#TravelingTalleys visit the Four Corners and Monument Valley #TalleyYourAdventure #FourCorners #MonumentValley #NavajoNation

Only a few hours from Page is an area in the Colorado Plateau region where the boundaries of four states meet and are marked ironically with the title Four Corners Monument. Clinton and I have visited this area two times to date – once in 2011 when we were working in Bullfrog, and in 2019 working here in Page. What a journey it has been! The Four Corners is mainly a tourist destination to mark the southwestern corner of Colorado, the southeastern corner of Utah, northeastern corner of Arizona, and the northwestern corner of New Mexico. Most of the region belongs to Native American nations such as Navajo Nation, but also including Hopi, Ute, and Zuni. Depending on the time of year, it is either $5 or $10 per person to enter Four Corners and be aware that the road is basically a dirt road, including the parking lot. They do a good job of keeping it maintained but there aren’t any markings on the dirt so be aware of vehicles around you. The actual “four corners” is a circle with a X in the middle marking each state. Four platforms (one in each state!) allow someone to take a picture from above to get each state and the person in the shot. Be aware: There will probably be a line but it may not be too bad. We’ve gone in the off season and during the busy season and each time we rarely waited longer than 5 minutes. Maybe we were lucky, but we also don’t deal with people who cut the line. Mostly we like the amazing fry bread you can purchase from the vendors who are only a few yards away from the “four corners” (they make it with honey, sugar, or cinnamon – YUM!) and the jewelry vendors. Usually I buy something handmade and enjoy some fry bread before hitting the road again. Take the diversion if you are in the area. It’s a nice place to visit and have a snack!

Driving further into Navajo Nation you’ll eventually stumble upon Monument Valley – though you should probably just add it to your bucket list now! From Page it is about three hours away by car and is an amazing drive. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to time it for sunrise, sunset, or middle of the day. We’ve driven it through different times of the year and day and it is breathtaking each time. First you start to see the monuments in the distance. As you get closer and closer the definition starts to show and you see the individual monuments for all their glory. Visiting the monument will put you back $20 for a vehicle with four people ($6 each additional passenger) but I think it’s worth the money. The first time we visited we don’t remember having the ability to drive the loop through the monuments, but the last time we actually went through the loop and got closer to the monuments than we did before! There is a visitor center with a restaurant and gift shop, plus a lovely viewpoint to see the monuments. The loop is a bit rough, at least for us in our Honda Accord, so be aware of what is going on and the time of year. I’m not sure what type of situation you’d be in if it was during monsoon season. Each time we visited it was no big deal and we always had a good time at the visitor center. It didn’t seem to change much between 2011 and 2018 but nonetheless it was a spectacular view. If you don’t want to actually visit the visitor center you can take 163 from Page to Mexican Hat and drive right by the monuments and still get an amazing view. There are tons of visitors regardless of your decision so be patient and watch for those who might not understand American rules of the road. Share the road as well! Hitchhiking is common as is randomly pulling over to take a picture of the view…even if there isn’t a pull off. Don’t tailgate and follow the speed limit. During dusk, be aware that people might be walking in the road and they might not have anything on to indicate it. We’ve never had a problem but we focus as a team when we drive through the area near and at night because of the normal “tourist” pattern we’ve discovered through our travels this past year. 🙂 

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