There’s nothing like a road trip through the four corners region! In one loop, you can experience scenic landscapes, visit famous landmarks and monuments, and hike some trails. In addition, you’ll drive through beautiful vistas that showcase colorful rock formations.
While you can go on this road trip any time of year, we suggest going late summer or early fall, once the weather cools down a bit. Plus, you may be able to catch some fall colors!
A road trip through the Four Corners region is amazing adventure with some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. By the end of this trip you will have made it through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, and will end back in Colorado, once again. Your trip will give you the opportunity to see all that the Southwest has to offer, and create lifelong memories.
Fall, Spring, or Summer
To start your four corners rod trip, you’ll first go to Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde National Park is a beautiful and historic park located in southwestern Colorado, USA. The park is known for its well-preserved cliff dwellings, which were built by the Ancestral Pueblo people over 700 years ago. These cliff dwellings are some of the best-preserved examples of ancient architecture in North America, and they offer visitors a unique glimpse into the lives of the people who lived there long ago.
In addition to the cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde National Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife watching. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, and elk.
One of the best ways to experience Mesa Verde National Park is through a ranger-led tour. These tours provide a more in-depth look at the park’s history and architecture, and they allow visitors to access areas of the park that are otherwise off-limits.
Overall, Mesa Verde National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in ancient history, archaeology, or outdoor recreation. With its stunning views, fascinating history, and endless opportunities for adventure, Mesa Verde National Park is truly a national treasure.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic train that runs through the beautiful San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The train travels from Durango to the historic mining town of Silverton, offering stunning views of the rugged mountain landscape along the way.
The train follows the same route that was used to transport gold and silver from the mines to the smelters over a century ago. Today, the train is a popular attraction for visitors to the area, offering a unique and nostalgic way to experience the beauty of the region.
The train offers a variety of train rides, ranging from half-day excursions to full day trips. Some of the most popular trips include the historic steam train ride from Durango to Silverton and the Cascade Canyon Express.
The Durango Train is a unique and memorable way to experience the beauty and history of the San Juan Mountains. Whether you’re a history buff, a train enthusiast, or just looking for a fun and scenic adventure, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a must-see attraction in southwestern Colorado.
Aztec Ruins National Monument is a historic park located in northwestern New Mexico, USA. The park is home to a variety of well-preserved ruins and structures that were built by the ancestral Puebloan people over 900 years ago.
The centerpiece of Aztec Ruins National Monument is the Great Kiva, a large circular structure that was used for religious and ceremonial purposes. Visitors can also explore a number of smaller ruins, including the West Ruin and the Aztec West Great House.
In addition to the ruins, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, and a variety of birds. The Aztec Ruins National Monument also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing.
What’s a Four Corners Road Trip without visiting the the famous Four Corners Monument?
The Four Corners National Monument is a unique park located in the southwestern United States, where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet. The park is home to a granite monument that marks the exact point where the four states intersect, making it the only place in the United States where four states meet at one point.
Visitors can stand in all four states at the same time, taking photos and enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The monument is also home to a number of vendors selling handmade crafts and jewelry.
Monument Valley is a beautiful and iconic landscape located on the border between Arizona and Utah, USA. It is known for its towering sandstone rock formations, which rise up from the desert floor and create a stunning and otherworldly backdrop.
The valley is part of the Navajo Nation, and visitors can explore the area through guided tours led by local Navajo guides. The tours offer a unique and informative way to experience the landscape and learn about Navajo culture and history. You can also take a self-guided tour of the valley with a 17 mile valley drive.
Some of the most famous formations in Monument Valley include the Mittens, Elephant Butte, and the Three Sisters. Visitors can also explore the valley on foot through a number of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
In addition to its natural beauty, Monument Valley has been featured in countless films, television shows, and advertisements, making it an iconic symbol of the American West. Visitors can even stay in one of the many traditional Navajo hogans located throughout the valley.
Overall, Monument Valley is a must-see destination for anyone interested in natural beauty, Native American culture, or the history of the American West. With its stunning rock formations, rich history, and endless opportunities for adventure, Monument Valley is truly a national treasure.
Goosenecks State Park is a small but stunning park located in the southeastern corner of Utah, USA. The park is named for its unique and beautiful natural feature, a series of deep, winding canyons that have been carved out by the San Juan River over millions of years.
Visitors to Goosenecks State Park can enjoy breathtaking views of the canyons from a number of overlooks located throughout the park. The overlooks offer stunning views of the winding river below, as well as the rugged and beautiful landscape that surrounds the park.
With its beautiful canyons, rugged landscape, and endless opportunities for adventure, Goosenecks State Park is truly a hidden gem of the American Southwest.
Moki Dugway is a unique and adventurous route located in southeastern Utah, USA. It is a steep and winding dirt road that ascends the face of Cedar Mesa, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape along the way.
The Moki Dugway was originally built in the 1950s as a way to transport uranium ore from Cedar Mesa to processing plants in nearby towns. Today, it is a popular destination for adventurous travelers looking to explore the rugged beauty of southeastern Utah.
The road climbs over 1,200 feet in just three miles, and features a series of hairpin turns and switchbacks that can be challenging for drivers who are not used to steep and narrow roads. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort, with stunning panoramas of the surrounding canyons and mesas stretching out for miles in every direction.
If you are driving in a large vehicle, like an RV, we suggest skipping this stop and moving on to the Valley of the Gods.
If the Moki Dugway is too difficult of a road to drive on, we suggest visiting the Valley of the Gods as an alternative.
Valley of the Gods is a stunning landscape located in southeastern Utah, USA, known for its towering sandstone formations and beautiful red rock cliffs. This area is much less well-known and far less crowded, making it a perfect destination for those looking for a more peaceful and secluded outdoor experience.
Visitors can explore the area on foot, by car, or on horseback, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The valley features a number of natural formations, including towering buttes, mesas, and spires, as well as a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, and a variety of birds.
The area is also rich in Native American history and culture, and visitors can explore a number of ancient ruins and rock art sites located throughout the valley. Many of these sites are sacred to local tribes, and visitors are asked to treat them with respect and reverence.
Hovenweep National Monument is located on the border between southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado, USA. The park is named for its impressive collection of ancient Puebloan ruins, which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries and offer a glimpse into the daily lives and cultures of the Ancestral Puebloan people who once inhabited the region.
Visitors can explore a number of ancient structures, including towers, kivas, and dwellings, many of which are still standing despite centuries of exposure to the elements. The structures are spread out across the park, and visitors can explore them on a number of hiking trails that wind through the rugged and beautiful landscape.
We recommend hiking the Square Tower loop trail to see Square Tower, Hovenweep Castle, and Hovenweep House. The trail starts at the visitor center, and is about two miles roundtrip.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a unique and expansive park located in southwestern Colorado, USA. The park is home to an impressive collection of ancient Puebloan ruins, as well as a variety of natural features, including canyons, mesas, and desert landscapes.
Visitors can explore a number of ancient structures, including cliff dwellings, kivas, and petroglyphs, many of which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. The structures are spread out across the park, and visitors can explore them on a number of hiking trails.
We suggest taking a short hike down to the Painted Hand Pueblo to see a tower pueblo built on top of a large rock outcropping and assorted ruins. The views of the surrounding landscape are also impressive, including the view of Spirit Rock looming in the far distance.
The last stop on your road trip is the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park is a protected area located in southwestern Colorado, USA, and is owned and operated by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The park is home to a variety of cultural and archaeological sites that are of great significance to the Ute Mountain Ute people and offer visitors a unique and authentic experience.
Visitors to the park can explore a number of ancient structures, including cliff dwellings, kivas, and petroglyphs, many of which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. The full day tour (which we highly recommend) visits four magnificent cliff dwellings. It requires a three-mile walk on unpaved trails and scaling ladders.
The park offers visitors a chance to learn about the tribe’s ancient past and modern way of life, and to experience the natural beauty of the American Southwest. If you’re interested in history, culture, and outdoor recreation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park is definitely worth a visit.