Four Corners is the only point in the United States shared by four states. The Four Corners Monument is a unique intersection connects the states of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. The monument is a Navajo Tribal Park and also marks the boundary between the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation.
Four Corners Monument is a great addition to a Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, or Hovenweep National Monument itinerary. It is a popular family stop.
The location of the Four Corners Monument was effectively set by Congress in 1861 as the southwest corner of the Colorado Territory. During the Civil War, Congress acted to form governments or territories in the area to discourage residents from aligning with the Confederacy. After the Civil War, the area was further surveyed to create states from the earlier, disputed territories.
In 1868, E.N. Darling designated the first survey of the boundary line with a sandstone marker. The second survey was completed in 1875 by Chandler Robbins, and the marker was moved to its current location based on geographic coordinates of Shiprock. Survey results were later accepted as the legal boundary when states were established, and the first permanent marker was placed at the site in 1912.
The Navajo government placed a bronze disk at the Four Corners meeting point in 1931. With two words occupying each state, the disk reads, “Four states here meet in freedom under God.” The monument also features the state seal from each of the four states.
In the 1960s, the Navajo Nation assumed custody of the monument. The monument has seen two renovations – rebuilt in 1992, and again in 2010. The disk is inscribed with “1992 Cadastral Survey Bureau of Land Management.” Cadastral refers to a type of survey used to create and mark boundaries and subdivisions of the nation’s public lands.
The Four Corners Monument is open year round and has a small Demonstration Center featuring traditional, handmade Native jewelry, artisan crafts, and tribal food. Craftsmen and artists from the Navajo and Ute tribes are represented at the monument. Native Americans are often happy to talk with visitors about their crafts and jewelry.
Hovenweep National Monument is 45 miles away. Mesa Verde National Park is 50 miles away.
Ample parking and restrooms are available.
Hours: 7 am – 8 pm (June – Sept); 8 am – 4:45 pm (Oct – May)
Fees: $5 per person for those 7 and older.
Directions: Four Corners Monument is about one hour from Bluff (48 miles). Travel east from Bluff on the Mission Road (Highway 162), turning onto Highway 41 in Colorado, and right onto Highway 160. If coming from Monument Valley, travel south on Highway 163 to Kayenta, Arizona. Turn left onto Highway 160. Four Corners is approximately 100 miles from Monument Valley.