While it may be just over three hours north of Zion, Capitol Reef National Park feels as though it’s a world apart. The hustle and bustle of Zion and Springdale, Utah, with their crowds and traffic, are a far cry from Capitol Reef and its own gateway town, Torrey, Utah. Here, you’ll enjoy equally stunning views, challenging hiking trails, and more, along with the tranquility you want when exploring a national park.
Torrey, Utah is a destination for outdoor lovers, those looking to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, families, couples, and more. Though it may not be as busy as Zion, it has no less to offer in terms of hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
Planning a visit to Cougar Ridge? We’ve compiled an insider’s guide to Torrey Utah to help you plan your trip. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about exploring Capitol Reef, checking out Torrey’s unique attractions, and more.
Exploring Capitol Reef National Park
Torrey’s primary attraction is no doubt the beautiful national park located just next door. Torrey, Utah is located at the primary entrance to Capitol Reef National Park.
While it may not be as talked about as Zion or Arches National Park, Capitol Reef is no less popular. It was among the four Utah national parks that broke visitation numbers in 2021 and continues to grow increasingly popular with every passing year.
Capitol Reef’s primary natural attraction is the Waterpocket Fold. This geologic wrinkle extends more than 100 miles across Utah, including directly through the heart of Capitol Reef. This fold has exposed layers of rocks formed over millions of years and created stunning formations that rise in the middle of the park.
In Capitol Reef, you can enjoy hiking, scenic drives, horseback riding, and more. Looking to elevate your visit with an excursion or tour? Our team at Cougar Ridge can help you book a variety of off-site activities during your stay.
Torrey Utah’s Unique Attractions
In addition to Capitol Reef National Park offering hiking trails and views that rival Zion, the park also offers some unique attractions for guests to enjoy.
How to Visit Rock Imagery in Torrey
One of Torrey, Utah, and Capitol Reef’s most unique and popular attractions is its rock imagery. Torrey Utah rock imagery is some of the best preserved and accessible rock art in all of Southern Utah.
If you want to visit the Capitol Reef petroglyphs, head to Highway 24, about 1.5 miles east of the Visitor Center. Here, you can walk two raised boardwalks that lead to rock drawings made by the Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan tribes between 300 and 1300 CE.
Before your visit, make sure you review what you need to know about how to visit rock imagery in Torrey safely and respectfully. Vandalism and time have taken a toll on the rock drawings. It’s up to today’s visitors to make sure that these incredible works of art are preserved for future generations.
Fruit Picking in Capitol Reef
Another of Torrey’s most unique attractions is the fruit orchards. What makes these unique is that they are located in Capitol Reef National Park. These historic orchards are a part of a farm that was once located here. Visitors can pick apples, pears, peaches, and more seasonally. This might just be the only national park in the nation that offers fruit picking!
Choosing Southern Utah Hotels
While Torrey, Utah may be far less crowded than Springdale, this doesn’t mean that it has any less to offer in terms of tourist services. This includes some of the best Southern Utah hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals.
Cougar Ridge offers a blend of luxurious resort amenities and the perks of a unique vacation rental property. The Grand Lodge is a sandstone masterpiece, complete with four stunning Master Suites, two full-service kitchens, a variety of lounge and living areas, as well as incredible extras like a bowling alley, spa, multiple hot tubs, an outdoor dining area, and more.
For couples, solo travelers, or families, our Villas offer two bedrooms, a living space, and private patios. No matter where you stay, you’ll still enjoy Cougar Ridge’s many on-site amenities, like our resident farm animals, Bonfire Parties, and complimentary breakfasts.
Restaurants in Torrey UT
At Cougar Ridge, guests have a variety of private catering options, from multi-course meals to a simple backyard BBQ. But there are also plenty of restaurants in Torrey UT, just a short drive away.
An Insider’s Guide to Torrey UT wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few of the town’s best dining options.
Hunt & Gather has been recognized by Salt Lake Tribune as one of the “10 Restaurants born amid the pandemic to celebrate in 2021.” The menu features slow-cooked meals made from locally-sourced ingredients, including wild game, fish, stone fruits, and more. Everything is made in-house, from their delicious sauces to their smoked and cured meats.
Wild Rabbit Cafe is a great spot to grab a quick, tasty breakfast or lunch, and get your caffeine fix for the day. You can also drive through Dark Sky Coffee to grab a drink and a snack on your way to Capitol Reef in the morning. Those looking for a classic cowboy meal should head to Broken Spur Steakhouse after a long day in the park.
Putting the Insider’s Guide to Torrey Utah to Work
This insider’s guide to Torrey Utah can help you plan the perfect visit. Whether you’re planning to spend your time exploring all that Capitol Reef National Park has to offer, want to relax at beautiful Cougar Ridge, or a mixture of the two, this guide is a great place to start.
The next thing you’ll want to do is book your choice of Southern Utah hotels. Cougar Ridge offers the perfect basecamp for your Torrey Utah adventure. With a variety of accommodation options to choose from, there’s something for every traveler and group.
Right now, when you book a stay of two or more nights, you’ll enjoy 40 percent off your stay! This special is only available until March 31, 2023, so book today to take advantage of this amazing deal!