Four Corners
Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado
May 18, 2006


Four Corners is where four states - Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah - come together, the only such point in the United States. An attractive monument has been built to show where the state lines meet. Thus, it's possible to be a tacky tourist in four states simultaneously.

This was my third visit. I had been here in 1993 and again in 1994 with my brother. You actually enter from the New Mexico quadrant, and pay a fee for the honor. Three-quarters of the land is on the Navajo Nation, the Colorado quadrant is on the Ute Nation. The area is lined by simple swap-meet style structures where the locals sell their jewelry and other items. The surrounding lands are fairly pretty. It's high desert with distant mountains and nearby canyons. We lucked out and didn't have to pay any entrance fees. We spent maybe just 10 minutes there. There's only so much excitement one can have standing in four states at once. (Update 2010: There is some development going on here, so the nature of the monument may change pretty soon)

Our visit came at the end of a long but enjoyable day, which began in Gallup, New Mexico. We drove up through the Chuska Mountains and visited Roof Butte. Then, later, a visit to the massive Shiprock. From there we had lunch in Shiprock the town, then worked our way to Four Corners. We set some sort of record for ourselves to day: we crossed 15 state line boundaries. From Gallup to Window Rock was one (NM to AZ), then from there through the Chuskas and into Shiprock was three more (AZ to NM, NM to AZ, AZ to NM). From Shiprock to Four Corners was two more (NM to AZ, AZ to NM). Then Four Corners. We did one circuit for the hell of it, then another on the far perimeter looking for benchmarks. That's eight crossings there. Finally, back in NM, we crossed into Colorado and spent the night at the Tawaoc Casino. Granted, some of the crossings were contrived, but even then, we had a lot of state-line crossings. The worst part was having to reset our watches every time.

Actually, the real four-corner boundary is a bit east of where the marker is set, if you go by the latest datums. These little details should not distract you from the joy of being in four states at once, or thinking you are in four states at once. You could get creative and create a game of "twister" using the states instead of colors. Anyone born before 1985 will get this reference.

Photos (Click to Enlarge)

Beth on the corners.

The flags of the four states.

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(c) 2006, 2010 Scott Surgent.