PAINTED CANYON. Painted Canyon, also known as Shumla Canyon, is a valley with an intermittent stream. It begins in southwestern Val Verde County (at 29°50' N, 101°29' W) and runs southeast for five miles to a point (at 29°40' N, 101°26' W) on the Pecos River, at Shumla Bend two miles northeast of the Southern Pacific tracks. Painted Canyon is a rugged and winding valley that sharply dissects flat terrain underlaid by massive limestone. The local soils are generally dark, calcareous stony clays and clay loams; local vegetation includes oaks, junipers, grasses, and mesquites. The canyon was named for the prehistoric art painted on its limestone walls. About 6,000 years ago prehistoric peoples lived in the many rockshelters and caves along the canyon walls. They left behind burial sites, cave art, implements, caches of seeds, and bits of clothing. Modern settlement of the area was aided by the building of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio line during the 1880s. The railroad built its tracks from both the east and the west, and when the two tracks joined near Painted Canyon on January 12, 1883, a golden spike was ceremoniously driven to anchor them.