Social and Scenic Confluence
Torrey is eight miles from Capitol Reef National Park’s west entrance. Located at an elevation of 6,800 feet, Torrey offers tourists pleasant summer weather, proximity to canyons, trails and parks, and wholesome small-town fun. The annual Cowboy Music and Poetry Festival and the Big Apple Outdoor Dance Hall are just two of the reasons tourists are attracted to Torrey’s tree-lined streets. With restaurants, a bookstore and café, two art galleries, a general store, gift shops, RV campground and lodging options, Torrey is a convenient gateway town to exploring Capitol Reef Country. Travelers use Torrey as a base camp for exploring rugged Capitol Reef National Park, discovering the red sandstone canyons and aspen forests of Thousand Lake Mountain, and hiking and fishing at Boulder Mountain, located just minutes away. Torrey is also an excellent access point for Utah’s Scenic Byway 12.
History in the making
Thanks in part to the efforts of the Entrada Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes and preserves the natural, historical and cultural heritage in the region, Torrey has become known as “the biggest little city Wayne County.” This small town, population 171, even has three denominations of churches. Torrey has always attracted famous visitors, including Major John Wesley Powell, Butch Cassidy, Zane Grey and Maynard Dixon. Originally settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1880s and called Youngstown, the town was renamed when it got a post office, in honor of Wyoming legislator and Rough Rider Colonel Jay L. Torrey. Today visitors to Torrey can experience pioneer history up close by staying overnight in the renovated 1914 historic brick schoolhouse.