A Local’s Guide to an Autumn Recharge in South-Central Utah

Sitting at an elevation of 6,800 feet, Torrey is an idyllic town in south-central Utah known for its proximity to Capitol Reef National Park. Its scenery — backed by rose-colored cliffs and green meadows — and abundant access to outdoor recreation make it an ideal destination to redefine what a wellness getaway looks like this fall.

Where To Stay

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The recently renovated Red Sands Hotel & Spa offers similar amenities to luxury accommodations but without the fuss. Located three miles from Capitol Reef National Park, the property boasts 60 well-appointed rooms, a pool and hot tub, an outdoor patio with fire pits, an on-site restaurant, a stargazing deck and a yoga room. The state-of-the-art spa is complete with a private copper soaking tub and a tranquil meditation room designed to blend into its natural desert surroundings. For the fitness and mindfulness enthusiast, the fall yoga and meditation class schedule can be found here. Red Sands serves as a balanced starting point to Torrey’s various outdoor adventures with the promise of a Zen-like home to return to.

What To Do

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For an unforgettable experience, book an adventure with Get In The Wild, the wilderness education and adventure travel company offering canyoneering, hiking, photography and multi-day adventures all throughout southern Utah. Its popular Yoga In The Wild sector is a must for those looking to combine yoga and hiking in Capitol Reef National Park. For the adrenaline junkie, the Goblin’s Lair Canyoneering Adventure is both rewarding and fit for all, despite the initial daunt of repelling into a 90-foot canyon. Get In The Wild’s lead guides are Wilderness First Responder certified and expert facilitators in taking any and all bodies to off-the-beaten-path spots in nature.

Torrey was named an International Dark Sky Community in 2018 thanks to the town coming together to eliminate light pollution and strengthen its already close relationship with the natural world. Stargazing is a perfect way to bookend an activity-filled day.

Where to Eat + Drink

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If anything from this guide, make sure to enjoy a meal at Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm in Boulder, Utah, located about an hour from Torrey. Now in its 23rd season after celebrating its selection as a 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant, this iconic spot was brought to life by chef-owners Jen Castle and Blake Spalding. The duo is renowned for successfully bringing their concept of a deeply rooted, ethical, locally based destination restaurant in one of the nation’s most remote towns to life. Their food emphasizes regional cuisine by using locally produced ingredients, especially from the restaurant’s organic farm.

The residents of Torrey give the quaint town its enticing pulse. Eateries like Hunt & Gather, Sweetgrass Coffee House, The Wild Rabbit Café, The Garden Patch and Etta Place Cider put this region’s food and drink scene on the map with not only their quality and deliciousness but palpable passion for the work. Plus, these spots are vegan-friendly, giving even more of a reason to visit.

Photo courtesy of Visit Utah

Located in the heart of red rock country, south-central Utah offers an endless playground to hike and see fall foliage. Before Capitol Reef became a National Park, it was home to a variety of different cultures and peoples for thousands of years, which can be hinted at in the surrounding canyons and valleys. The wild landscapes and upbeat energy make it a destination worth returning to again and again. Like Christopher Hagedorn, founder of Get In The Wild, put it, “While I may never have set foot on the Moon or Mars, I have, however, stepped foot in south-central Utah.”

Learn more at visitutah.com.

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