site, is found in the same canyon. This tour involves a 100' descent into a canyon - no trail- deep loose rocks make walking difficult. Participants must be able to climb over large boulders. This is a strenuous walk or approx. 1.75 miles roundtrip. The tour is available to active RAF members only. Reservations required. Group must be limited to 25 participants.
Hibiscus and Running Deer
If you have seen Halo shelter, you do not want to miss these other two exceptional sites. Hibiscus contains additional Lower Pecos and red linear figures that are unique and consistent with the area. Running Deer is below a spectacular promontory and is a maze of red linear and Pecos figures. The road is very rough and you will need four wheel drive. The hiking climbs are rough, but not long. Participants with bad knees or climbing problems are discouraged. Difficulty: moderately strenuous.
Located near Dryden, Texas, Meyers Springs, on The National Register of Historic Places, is considered one of the "must see" rock art sites in Texas. The Meyers Springs site features a 100' long prehistoric and historic rock art panel near the spring and the site of historic Camp Meyers, a western outpost of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts assigned to Fort Clark in Brackettville during the late 1800s. The site is nine miles by dirt road followed by a short walk on defined trails of loose rock and uneven terrain. It's an easy walk.
Seminole Canyon State Park
Presa Canyon & Upper Seminole Canyon
These tours are conducted by Seminole Canyon State Park. They feature back-country (no trails) hiking, and visits to rock art sites in secluded areas of the park. Dates are announced by the Park, and reservations should be made directly with the Park at 432-292-4464. Presa is eight hours of walking without trails on rough , uneven ground with loose rocks, heavy brush, high humidity and heat - frequently with pools of water blocking the canyon. Participants must have backpack with no less than 1 gallon of water. This is a very difficult walk. The Upper Canyon walk is approx. 3 miles involving a slow descent to Seminole Canyon floor with 250" exit climb on paved trail. Heavy brush, narrow canyon, poor trails, uneven ground and loose rocks require surefooted individuals. Tour is rated as "strenuous".
Panther Cave/Parida Cave
Access varies by lake level. Please check before planning a trip to these sites. These tours are only for the surefooted. Access can be steep and trails, although improved, can still be challenging. To arrange for a tour to these sites, contact Alan Wright in Comstock at 432-292-4451.
Located near the Devil's River north of Comstock Halo features many of the typical icons of Pecos River style rock art plus some unusual compositions and color schemes. Be prepared for rough roads — high clearance vehicles are a must and 4 wheel drive is preferred. The rope assisted climb in and out of the canyon is difficult. Gloves are useful. This tour is available to active RAF members only.
Located just west of Comstock, this site is found deep in a canyon just a short distance off the Rio Grande. There is a large spring close by that provides an almost constant water source - a beautiful large shelter with water, shade trees, and Red Monochrome and Pecos River Style pictographs. Itâ€™s very easy to see why people wanted to live here. This tour is moderately difficult but does requires full mobility and balance from all participants. The hike, while short and moderately steep traverses loose rock, slopes, large boulders and thick brush. A high clearance vehicle is required for this 12 mile round trip on dirt ranch roads.