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Visiting the Four Corners National Monument in the USA

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Traveling can be a fantastic experience with many surprises and memories that will last a lifetime. You may not know where to start, so we have some tips for you! Visiting the Four Corners of the United States is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you will never forget.

Check out our blog for more tips on where to go and what to see while traveling in the United States. Suppose you ever plan to visit the Desert Southwest (which you should).

In that case, you can see many sights in the Four Corners area, such as Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Arches National Park in Utah, The Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Red River in New Mexico, and many more.

While you visit the many sites in the area, make sure you take a pit stop at the Four Corners Monument. While it may not be much of a visual sight, the way Bryce Canyon or Zion National Park may be is truly a unique marker.

No other states in the USA touch the border in such a unique fashion! You can simultaneously stand in all four states while treating yourself to beautiful Native American art or delicacies.

As a traveler, you want to see the best sights. The Four Corners monument has been remodeled recently, from a small bronze disk in an otherwise uninteresting landscape to a beautifully manicured tourist attraction and national monument. 

Unique to the Desert Southwest: Four Corners

There are large pedestals with benches set up for tourists to take photos, along with the seals of each state and the inscription “Four States Here Meed In Freedom Under God.”

How to Plan Your Trip to the Four Corners Region

Four Corners offers stunning sites, cultural attractions, and a one-of-a-kind experience, but travel to these locations requires planning. Make sure you know the right etiquette while visiting Native nations.

Respecting tribal land

Sign Welcoming Visitors To The Four Corners Monument Area

When visiting a Native American tribe, remember the present and the past. Learn about Navajo people and respect them while following proper procedures such as keeping open areas.

Please do not enter anything marked as closed or restricted. Keep clear of things, animals, trees, and other objects. The Navajos are hospitable; respect is important to the Navajo people, so please be obedient and humble.

AspectDetailsTips
Transportation– Driving (personal vehicle or rental car)
– Guided tours from nearby towns
Take U.S. Highway 160 from Durango, CO or U.S. Highway 191 from Shiprock, NM for scenic drives
Accommodation– Hotels/motels in nearby towns like Cortez, CO or Kayenta, AZ
– Price range: $50-$150 per night
– Camping at nearby Navajo Nation parks
Stay in Cortez for proximity to Mesa Verde National Park and other attractions
Dining– Local Navajo restaurants and food trucks
– Classic American diners and fast food chains
Try Navajo tacos and fry bread from local eateries
Shopping– Native American art and jewelry vendors at the monument
– Gift shops in nearby towns
Look for authentic Navajo and Hopi crafts and artwork

See Related: Family Vacation Spots in the World

Tips for Visiting the Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument intersection of Arizona Utah Colorado and New Mexico famous US travel landmark
Zack Frank / Adobe Stock

The Four Corners Monument is a much more tourist-friendly destination, with a newly built visitor center, a picnic area, and a gift shop. The Navajo Nation also has a stand where you can tour with a Navajo guide.

When visiting the Four Corners Monument, you can hire a Navajo guide. These guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the area and can answer any questions.

They can also help you plan your trip to maximize your time in the region. Hiring a Navajo guide is a great way to learn about the area, and they can also help you plan your trip so you make the most of your time in Four Corners.

If hiring a guide is not an option, consider visiting the Four Corners Monument Visitor Center. The visitor center has exhibits that will give you insights into the history of this southwestern region of the United States.

See Related: Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico

How to Get There

Four Corners Monument Map

It is only accessible by automobile. Salt Lake City International, Las Vegas McCarran, Phoenix Sky Harbor, and Denver Airport are the nearest major airports. Because Four Corners is so far from the airport, visiting it to look at it is impossible.

Nonetheless, many rent a car and go to Four Corners along with the Monument Valley tour.

Weather

Flags On The Four Corners Monument

The area is around 5,000 feet above water level and offers hot summer months, mild shoulder seasons, and even snow. The seasons are different.

Ensure you have adequate water and sun protection and prepare for changes, including cold weather and thunderstorms, wherever you go. For further information, please visit Utah’s weather website.

Four Corners Region managed by the Navajo Nation

Typical Navajo Indian Reservation Desert Scene

The flags of the Navajo and Ute Nations, two Native American tribes in the southwestern United States, are displayed in four corners with Utah’s flags. The Navajos borders Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Southwest Colorado is home to the Utes. Adults pay $5 per person, while children under seven are free.

Children from the age of 6 to 18 can visit for free. There are no restrictions on who may enter. National Park Passes are available for $80 per person per year, covering all national parks in the United States and Canada.

Some markers on the ground also show where the corners are. Don’t worry if you have difficulty finding it; many people can help direct you.

See Related: The Most Haunted Hotel in Colorado

Travel Tips for Visiting Four Corners National Monument

Visitors at Four Corners Monument with clear skies.
SVDPhoto / Adobe Stock

You should know these things when visiting the only place in the United States where four states come together.

It’s in the middle of nowhere.

Airplane On Standby At SkyWest Airlines

The Four Corners is located in a remote area and is only accessible by automobile. Salt Lake City International, Las Vegas McCarran, Phoenix Sky Harbor, and Denver Airport are the nearest major airports.

Because Four Corners is so far from the airport, visiting it to see it is impossible. Ensure you stop by the small visitor center to learn more and snap a photo of all four states simultaneously.

See Related: Cheap Things to Do in Las Vegas

While the monument is remote, there are plenty of great close attractions

View Of Monument Valley

While remote, the Four Corner’s gateway communities make it an excellent place for excursions. Many great close attractions and national parks are located within the Four Corners area, including the Monument Valley tour, which can be enjoyed while visiting the monument.

The area is also around 5,000 feet above water level and offers hot summer months, mild shoulder seasons, and even snow.

The Navajo Nation manages the site. They have set up a few small exhibits with information about nearby sights, such as Mesa Verde National Park, about an hour away, home to cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people.

See Related: Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona

Save time for shopping

Four Corners Monument
image by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Surrounding the Four Corners region are new permanent structures for Native American artisans to set up to showcase their wares.

There are Navajo vendors who have permanent displays around the monument’s grounds. They sell handcrafted items and jewelry. Some artisans know a lot about the thing, while others do not. The majority of Four Corners retailers accept credit cards.

You can purchase handmade sand art, photography, jewelry, food, and stickers to commemorate your experience. There are also public restrooms and beautiful views of the surrounding desert landscape.

See Related: Most Beautiful & Best Vacations in the U.S.

Ancient Rock Art & Ruins

A Chaco Canyon Ruin's Side

New Mexico is home to some of the planet’s most well-known ancient cultural sites, including Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Mesa Verde National Park.

Chaco Culture National Historic Park is located in northern New Mexico near Farmington, while Mesa Verde National Park is in southern Colorado.

Expect to wait your turn.

Four Corners Monument marker, coordinates in Southwest USA.
oscity / Adobe Stock

If you visit Four Corners and want to take a picture, be prepared to wait your turn. Nearly everyone who visits will take photos in each of the four states simultaneously. Other people will kindly ask you to see the monument for the photo shoot and let you take pictures. That is what they did, too. The signs say that you are only allowed to take three photos.

That’s how we’ve been moving. Usually, someone behind you will take pictures of your family if required. I noticed how few people were at Four Corners in the past few visits.

The place is a lot less packed. We waited about 10 minutes for our pictures both times and stayed for random lengths, prepared to wait our turn if we visited Four Corners.

Nearly everyone who visits will take photos in each of the four states simultaneously. Other people will kindly ask you to see the monument for the photo shoot and let you take pictures.

Try local Navajo cuisine.

Grandma's Frybread Shack at The Four Corners Monument

There are local food vendors and native cultures located right at the monument that offers delicious cuisine for visitors. The frybread is a must-try and is often served with traditional stews or chili. Keep in mind that Navajo food is generally spicy, so be prepared for a flavor explosion/

Navajo tacos are necessary while visiting the monument or within the Four Corners area.

See Related: White Water Rafting in America

Things to Do Near Four Corners Monument

The desert’s lifeless, bleak environment is reflected in the contrasts between it and its surroundings. However, don’t be fooled. The Four Corners area is home to some of the best national parks in America and the best Navajo tribal parks.

The following are some great things to do near and within the Four Corners area:

Monument Valley

Monument Valley Kayenta Arizona

Monument Valley is located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation and is managed by the Navajo Tribal Park Service. The valley is known for its red sandstone buttes, mesas, and spires, which rise majestically from the desert floor. It was formed by erosion and is one of the most photographed places in the United States.

It was formed by erosion and is one of the most photographed places in the United States.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park Green River Overlook

Canyonlands National Park is in southeastern Utah and divided into three districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, and The Maze.

The Island in the Sky District is the most popular and is closest to the park’s entrance. It offers expansive views of Canyonlands National Park and Thousand Lake Mountain.

Capitol Reef National Park

Part of southern Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Thousand Lake Mountain is a 12,023-foot peak in the heart of the San Juan Mountains and Capitol Reef National Park. It is named for the over 1,000 alpine lakes that dot its flanks.

The easiest route to the summit is via the 4th class west ridge, accessed from Lake City, Colorado. Thousand Lake Mountain can be climbed year-round, but the best times are from late May to early October.

Grand Canyon National Park

Sunset Over The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is located in the northwestern part of Arizona and is one of the most popular parks in the United States. The park was first established as a national monument in 1908 and was designated as a national park in 1919.

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend On A Shady Day

While in the Four Corners region, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Horseshoe Bend. It is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near Page in Northern Arizona. The view from Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed scenes in Arizona.

The distance from the Anasazi Heritage Center to Horseshoe Bend is about 1.5 miles and is a simple trek. It can be hiked year-round, but the best time to visit is from March to November. Be sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen, as the trail has little shade.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon in Arizona
Antelope Canyon Is Home To One Of Nature’s Most Wondrous Creations

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon located in Navajo County, Arizona. It is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the United States. The canyon was formed by water erosion of the soft sandstone on the windy slopes of the Page Butte Fault.

The canyon is divided into Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. It’s one of the most well-known Navajo Nation parks and is worth visiting.

Is Four Corners National Monument Worth Visiting?

Four Corners Monument with flags against blue sky, landmark at intersection of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado.
tang90246 / Adobe Stock

The Four Corners may not be the most beautiful attraction in the Desert Southwest, but it is still exciting and a unique landmark. It’s worth a trip once or twice if you plan to travel to the area or live in one of the surrounding states.

FAQ

What 4 states meet together?

Four Corners Monument intersection of Arizona Utah Colorado and New Mexico famous US travel landmark

Four Corners Monument combines Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. This is the first country in which four states are simultaneously.

Where are the Four Corners located in the United States?

The Four Corners region is in southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, northeast Arizona, and northwestern Mexico.

Where are the 4 corners in the U.S.?

The Four Corners is a national monument in the Southwest U.S. based mainly in the southwestern corner of Colorado, the southeastern corner of Utah, the Northeast corner of Arizona, and the Northwestern corner of New Mexico.

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