Politics, Tourism, Utah History

At Four Corners – Needed: Visitor Center, Park

Click to see original imageThe desolate Four Corners – point where corners of four states come together – is a popular spot during the tourist season.

So popular, in fact, that there’s a definite┬áneed for a visitors center and park – a place where persons can find shade and refreshment after the long (and sometimes hot) drive to the unique junction.

Tourist maps advise that the spot is the only one in the United Status where four states touch comers. A visit thus becomes a ”must” for many tourists who visit the general area. It’s nice to be able to tell friends and the grandchildren, “I was there.” And to display pictures of yourselves straddling the intersection of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico to prove it.

In Utah there are visitor centers at such places as Dead Horse Point, the Natural Bridges National Monument, and Arches National Monument.

But at Four Corners – which had considerably more traffic the day the writer was there than any of the above-mentioned parks – facilities add up only to shaded picnic tables and portable comfort stations.

The singular offering at the point, of course, is the large circular cement plaque 20 or so feet in diameter at the exact four corners spot, with the four states divided by inlaid boundary lines. The seal of each state is inlaid just inside the perimeter.

The Utah Tourist Council cooperates with the San Juan Tourist’s Council in sponsoring a mobile home type tourist center at Kayenta, Ariz., the junction of Highways 160 and 163 in the Canyonlands Region, but this is possibly 70 miles from Four Corners. Such cities as Cortez, Blending, and Farmington are all some distance from the point.

A lot of interest is being focused on the area and the Four Corners Regional Commission of which Gov. Calvin L. Rampton is a member has taken steps to spur economic development.

We would assume the commission, with headquarters at Farmington, N.M., is mindful of the need for a visitor facility. With four states cooperating and federal funds possibly available, the project certainly should be within the realm of possibility.

At some park visitor centers, each family is asked to pay a fee. Even a small contribution from each automobile arriving at Four Comers would soon amount to a sizable fund to assist with development and maintenance.

Water may be one of the major problems. If a source can be developed we would like to see a small park established along with whatever building is constructed. This would do a great deal to make Four Corners inviting for visitors and the public and to leave a lasting impression that is pleasant and favorable.