THE WORST MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION IN THE UNITED STATES – FOUR CORNERS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Four Corners is the place where 4 states meet at 1 point: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. This is the only place in the United States where 4 states touch at 1 point. Four Corners is marked by a plaque on the ground where quite literally¬† ‘X marks the spot.’ Unfortunately, that’s all there is at Four Corners. There is nothing else there. Nothing. Just an ‘X’ on the ground. The surrounding landscape is a featureless desert. Four Corners National Monument should not be confused with Monument Valley, 100 miles away. Monument Valley has spectacular scenery. John Ford filmed many famous Westerns in Monument Valley. Nobody makes movies at Four Corners. Four Corners National Monument is a 5 hour drive from Albuquerque, the nearest big city. I know a number of people who have gone to Four Corners. I know one couple who spent their honeymoon driving from San Francisco to Four Corners and then back home. They drove for 3 days to get there, looked at at the ‘X’ on the ground, and then spent 3 more days driving back to San Francisco. A lot of people drive to Four Corners from faraway places. Four Corners National Monument is visited by over 400,000 people a year, but I can’t figure out why they go there. The U.S. Park Service charges $5 per person to look at the ‘X’ on the ground, which is all there is to do at Four Corners, just look at an ‘X’ on the ground. There’s nothing else there aside from a few picnic tables and a souvenir stand. There is no running water or electricity at Four Corners National Monument, there’s no cell phone or internet service, and there’s nothing for kids to do. There’s no umbrellas or shade over the picnic tables, and the temperature in summer can be over 120 degrees.

To top it all off, the ‘X’ on the ground is in the wrong place. The location of the ‘X’ was based on a survey conducted in 1875; however, in 2009, a new and more accurate survey of the site showed that the place where the 4 states come together is actually about 1,800 feet away from the ‘X’. Rather than incur the cost of moving the entire monument and the road, the 4 states agreed to just leave the marker and surrounding concrete circle where it is – in the wrong place. So – in addition to everything else that makes this my choice for worst major tourist attraction in the U.S. – it is also in the wrong place. A lot of people who go to Four Corners from faraway places already knew before they left home that Four Corners Monument is in the wrong place and that there is nothing to do there, but they went there anyway. Can you explain to me why 400,000 people go to this place every year? I don’t get it. Have you gone there?

2 thoughts on “THE WORST MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION IN THE UNITED STATES – FOUR CORNERS NATIONAL MONUMENT

  1. I remember reading about Four Corners in a Babysitters Club book when I was a kid. That particular book was about a road trip that the babysitters took with each other and their parents. One character wanted to put one foot and hand in each state and then wave to their home state. Of course, as they waved, they were no longer in four states at once. I asked my parents to take me there when we visited Albuquerque when I was in the third grade so I could do the same thing. Their answer was a resounding “No.”

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