The Lincoln Highway in Basin and Range – Day Trip from S. L. C. Part 3

Orr’s Ranch

It is mentioned in every guidebook. It was a “must stop” near the eastern edge of the Salt Lake Desert because it was the last opportunity for gasoline and supplies before heading west on the Goodyear Cutoff. One came to Orr’s Ranch whether traveling south down Skull Valley on the 1913 road or west from Fisher Pass after 1919. Orr’s Ranch is here – ( 40° 18.002’N 112° 44.049’W) for you gps fans.

Perhaps because of all the mentions it received over the years, it has something of a “shrine” status on the Lincoln Highway, a place of pilgrimage if you will. If it was a “must stop” in the early days, it is now a “really shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see it” place, as Denny Gibson points out in his comment below.

Click the map to enlarge.

“Excellent ranch meals and lodging. Drinking water, radiator water. L. H. Local Consul, Hamilton Orr.”  – The Complete and Official Road Guide of the Lincoln Highway 1916

Also noted in the Guide was this, when discussing the route west to Fish Springs: “Some difficulties may encountered on this part of the road. If traveling in wet weather advice should be sought at Orr’s before making the start.” Fish Springs is a “whole ‘nuther” story.

The following photographs I took in May 2012 show the ranch little changed from the early days.

Orr’s Ranch


Old Buildings

The ranch was in the Orr Family at least as late as 2005. It is now listed as “Orr’s Ranch LLC”. Do stop by if you get the opportunity.

As always, travel wisely,


Next Up: Fisher Pass, the 1919 shortcut.

This entry was posted in Desert, Lincoln Highway, Salt Lake Desert, Skull Valley, Utah. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Lincoln Highway in Basin and Range – Day Trip from S. L. C. Part 3

  1. dennyg says:

    Love the picture with the fence. Closer pictures that show details are nice and even necessary but we often forget that the setting for this sort of place is part of its significance.

    It’s also important to note the difference between a “must stop” in a 2012 guidebook and one from 1916. In 2012 in means “you will miss seeing something”; In 1916 in meant “you’ll be sorry”.

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