About Our Tours
The Witte Museum is proud to offer you access to its Rock Art Foundation White Shaman Preserve, named for the Foundation as donors.
In addition to weekly (every Saturday) tours to White Shaman, the Witte Museum also offers seasonal guided tours to numerous additional prehistoric and historic sites throughout the Lower Pecos region of West Texas. These tours are only possible through the kind cooperation and generosity of various landowners. The Witte firmly supports their rights as private landowners, who act as fabulous stewards for these irreplaceable archaeological treasures. With trust and friendship, they have offered their properties on these limited dates as a truly unique experience. Witte Museum members will receive discounted tickets to all Witte Museum Rock Art Foundation guided tours.
THE WHITE SHAMAN PRESERVE
Tours are available September thru May every Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Reservations are required and limited
Participants must be ages 12 & up, all minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
Respect for Archaeological Sites and Rock Art:
The Witte Museum is proud to be a conservation steward of the White Shaman Preserve, a nationally recognized historic site. As an elite accredited museum with the American Alliance of Museums, we have the highest standards to uphold. The use of open flame or smudging or smoking of any kind in the shelter is not allowed under any circumstances.
The White Shaman Preserve is a sacred site. Requests for ceremonial use of the White Shaman Preserve must be submitted in writing to the Witte Museum. Approval of requests will be weighed against the risk to the site, human safety and museum resources. Availability to White Shaman Preserve is limited, so any request must be scheduled in advance.
Reservations and Cancellations:
All Witte tours must be paid in advance to ensure your reservation. Only those paid in advance are guaranteed a place on the tour. Cancellations must be made a minimum of 10 days prior to the tour to receive a full refund. Cancellations made after the 10 day minimum are non-refundable. Tours may be cancelled due to weather conditions, extreme heat/cold, limited participation, road conditions, lake/river levels, etc. Requests for private tours must be submitted in writing to email@example.com.
Photography, Video and Electronic Devices:
Photographs or video taken on the property of the White Shaman Preserve of the Witte Museum are for personal use only. All requests to reproduce images for research, exhibition, publication, or distribution must be submitted to the Registrar’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Private Ranch Tours
|December 4, 2021||Bonfire Shelter Eagle Cave Tour||Register|
|September 4, 2021||Meyers Spring Tour||Register|
Please register online by following the links above.
Join the Witte Museum Rock Art Foundation for a tour of one of the most remarkable and well-photographed rock art sites in the Lower Pecos. The White Shaman panel’s meaning and the techniques used to create it have been the subject of intense scholarly research and many publications. It is one of the most spectacular surviving examples, for example, of the use of rare white paint.
More information on this fascinating, truly one-of-a-kind archeological site can be found in the ground-breaking book, Painters in Prehistory: Archeology and Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, by Witte Museum Curator of Archeology Dr. Harry Shafer (Trinity University Press, 2013) and The White Shaman Mural by Dr. Carolyn Boyd (University of Texas Press, 2016). These books are both available for purchase at the Witte Museum.
Be prepared for a prompt departure from the gate at 12:30 p.m. The tour should be complete by 2:00 p.m. The tour is about two miles round trip. The hike requires climbing numerous stairs and steep grades with loose rocks. Participants must be in good physical condition.
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 round-trip is approx. 1.5 miles this is a strenuous hike. Tour takes approximately 90 minutes.
Here is a brief video to give you a sense of the difficulty of the hike: White Shaman Hike Video
SEASONAL TOURS TO OTHER SITES
Reservations are required and limited
Participants must be ages 12 & up, all minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Desert tours are not recommended for anyone with walking or balance issues. We will be in isolated locations where a response to a medical emergency or injury will be difficult and lengthy. The Guide in charge of each tour will evaluate each individual’s ability to participate in the tour and may limit participation accordingly.
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 round-trip.
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.
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.
Fate Bell, Shelter
For a complete listing of Seminole Canyon State Park events, not by the Witte Museum, please click here
Fate Bell tours are offered at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. 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.
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