"The capital little gateway to Capitol Reef" Torrey by goodfish

Torrey Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 35 photos

After three days in Hanksville, Torrey almost felt like we'd arrived in the big city. Almost. Let's just say it had over double the amount of restaurants (which to Hanksville's grand total of three ain't saying much) and quadruple the motels. It even had something resembling shopping. Heck, you could even get a beer or a glass of wine with dinner at a couple of places: mighty civilized, that.

They say it was named after Jay L. Torrey: a Wyoming legislator whose brainchild was putting together three voluntary calvary regiments of cowboys and cattlemen to aid the Spanish-American War effort. One of those regiments - the infamous Rough Riders - was commanded by young Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Roosevelt who later took full command of the unit and went on to become the 26th President of the United States. He also got his face on Mt. Rushmore and signed into law the Antiquities Act of 1908 through which many of our national parks and monuments were created.

All of which has nothing at all to do with Torrey - except that it sits smack on the edge of a national park.

Capitol Reef was the last of Utah's "Big Five" we'd yet to explore so it was time to cross it off the list: mission accomplished. We also took a day to do what was rumored to be one of the most scenic drives in the U.S. (it was) with 2 nice hikes along the way. In between, we ate well and hung out with a bunch of cheerful bikers at the motel plus some of the 150 or so locals - pretty much all of whom are employed in the tourism biz. Or at a church. Yep, they have a few of those to keep the resident flock on the straight and narrow although without a "real" bar in sight (when we were there) I don't imagine that's too tough. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy a post-hike libation, I read that a new bar and grill has opened on Main Street that's nirvana for thirsty trekkers: alleluia to that.

All-in-all a good place to hang a hat in one pretty remote corner of Utah, and awfully nice folks.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful scenery, lots of motels, decent amount of restaurants
  • Cons:What else do you need?
  • Last visit to Torrey: Sep 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (2)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    A great looking little town -- with decent restaurants, no less.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jan 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Surprising, eh? That's good 'cause other than hiking and other outdoor activities, eating is about all there is to do in that neck of the woods!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Fabulous opening shot! I can't believe I'm the first to discover this great little page when it's been sitting here for several years ;-) Nor can I believe we missed seeing Torrey when in Utah years ago, as it looks just like our sort of place

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jan 20, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      Awww, thank you, Sarah!
      So now you have an excuse to go back to Utah?not that you need one, of course? :O)


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