Outside Capitol Reef National Park

The best home base for exploring Capitol Reef, the pretty town of Torrey, just west of the park, has lots of personality. Giant old cottonwood trees make it a shady, cool place to stay, and the townspeople are friendly and accommodating. A little farther west on Highway 24, tiny Teasdale is a charming settlement cradled in a cove of the Aquarius Plateau. The homes look out onto brilliantly colored cliffs and green fields. Quiet Bicknell lies another few miles west of Torrey. The Wayne County seat of Loa, 10 miles west of Torrey, was settled by pioneers in the 1870s. If you head south from Torrey instead of west, you can take a spectacular 32-mile drive along Highway 12 (see the Bryce Canyon National Park chapter for more details) to Boulder, a town so remote that its mail was carried on horseback until 1940. Nearby is Anasazi State Park. In the opposite direction, 51 miles east, Hanksville is a place to stop for food and fuel—the small wayside en route to Moab also has a couple of decent budget motels.

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Fodor's Utah: with Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands National Parks

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