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The Four Corners Monument: Intersection Of The States

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Where is the only place in the United States where four states join together at one point? At The Four Corners Monument on land belonging to the Navajo Nation. Come aboard and find out which Southwest states meet here and why this special area draws thousands of visitors every year.

Meeting Of The States

There is only one place in the entire United States where four states intersect at one point. Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico all meet at the Four Corners Monument established by the federal government and maintained by both the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. government.

How To Find It

Traveling to the monument by car or truck, it may seem like you are on the wrong road to get there, as it is located in remote Navajo Nation lands. Enjoy the rock outcroppings and other natural geographic sites, as you travel through the real west. The closest town is the small community of Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. With about 700 residents, it is 6 miles southwest of the monument. Check out the over 100-year old Teec Nos Pos Trading Post in an area known for its rugs, silver, turquoise and other Navajo artworks. After visiting the monument, enjoy the other sites the Navajo Nation has to offer, such as the famous Shiprock Peak (New Mexico), seen in hundreds of photographs and movies.

Once There

After you have braved the remote roads, once at the monument you will find the monument marker, a Visitor's Center with Navajo art demonstrations, local food vendors and sales of handmade jewelry and other craft items. The first marker was of sandstone, then cement in 1912, but in 1992 the U.S. government put in a fancy granite and brass marker to delineate the spot. Picnic tables and self-contained toilets are available.

Intersection Truths

Recently there has been some controversy over the actual meeting point of the four corners, but the monument holds true. Original surveys in the late 1800s did not take into account differences in meridians due to older survey technology. A 1925 a U.S. Supreme Court decision established the monument as the correct legal location, as do each of the four states.

What To Bring

With few amenities in this remote area, bring plenty of water, snacks, and toiletries such as hand wipes. Make sure the gas tank is full and your vehicle is maintained. Even in the winter, the high-altitude sun packs a punch in the afternoon. Summertime can be brutally hot and the vehicle gets warm, even with air conditioning. Drinks lots of water, take tons of photos and enjoy the high-country desert. Above all, bring an ability to understand and respect the Navajo culture and religion.

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