Southwestern History

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Four Corners Region

The Four Corners region is a quadripoint area in the United States where the boundaries are formed by the four states of the nation. These four states, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, all meet in one single geographic spot known as Four Corners Monument where they are bounded by two straight lines that form a cross and four right angles. It is the sole U.S. location where four of the nation’s states meet..

Background

The story behind the establishment of the Four Corners region can be traced back to that time when the U.S. Army defeated and invaded Mexico in the 1846 Mexican-American War. Following the ratification of the Guadalupe y Hidalgo treaty, the U.S. gained control of a number of states such as Utah, Nevada, California, including portions of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming.

In 1868, the U.S. Government Surveyors and Astronomers had surveyed the Four Corners prior to Colorado’s preparation for statehood and its admission into the Union. The move demarcated the southern boundary line of Colorado. Ten years later, the west boundary of New Mexico and eastern boundary of Utah were surveyed and added. When the boundary of the Arizona territory was added in the demarcation, the Four Corners region became officially established.

Four Corners Monument

The first survey monument was a sandstone marker which was erected in 1899. Later, it was replaced with a cement and small metal marker in 1912. In 1922, the monument further evolved to a copper disc found within a surface made of granite material. New improvements were achieved in 2010 when two intersecting lines were created which went through the disc center to mark the boundaries. These were accompanied by the state seal of all the states that comprise the Four Corners region.

Native American Tribes

Apart from setting the boundaries of four U.S. states, the Four Corners also created the distinct boundaries between two Native American tribes that include the Ute Mountain Ute and the Navajo Nation. The latter preserves the monument as an important tourist attraction.

How To Get There

The Four Corners monument can be accessed solely by car or by a tour bus. One possible route includes taking the U.S. 191 from the western part of Bluff, Utah going through the Navajo Nation in order to get to U.S. 160. Another route is by going from Bluff on S.R. 162 to reach Colorado then to 160.

Places Nearby

Places NearbyGetting at the Four Corners region can be a truly satisfying experience knowing that you have successfully set your foott at four different U.S. states. Moreover, there are a number of interesting places nearby that are also worth seeing. These include:

1. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
2. National Bridges National Monument
3. Canyonlands National Park
4. Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Lake Powell


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