Skip to Main Content

Big bow-legged cowboy.

Tex, Scary Giant Cowboy

Field review by the editors.

Conlen, Texas

On every carefully planned road trip, the Roadside Team invariably ends up facing one day packed near-to-bursting with impossible attractions and miles that must be covered.

At the height of summer, daylight can hang on beyond 9 pm, illuminating just one more vital attraction or monument. So, perhaps, we pencil in a few too many stops, one too many 80-mile detours, and too much long, featureless driving.

One August, that sequence happened on Trip Day 5, which began in Carlsbad, NM and ended about 1:30 am three states away. Was it a mistake descending 700 feet in an elevator in Carlsbad Caverns, or backtracking through the mountains to pinpoint the Flying Paperboy of the Guadalupes? Was the detour to the Miracle Tortilla worth it? Was it smart to linger in Roswell to find every alien photo op?

We think so, as you'll read in our reports. One unexpected reward along the tail end of Day 5 -- this hitherto undocumented "Big Tex" statue, which loomed out of the blackness as we sped through the Panhandle crossroads of Conlen, Texas. One of us revived from a bleary stupor in the co-pilot chair and stuttered "s-s-s-statue.... STATUE!!"

Monster looms out of the darkness.

Or did we dream it?

No, we did not. In the light of day, the cowboy is less terrifying, but still weirdly distorted. He's about 20 ft. tall, with a supporting back-brace to keep him from crashing over in high winds.

It's the most bow-legged giant cowboy that we've seen.

The cowboy's origins: he dates at least back to the 1950s, when he was the bow-legged entryway into the Cowboy Cafe in Dalhart, Texas, which promoted a "free museum" along with a souvenir shop.

Tex, Scary Giant Cowboy

4614 US 54, Conlen, TX
Jct of US Hwy 54 and Hwy 807, south side of US Hwy 54.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Bomb in the SidewalkBomb in the Sidewalk, Boise City, OK - 37 mi.
Cimarron Heritage CenterCimarron Heritage Center, Boise City, OK - 38 mi.
Tin WoodsmanTin Woodsman, Boise City, OK - 38 mi.
In the region:
Floating Mesa, Amarillo, TX - 67 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Texas

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Texas.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Texas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum, Gibsland, Louisiana (May 20-26, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings