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Is The Four Corners Site Inaccurate

Family Camping with Overlanding Trailer Part 1: Angel Peak, Shiprock, 4 Corners Monument

By: Author The Drivin’& Vibin’ Team

Home » Is the Four Corners Site Inaccurate?

There are only so many places where you can be in four states at once, and Four Corners is one such spot.

Found in the Southwest, this gorgeous area includes nearby mountains, sand dunes, rivers, and forests to explore. So, where is it ?

Read on to discover more about the Four Corners Monument and its local area.

Lets go!

Contact La Mesa Rv Park Today

Theres so much to do in Southwestern Colorado. So make your reservation today with La Mesa RV Park! Were open year round, so any time is a good time to visit the Mesa Verde and Four Corners region!

Dont forget to mention our website special during 2022. Stay one night, and get the second night 25% off. Yes, were repeating ourselves, but were thrilled to be part of the National Parks community, and we really want to make sure you get everything out of your visit while staying in Cortez Colorado!

We hope to see you in our campground this year, and join the countless number of guests who make La Mesa their southwest Colorado destination year after year!

Where Are The Four Corners Located

In the arid desert region near the San Juan River, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah all come together in one place. Before the United States existed, the four corners region was home to the Anasazi. From 200 BCE to 1500 CE, they dominated trade in the area between native tribes. You can still see where they settled in the mountains surrounding the region.

When the Spanish invaders came in the 1500s, new diseases decimated the local tribes. The Anasazi disappeared. The four corners region became part of colonial Mexico until their independence from Spain in 1821. After 1848, this region became part of the United States. It was part of what the US won from Mexico in the Mexican-American War.

As the Civil War raged from 1861 to 1865, the US government decided to divide the New Mexico Territory. Congress created the Arizona Territory from the western region of New Mexico Territory in 1863. In 1875, the government tasked surveyor Chandler Robbins with surveying the boundaries of Arizona and New Mexico Territories.

Congress usually followed latitude and longitudinal lines when drawing state boundaries. For the four corners region, they simply continued the border of Colorado south. When Chandler Robbins went out to survey, he was given the coordinates for what became Four Corners.

He was to place a marker at 109°3 minutes west, which he did to the best of his ability. More on that later.

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How Far Off Is The Marker

Because of the lower technology available when the government initially laid the boundaries, the debate didnt arise until the early 20th century. The original borders were supposed to follow the lines of the meridian precisely.

New Mexico sued Colorado in 1919, and the case went to the Supreme Court. In 1925, they ruled that the border should follow the faulty markings. This is why the state borders are not perfectly straight.

The exact location of the marker was supposed to be at exactly 109° 3 minutes west. The surveyor, Chandler Robbins, used the best technology available at the time to do just that. Later controversy came from the fact that people assumed he was supposed to place it at just 109°. He did as ordered, but the argument doesnt rest there.

Some thought the monument was 2.5 miles east of its intended position. In fact, its only around 1800 feet west of the intended location. However, the monument does lie in the exact spot it marks at the intersection of the four states.

It could be assumed. since all four states agree that it does what it says, the monument is exactly where its supposed to be. But, science/math may disagree.

Mesa Verde National Park Colorado

Monument Valley majestic, Four Corners commercial

The largest cliff dwelling in North America, Mesa Verdes Cliff Palace is housed in an alcove about 215 feet wide, 90 feet deep and 60 feet high. It was home to an estimated 100-120 people. Above the cliff overhang, on the surface of the mesa, is a red soil called loess. Spring windstorms bring this fertile soil from northeastern Arizona providing an environment that can support plants, including four types of wildflowers found nowhere else in the world. Mesa Verde means green table.

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Ice Caves El Malpais National Conservation Area Grants Nm

There Are Countless Campsite Activities To Enjoy

Because the Four Corners and the surrounding areas are part of the Navajo Nation, youll be car camping in a sovereign, self-run state. What this means to each person might be different, but ultimately, campers can expect to learn a lot just by visiting here. Its vibrant in Native American culture, and beyond sightseeing the monuments, theres plenty more to do. Adrenaline-seeking campers will enjoy the outdoor activities offered, from boating and fishing to biking, jogging, hiking, and much, much more.

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Crow Canyon Archaelogical Center

Montezuma County, CO

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a 170-acre experiential education research center for students and adults. Crow Canyon is a center for archaeological research, education, and preservation of the history of the Ancient Pueblo peoples, who lived on and in the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde more than seven centuries ago.

Tico Time River Rv Resort

Four Corners National Monument & Where to Stay in Your RV (505) 327-1671

Aztec, NM

One of the most unique spots in the Four Corners region, is a 74 acre playground where the mountains meet the beach. Enjoy some laid back recreation like SUP or disc golf, or kick it into high gear with bungee jumping, ziplining, or the Tarzan swing. The activities are endless and the event calendar is jam packed.

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The 14 Most Mindblowing Spots In The Four Corners Region Of The Us

Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico are the states that make up the Four Corners. Culturally, the region is a combination of Mexican, Mormon, Navajo, Hopi, Ute, and Zuni ancestry. It is a part of the Colorado Plateau, a geological formation responsible for much of the snow and rainfall over the central United States. Citizens of the United States, particularly in this region, have free access to dozens of natural areas. Heres a preview of all the places to explore in the Southwest. Go to the National Park Service Website or join the travelstoke app to discover information about the region.

Canyonlands National Park Utah

One of the majestic landscapes youll see from the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands NP is at the Green River Overlook. Among the sights along the skyline is Cleopatras Chair, a sandstone formation in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Far below youll see the White Rim Road, a 100-mile backcountry four-wheel-drive wilderness road.

Described as wild America, Canyonlands consists of three vast, rocky wilderness sections known as The Needles, The Maze and Island in the Sky. Each region is separated from the others by two powerful rivers, the Green and the Colorado, whose waters combine in the park creating some of the countrys most treacherous whitewater.

Visit The Needles section, and youll be treated to a magnificent scenic drive as turn after turn you gaze upon towering red-rock cliffs. Stop the motorhome at Newspaper Rock to see a cliff wall filled with fascinating petroglyphs created by several ancient cultures and thats just the road going to the park. In the park youll see so much more, including The Needles, colorful red and white sandstone spires hundreds of feet high. The Maze features four-wheel-drive roads and primitive hiking its one of the nations most remote areas.

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Groups Reunions And Weddings

  • Groups Welcome: Club. Corporate. Reunion. Weddings. Elopements. Youth group with adult leaders. Retreat.
  • Group Meeting Area: Indoor room and outdoor area.
  • Maximum # of Day-Use Guests in Indoor Meeting Room: 25
  • Maximum # of Day-Use Guests in COVERED Outdoor Picnic Area: 25
  • Maximum # of Day-Use Guests in Outdoor Open Picnic Area: 250
  • Maximum # of Lodging Guests with a Group: 125
  • Maximum # of Camping Sites with a Group: 65
  • Your Host will Cater or Arrange Meals with Advance Arrangements: Yes
  • Your Host will Provide Wedding Planning Help: Yes

Old Hundred Gold Mine

Four Corners

Silverton, CO

The Old Hundred Golf Mine is a unique tour that takes you through the hear of the Galena mountains. The secret world of a gold miner is a unique experience that can only be seen through this guided tour. Reservations are not needed, so you can just show up and take a tour! The whole family can enjoy riding a mine train, panning for gold, and more.

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Embrace Desert Landscapes At These 5 Monument Valley Camping Destinations

Monument Valley is a designated Navajo Tribal Park, a 30,000-acre expanse within the larger 16-million-acre Navajo Reservation. The land in Monument Valley is sacred and historic, documenting centuries of land treaties, negotiations and pain. Most of the hikes in the park are only available through guides with extensive knowledge about the park and its history.

Fees to access the park are $20.00 per vehicle, or $10 per person if entering by foot or bike. Access to the scenic route opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 8:30 p.m. during high season and 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm in the off season .

Even though Monument Valley might be off the beaten path, its well worth the detour. And with five campgrounds in Monument Valley, youll be able to find a spot to call home as you explore and adventure in this wild, sacred land.

Prepare for your next adventure by downloading maps.The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service.

Why Go Car Camping In The Four Corners States The Scenery Is Breathtaking

Sure, car camping in the Four Corners States is what you make of it. But, we would like to think that the campground you decide to stay at can really make or break your overall experience. And, that campground better be in a place thats worthy of you stepping out of your comfort zone, especially in the desert.

The Four Corners Region is a unique car camping area for many reasons. For one, its quite far from everything. Sure, plenty of tourists come to see the monument, but youll have a little more of your own space at the campgrounds nearby. No matter where you build your campsite here, youll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery. We are talking desert landscapes, open blue skies, wide buttes, and a side of America youve never seen before.

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Grand Canyon National Park North Rim Az

Canyon De Chelly National Monument

Camping & Exploring Mesa Verde National Park and Four Corners

One of the Southwests most fascinating national monuments, Canyon de Chelly lies in the heart of the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona. With its spectacular, sheer-walled canyons and numerous Ancestral Puebloan dwellings nestled at the base of towering cliffs or perched in shallow caves, this national monument offers breathtaking views like that of a smaller Grand Canyon and has a rich cultural history that spans more than 4,000 years.

The monument was established in 1931 and unlike nearly all other National Park System units, the U.S. government does not own the land within the boundaries of the park. The management of the park is carried out jointly by the Navajo Nation and the Park Service. Members of the Navajo community continue to live in the canyon, raising crops, tending flocks of sheep and cultivating peach orchards.

Canyon de Chelly was the site where the Navajo made their last stand against Kit Carson, a U.S. Army colonel who was leading a command against the Navajo people in 1864. The confrontation ended in the largest Native American surrender in history and led to the Long Walk of the Navajo, where nearly 8,000 people were taken captive and forced to relocate nearly 400 miles to the Bosque Redondo reservation near Ft. Sumner in modern-day New Mexico. Eventually, the 1868 Treaty of Bosque Redondo allowed the Navajo people to return to their homeland.

Where to Begin

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Overnight Excursion To Attractions In The Four Corners States

Depending on how much youve thought about your trip to the Four Corners states, you may or may not have realized that Farmington is uniquely positioned as a great home base for your trips to the surrounding areas. Well be happy to help coordinate your comings and goings as you experience the magic that the Four Corners has to offer.

This is an economical and fun way to see the area and many of the surrounding monuments and sites can accommodate your RV.

When you return to Sundowner, well be waiting for you with full service hookups, 50 amp service to power all of your appliances, big spaces with concrete aprons so you can use your slide outs if you have them and wireless internet so you can relax and surf the internet.

Well be happy to help you. Just give us a call at 327-1671 to check availability for your next trip to the Four Corners States.

Sundowner Mobile Home & RV Park

219 Airport Drive

Four Corners Gem Show

Durango, CO

Each year the Four Corners Gem and Mineral Club hosts one of the largest shows in Southwest Colorado and the Four Corners region. Their Gem & Mineral Show at the La Plata County Fairgrounds features kids activities, a variety of classes, and displays of rare gems, minerals, and fossils. Be there or be a tetrahedrite!

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Arches National Park Utah

Living up to its name, this park has the largest concentration of natural stone arches in the world. Containing more than 2,000 arches, the parks longest arch is the impressive Landscape Arch. Imagine a professional football field from goal line to goal line this arch would cover it with room to spare. Why are there so many arches? Geologists believe part of the reason is an ancient seabed left an unstable underground salt bed thousands of feet thick. The shifting salt layer, in conjunction with a fault and the forces of erosion, created a plethora of arches and other unique features. Theres Balanced Rock, the enormous 3,577-ton boulder precariously balanced on a rock base 128 feet high. There are sandstone fins, spires and gigantic monoliths. You can see part of the largest dune field in the history of North America at Petrified Dunes Viewpoint. As you admire the extraordinary sights, dont miss those at your feet. Biological soil crusts are living groundcover that are critical to desert life. They help prevent soil erosion and can contain one of the oldest known life forms, cyanobacteria, along with some unexpected plants in a desert environment fungi and moss. Watch for potholes! Not in the park roads, but in the sandstone. Potholes filled with rainwater are home to tiny creatures, including minute crustaceans known as fairy shrimp.

Discover The Best Free Camping Across The Usa


To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America .

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, youre contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!

Well send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA . Access the list by submitting your email below:

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

Went there as a kid in 1969. It was an open site with no entrance fee. Went there years later with my own kids, fenced in and closed for the day. Tourist trap controlled by the locals.

Rick L

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

Yes, I was there with a buddy in 1975. At the time, there wasn’t anything there except the road leading to it and encircling the marker. It was pretty neat being there all by ourselves in the desert with nothing but the sound of the wind. No buildings or entrance fee.

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But This Area Will Do

While its great that there are so many vast options nearby, the Four Corners Monument has its own campgrounds. Start at Oljato or Mexican Hat. The sights available when camping in the Four Corners States are just as exciting as those offered in each of the four states. Home to more than 25 campgrounds and RV parks, youll have more than enough space to build your cozy campsite.

Arizona Canyon De Chelly National Monument

This ravine sprawls out from the town of Chinle into a wilderness that has been continuously inhabited by Indigenous peoples for 5,000 years. The park ensures the respect of its residents by having visitors accompany a guide into the depths of the canyon. This is so you dont end up in someones backyard, petting a goat that will probably chomp your fingers.

Guides provide cultural and historical insight, the skinny on the canyons most special and hidden areas, and exceptional company. Horseback riding, jeeping, and backpacking promise for a special experience in this natural network.

For a trail to hike on your own, dont miss the White House Trail. Ranger Guided tours are also free and can be scheduled at the visitor center.

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