Colorado Plateau Photo Odyssey 17: Four Corners & Lake Powell

Four Corners SP13-15

The drive in the San Juan Mountains, explicated in my previous post, constituted the farthest point from home that I had travelled on my Colorado Plateau Odyssey. Indeed, by going into the San Juans I had strayed from the Colorado Plateau and driven into the heart of the Rockies. But it was now time to make the long trek home. The first jog of the homeward trip involved traversing from Cortez in southwestern Colorado to Zion National Park in southwestern Utah, a journey of 331 miles. The trip would take me past the Four Corners (where the borders of four states meet), beneath Monument Valley, past Glenn Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, and through the southern portion of Grand Staircase Escalante-National Monument. On a map, the route looks like this:

My first stop was at the Four Corner Monument, with is run by the Navajo Tribe. They charge three dollars to see the monument. Here we find the only place in the United States where the borders of four states meet. Other than that, there really isn’t much to see here. The scenery in the immediate Four Corners area is rather of the desert drab variety:

The Four Corners looks like this:

Closer we have markings of where the state lines actually persist:

It is not that difficult to stand in all four states at the same time:

The Four Corners Monument is run by the Navajo tribe. They have set the place up as a kind of tourist-trap/tribal market. The Four Corners monument is surrounded by four wings containing stalls where various items are sold. I arrived before any of the stalls were open for business; but there were sellers setting up shop for the day ahead.

Next I headed off toward Page, Arizona via Kayenta. This route took me south of Monument Valley. The scenery, to be entirely truthful, was not quite up to the level of Monument Valley, just to the north:

Nor was Kayenta all that impressive:

As I came closer Page, the scenery improved:

Nearby Page, we find Lake Powell and Glenn Canyon Dam, both impressive in their own right:

At one of the overlooks I ran across the following sign, which is entirely self-explanatory:

Between Lake Powell and Zion one must traverse the southern end of Grand Staircase Escalante-National Monument. Here’s a few quick snaps: