On our way out of Cortez, Colorado and into Utah we took the southern route, route 160 to 162 into Utah. When one does this you pass through the Ute Indian Reservation, ending up on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Close by is a very interesting monument.
There really is nothing out there but this monument. The road is totally open and easily drivable with a big rig.
The monument itself is called Four Corners Monument. You may have heard of it. It happens to be the only place where four states intersect at one point. Pretty interesting and since it was only 5 miles or so off our route, we chose to check it out.
Well, it’s exactly like we had thought. Looking at the pictures online and now in person, it really is just a plaque in the middle of a granite pathway where the four corners join together.
So here’s my question. Looking at Google Maps and the Four Corners Monument, it looks like the actual plaque depicting where the four corners meet is wrong. So, is Google Maps wrong or was the monument plaque built slightly off?
It’s actually not a new question. Looking at the Navajo Nation website, the four corners and where they actually meet up have been disputed for over 100 years. According to their measure, the monument is anywhere from 1,800 feet to 2.5 miles off. According to the Director of the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department, the current plaque/marker is correct according to the law that was in effect at the time of the surveys, back in the 1860s. The Four Corners Monument was first surveyed by E. N. Darling in 1868. Darling’s location was marked by a sandstone marker.
In 1868, GPS technology was not available to surveyors. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the current location is the legal location of the Four Corners.
So I guess we’ll take this monument as a true placement of the four corners.
Here’s our video flyover of the Four Corners Monument with a really cool ending. (At least we think so.)
When we left the four corners we headed to Bluff, Utah. What’s in Bluff, Utah you ask? Well, with a town of around 200 people, we weren’t expecting much. There actually was much more than we thought to this sleepy little town.
We stayed at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park, which was right in town. It was totally big rig friendly and the Wi-Fi worked wonderfully, surprisingly enough. Seeing that Bluff is pretty out there and there’s not much surrounding it, we did not have high hopes for Wi-Fi. We actually had better wifi than some larger, more modern rv parks we’ve been to.
Our Site At The Cadillac Ranch RV Park In Bluff, UtahOur Site At The Cadillac Ranch RV Park In Bluff, Utah
I chose Bluff, Utah because it made for a nice base camp for exploring some of the southeastern area of Utah.
One of the things we did not know was in Bluff was a nice museum called Fort Bluff. Located just across the street from the rv park, it was actually a really well done museum.
Bluff was the first Anglo settlement in southeast Utah. Settled by Mormon pioneers seeking to establish a mission on the San Juan River in 1880, the museum has a great display of the early settlement and their struggles.
It depicts how the settlers had carved out the route through the Hole-In-The-Rock, expecting the journey to take 6 weeks; it actually took over 6 months. Historians consider the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition one of the most extraordinary wagon trips ever undertaken in North America and a fine example of pioneer spirit. Many sections of the trail were almost impassable. To allow wagon passage, the men spent 6 weeks blasting and chiseling a path through a narrow 1,200 foot drop in the sandstone cliffs known as the Hole-in-the-Rock, which is still visible at Lake Powell today. As a matter of fact, you can drive part of the Hole-In-The-Rock route that the early pioneers carved out.
What amazed us most about this journey the early pioneers had established was that in that entire time, there was no loss of life.
Protected by a secondary rooftop, the original Barton Cabin may still be seen at the Fort.
A memorial wall has been erected to honor those pioneers that first made that arduous trip across the state and established the town of Bluff.
I highly encourage anyone in the area to visit this museum. It’s actually free of charge, donations accepted, and you gain a lot of knowledge about the area. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit there.
Another feature of Bluff, Utah is the Navajo Twin Rocks. Shadowing the Twin Rocks Cafe and Trading Post, these rock formations symbolize the Navajo Twins of the Navajo creation tradition. The cafe and trading post are nothing special in our minds. Just a touristy place to shop and eat. Of course we tried the cafe and it was average. Nothing spectacular. Then again, you’re in Bluff. This cafe is really the only place around.
Bluff, Utah really surprised us with all there was to do around the area. In another blog post we’ll get into some of the spectacular drives around the area.