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John B. Chandler | profile | all galleries >> Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site -- One of top 5 arcelogical sights in the world --USA Today tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site -- One of top 5 arcelogical sights in the world --USA Today

The Seminole Canyon Story: If you are the type who would like to experience making a direct connection with early human beings who walked this earth thousands of years ago…

…and if you would enjoy seeing some of the colorful artwork that proves the creative ability of people who lived in this area some 7,000 years ago, Seminole Canyon is one of the best parks to visit, anywhere in this part of the world.

Early man first came to the Seminole Canyon area 12,000 years ago, a time when now-extinct species of elephant, camel, bison, and horse roamed the landscape. By 7000 years ago, the region had undergone a climatic change that produced a landscape much like what we see today. A new culture appeared in this changed environment. These people were increasingly dependent on gathering wild plants and hunting small animals and less dependent on hunting big game.

Despite the struggle for survival, some of these prehistoric people found the creative energy to paint numerous pictographs found in rock/cave shelters in this area, several of which are within the Seminole Canyon. One of which, named Fate Bell, contains some of North America's oldest Indian pictographs and is one of the oldest cave dwellings in North America. Another, accessible only by park boat (with special arrangements), is Panther Cave, which is named after a large pictograph of a panther.

Please note: No hiking is allowed in Seminole Canyon without a guide, and tours to the rock shelters must be accompanied by a guide, and are only available at certain times.

Tours: The Fate Bell Shelter Tour is held daily Wednesday through Sunday. From June 1st through August 31st the Fate Bell Tour will be held at 10 a.m. only. From September 1st through May 31st the Fate Bell Shelter Tours will begin at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Fate Bell Shelter Tour involves a fairly-rugged hike to the bottom of the canyon and then up to the shelter.

Campsites & Other Facilities: Facilities include the park interpretive center with wonderful exhibits relating to the history of the canyon area, including large wall paintings, dioramas and sculptures; a restroom with showers; campsites with water; campsites with water and electricity; picnic sites; and 8 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking; and .6 miles of nature/interpretive trails.
Also within the park you’ll find the old road bed for the Southern Pacific transcontinental railroad (the silver spike was driven about 3 miles from the park), and other remnants of the work camp, including a large baking oven.
Wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) is available for park visitors to use.

Location: Seminole Canyon is Located 9 miles west of Comstock on US Highway 90, just east of the Pecos River Bridge.

For additionalvinformation about Seminole Canyon Park and Historic site, please visit:

(Taken from various Texas Parks and Wildlife Department publications)

Please click on thumbnails to view photos in galleries.

Above the canyon
:: Above the canyon ::
Fate Bell shelter
:: Fate Bell shelter ::
In the canyon
:: In the canyon ::
Headquarters/Interpretive Center, and other things to see
:: Headquarters/Interpretive Center, and other things to see ::
Panther Cave and boat trip into canyon
:: Panther Cave and boat trip into canyon ::