Colorado, Southwest Corner


Southwest corner of Colorado - Montezuma County - Colorado - 4,870 feet

About 39 miles southwest of Cortez, CO, via US-160 and NM-597 (4 Corners Rd).
About 6 miles northeast of Teec Nos Pos, AZ, via US-160 and NM-597 (4 Corners Rd).
paved - road bike

photos by Randy Bishop, 09/28/2013


Flags of the 4 states, the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute Nation.

Four States Meet Here In Freedom Under God.
 

Cadastral Survey marker
 
 

N 36 59 56.2
W 109 02 42.6
Read surveying history, below.

 

Four Corners - A Common Bond
 
 

Colorado
 
 
 

New Mexico
 
 

Arizona
 
 

Utah
 
 

1 mile east of Four Corners
 

looking northeast toward Sleeping Ute Mountain

looking southeast about 25 miles to Ship Rock

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Four Corners - A Common Bond
This is the only place in the United States marking the common corner of four states - Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.
Who established this corner? The four corners monument was established and perpetuated by U.S. Government Surveyors and Astronomers beginning in 1868. Surveyors Darling, Robbins, Reeves and Carpenter surveyed the boundary lines between the states.
In 1899, U.S. Surveyors Hubert Page and James Lentz found the four corners monument disturbed and broken. They marked and set a new stone at the original location. Everett Kimmell, General Land Office, remonumented the Page-Lentz stone with a concrete and brass monument in 1931. The Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs poured a concrete paving block around the Kimmell monument in 1962. In 1992, Cadastral Surveyors Darryl Wilson and Jack Eaves officially remonumented the deteriorating Kimmell marker with an aluminum bronze disc. The structure that you see today was rebuilt by the Bureau of Land Management.
Indian Lands. The four corners area is surrounded by Indian lands. The Navajo Nation lies in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Ute Mountain Ute Nation is located in Colorado.Respect the culture and traditions of the four corners area.

Colorado
Colorado Territory was created in 1861 for its gold, silver and other mineral resources. Its western boundary was designated as 32 degrees of longitude west of the Washington Meridian.
Colorado became a state in 1876. In 1878, U.S. Surveyor Rollin J. Reeves started from the Four Corners Monument and marked a line going north along the boundary of the State of Colorado and the Utah Territory with a team of surveyors using a 66-foot-long chain and a transit/compass made of wood, glass and brass. The original marked line has been upheld in legal challenges over a more technically precise location.
The Four Corners Monument, first set by Chandler Robbins in 1875, has been replaced and upgraded in 1899, 1931, 1962, 1992 and 2010.
Presented by the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

New Mexico
In 1868, U.S. Surveyor Ehud N. Darling surveyed the 37th parallel of latitude to establish the territorial boundary of Colorado and New Mexico. He placed specially marked stones at intervals along the surveyed line that started at the northeast corner of New Mexico and ended 8192 feet west of what is now the Four Corners Monument.
In 1903, U.S. Surveyor Howard B. Carpenter resurveyed the 37th parallel along a technically more precise location, reporting that the new survey line was located significantly north of the line established by Ehud N. Darling in 1868.
Neither a joint resolution of Congress that was vetoed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, nor a lawsuit filed in 1919 succeeded in relocating the established state line as originally monumented by Darling, which had been accepted, recognized and used by citizens and governments as the official state line.
Presented by the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

Arizona
The line separating the territories of New Mexico and Arizona was established as 32 degrees of longitude west of the Washington Meridian by Congressional Act of February 24, 1863, signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
The Washington Meridian bisected the Old Naval Observatory dome at a longitude of 77 degrees 03 minutes, and was the reference longitude for 11 western states until the Greenwich Meridian was adopted in 1912, conveniently designated as zero degrees longitude.
In 1875, U.S. Surveyor Chandler Robbins triangulated from the known latitude and longitude of the Ship Rock, surveyed 11.6 miles west to the desired longitude of 109 degrees 03 minutes, then north to the east-west line previously established by Ehud N. Darling. At that point of intersection, Chandler set a marked stone monument.
Presented by the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

Utah
Prior to surveyors setting the Four Corners Monument, this boundless land was inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans, followed by the Dine, Ute and other indigenous people. Over time, this land was claimed by Spain, taken in the war by Mexico, ceded to the U.S. by treaty and organized into territories.
Mormon settlers declared the Provisional State of Deseret in 1849. The congressional Compromise of 1850 created the territories of Utah and New Mexico, separating the free North from the slave South along the 37th parallel of latitude.
U.S. Surveyor Howard B. Carpenter established the territorial line between Arizona and Utah in 1901, running from West to East, ending the survey at the Four Corners Monument. Today, the Four Corners Monument marks the point where the Navajo Nation, the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, and the States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet in peace.
Presented by the Society of Professional Surveyors.



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2014 Randy Bishop
Last modified: October 13, 2014