Texas Pecos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


The Southern Pacific Railroad built through Terrell County in 1882, and an ex-soldier and saloon keeper named Charlie Wilson established today’s Sanderson at a division point. When Judge Roy Bean (the Law West of the Pecos) tried to open a new saloon here, Wilson spiked his whiskey barrels with kerosene. The rowdy frontier town became known as “Too Mean For Roy Bean.”  A friendlier Sanderson is now known as the “Cactus Capitol of Texas” because of its scenic location at the confluence of three ecological zones. Whether you arrive by car or Amtrak rail, make your first stop at the new Terrell County Visitor Center. Learn about area attractions such as Big Bend National Park. A walking-driving tour map leads you to 50 local sites--including a cactus garden, an outdoor art gallery painted on limestone monoliths, the 1906 Mediterranean-style Terrell County Courthouse and the 1907 cottage of W.H. and Luella Lemons. The Lemons cottage houses the Terrell County Memorial Museum which retells Lemons family and county history through original furnishings and memorabilia. The nearby Cactus Capital Hiking and Nature Trail wanders through native flora and offers a grand view of the town, creek and canyon...all named Sanderson.