Standing on Four States at Four Corners Monument
Heading over to the Four Corners Monument and standing on four states at one time is one of those goofy things that I have wanted to do; but because it is located in such a remote area, I never had the chance to do so — and I have already been to all 50 states for years now.
Standing on Four States at Four Corners Monument
I was not expecting to pass the Four Corners monument; but weather conditions on the route with which I was originally going to take convinced me to change my loose plans — and that is when the opportunity presented itself to me.
After staying overnight in Alamosa — which is located in central southern Colorado — I drove the 231 miles of United States Highway 160 west to a place where little else exists.
Only one road intersects with United States Highway 160 during its short length of 0.9 miles in New Mexico between Colorado and Arizona — and that is New Mexico State Highway 597, which is basically the entrance of Four Corners National Monument.
Four Corners Monument is operated by Navaho Nation Parks and Recreation and not by the National Park Service of the United States; so any park passes — such as the Lifetime Senior Pass — is not valid here.
General admission to enter the Four Corners Monument area is five dollars per person. You can pay at this booth upon entering; or you can pay the fee in advance. General admission passes are valid for four consecutive days of entry into the park — starting on your selected arrival date.
This is the view from the entrance of Four Corners Monument, which is the only place in the United States where four states intersect at one point: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.
This plaque explains how the Four Corners Monument was originally established in 1868. The original marker erected in 1912 was a simple cement pad, but has since been redone in 1992 in granite and brass, with the actual marker created as a disc from aluminum and bronze.
There is a limit of three photographs at the point where the four states — New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado — meet…
…but on the day which I visited, no more than 15 visitors in total were at the Four Corners Monument; so the limit was not enforced.
Each person does something a little bit differently to ensure that he or she is on four states at the same time. This person put each arm and each leg in each state while lying down on the ground.
The center disc is where the corners of each of the four states meet.
This photograph shows the aluminum and bronze disc designating the exact point of where the corners of the four states meet.
I simply stood on all four states at the same time — nothing fancy.
This is the flag of the state of New Mexico.
A view of the New Mexico side.
The great seal of New Mexico is displayed.
Engraved in this block is information about the surveying of New Mexico.
This is the flag of the state of Arizona.
A view of the Arizona side.
The great seal of Arizona is displayed.
Engraved in this block is information about the surveying of Arizona.
This is the flag of the state of Utah.
A view of the Utah side.
The great seal of Utah is displayed.
Engraved in this block is information about the surveying of Utah.
This is the flag of the state of Colorado.
A view of the Colorado side.
The great seal of Colorado is displayed.
Engraved in this block is information about the surveying of Colorado.
This is the flag of the Navaho Nation, which was adopted on Tuesday, May 21, 1968.
Not much exists outside of the Four Corners Monument — but the land is considered sacred by members of the Navajo Nation.
Plenty of seating is available — as well as platforms from which people can view where the corners of four states meet.
Many booths of vendors of the Navajo Nation were empty on the day when I arrived during the off season; but some were still occupied. Navajo vendors typically sell handmade jewelry, crafts and traditional Navajo foods nearby.
The main rest room area was closed due to construction.
However, these portable toilets were not the temporary replacements. I believe that these are for the vendors and employees at Four Corners Monument.
Rather, these two structures are the temporary rest rooms.
No running water is available at the Four Corners Monument — which is why hand sanitizers were available. Not all of them worked, however.
I was in disbelief when I read this sign. Why would anyone want to disperse cremation ash here…
…or ride their motorcycles or skateboards on the monument plaza. Are people really that thoughtless?!?
This sign alone would be enough to re-ignite the service animal and emotional support animal debate.
This is a trash can? Really?!?
Okay — in all fairness, I suppose that someone could confuse this receptacle with one designated for recyclable materials or other uses.
One more person poses on the intersection of four state corners as I turn to leave.
Rock climbing is not permitted on Navajo Nation land. Please abide by the humble religious requests of the Navajo people and do not climb the monuments. “Navajo law will be strictly enforced on this issue,” according to the Parks Department Manager.
All areas on the Navajo Nation are closed to non-Navajos unless you have a valid pass or permit issued by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department or other delegated tribal authority. Failure to have a permit is considered trespassing on a federal Indian reservation.
I personally am glad I visited the Four Corners Monument — especially as it was unexpectedly on my way west — but not everyone will feel that way.
The visitor center is open all year round and features a demonstration center with Navajo artisans. Picnic tables are available. Services and accommodations are very limited to small cafés, grocery stores and self-service gasoline stations within a radius of 30 miles.
You should have plenty of water, food, snacks, hand wipes and extra toiletries when visiting, as the area is very remote. No running water, no electricity, and no telephones are available. I could not even have a text sent from my mobile telephone at the time I visited and stood where the four state corners intersect.
Other that limited opportunities to learn about the Navajo Nation and its indigenous people, the only reason to visit here is to be in four states simultaneously — and achieving that distinction is not of interest to everyone. Even if it is of interest to you, consider visiting here only as part of visiting a region which has other natural parks and monuments; or if it happens to be on your way to somewhere else. Do not consider this site as a destination to which you should travel a long way.
Four Corners Monument
P.O. Box 861
Teec Nos Pos, Arizona 86514
firstname.lastname@example.org — e-mail address of the manager of the park
Four Corners Monument is located at United States Highway 160 and New Mexico State Highway 597 approximately six miles north of Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. Information and permits can be obtained for San Juan River and Four Corners area.
The Navajo Nation honors Daylight Savings Time; and the hours of operation are 8:00 in the morning through 4:45 in the afternoon, seven days per week. Four Corners monument is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
General Admission Passes are valid for 4 consecutive days of entry into the park starting on your selected arrival date.
General admission passes cost $5.00 per person; while commercial passes are based on seating capacity of the vehicle as follows:
- $35.00 for 1-6 passengers — an additional $6.00 each
- $100.00 for 7-15 passengers
- $125.00 for 16-25 passengers
- $300.00 for 26 or more passengers
All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.