With soaring peaks and scenic rivers, Seminole Canyon is a beautiful place for a hike. The area is known for is wonderful camping, biking, and stargazing. But some visitors might not know the history that shaped this West Texas valley.
In the 19th century, the Black Seminole regiment of the U.S Army was stationed in the canyon, which is where it gets its name. The Seminole Scouts, as they were known, were recruited by the army to defend against other native tribes and potential border wars. The regiment was primarily made up of mixed-race troops descended from formerly enslaved people that had joined up with the Seminole tribe of Native Americans. But long before the Black Seminoles, indigenous tribes had inhabited the steep cliffs and caves of the gorge.
Evidence of ancient indigenous habitation is found throughout the area today. Hundreds of pictographs in the Pecos River Style can be seen in the Panther Cave and Fate Bell rock shelters. The paintings and archeological artifacts found in the caves date back to around 7,000 BC and are believed to be some of the oldest in North America. Whether you come to Seminole Canyon for the hiking or the history, it is definitely a humbling experience.
Know Before You Go
The park is nine miles west of Comstock, Texas on US-90, east of the Pecos River Bridge. Hours are 8 a.m to 4:45 p.m. The pictographs require a paid tour ticket to see.