Everything you need to know about visiting Four Corners Monument

Posted By Allison on Oct 23, 2012


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Hey there!

Is Four Corners on your bucket list? My husband had especially wanted to visit this special spot for a long time and we made it happen on our Mesa Verde National Park trip!

Four Corners Monument is the only place in the United States where you can stand in four states at the same time. It is the spot where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. Thousands of visitors travel to this remote monument each year to say they have been there and done that. Here is what we learned when we visited Four Corners Monument during Fall Break.

Everything you need to know about Four Corners Monument in the Navajo Nation | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Utah | Arizona | Colorado | New Mexico

It IS in the right place

A few years ago, it was reported in the media that the spot where the four states meet is actually 2.5 miles west of the monument. What!? Who wants to visit Four Corners if it isn’t really Four Corners?

I looked into this to find that the original surveyor, using the best tools available in 1868, missed where the spot should have been by about 1800 feet, not 2.5 miles. The marker was placed and accepted by the U.S. Congress, and from that time forward, the marker has been the legal divider between the four states. So, it doesn’t matter where it should have been, because the marker is legally the exact spot where the four states meet today.

If you’d like to read more about this, check out this kid-friendly article from the Washington Post and a detailed explanation from the National Geodetic Survey, whose report was the one that was misunderstood and misreported in the first place.

It is in the middle of nowhere

That’s not exactly true, because being in four states at once is an impressive number of somewheres. However, fuel, food and lodging are extremely limited within 30+ miles of the monument. There is no running water at Four Corners Monument.

Make sure you have plenty of fuel in your car, cash for your entrance fee, food and drinks, hand sanitizer and extras of whatever else you will need for your trip to Four Corners.

It is owned by the Navajo Nation

The flags of the Navajo and Ute Nations fly side by side with the flags of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona at Four Corners. The Navajo Nation owns these parts of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. The Utes own the southwest corner of Colorado.

Everything you need to know about Four Corners Monument in the Navajo Nation | tipsforfamilytrips.com

Expect to wait your turn

Nearly everyone who visits Four Corners Monument wants to take a photo of themselves standing in all four states at once. The other visitors were considerate about taking turns on the monument and allowing us to get good photos and we tried to do the same for them.

We visited late in the afternoon on a Wednesday in October. I was surprised to find more than half a dozen cars in the parking lot, considering how remote this place is and how few cars we saw on the road. A steady stream of visitors came and went during our visit.

Save time for shopping

Navajo vendors occupy permanent booths that surround the monument. Nearly all of them sell jewelry and other Navajo crafts. Some of them are the artisans and can tell you all about the items. Some of them accept credit cards.

My daughter has wanted a dream catcher for a while, but has always found them to be too expensive for her small allowance in national park gift shops. She was able to choose from a large selection of dream catchers at Four Corners, in a variety of colors, sizes and prices. She settled on a small pink one for $5. She reports having good dreams every night in the week since she bought it.

Fry bread and other refreshments may also be for sale during your visit. Those booths were not operating during our visit, but it looked like they had been earlier in the day.

We do recommend visiting Four Corners Monument if you have the chance. It’s an easy side trip from Mesa Verde National Park. It would also be a good side trip from Arches or Canyonlands National Parks.

Everything you need to know about Four Corners Monument in the Navajo Nation | tipsforfamilytrips.com

Good to Know

Where: Just off of U.S. Highway 160, about 6 miles north of Teec Nos Pos, Arizona.

When:

  • May 1 – Sept 30: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • October 1 – April 30: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

How Much: $5 per person over the age of 6. Ages 6 and younger are free. Cash only.

How Long: 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Amenities: Primitive toilets and picnic tables. Fry bread and souvenirs may be available from vendors.

How else can we help?

Find the best flight – Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas are the nearest major airports to Four Corners. Find the best fares at AirfareWatchdog.com.

Need a rental car? If you are flying in, you WILL need a rental car. This is a road trip! Check rates and availability at Hertz or Dollar Rent-a-Car.

What to pack – For this trip, you’ll need good walking or hiking shoes for the whole family, sunscreen and water bottles. If you don’t already have a good camera, you’ll want one! Buy everything you need at Amazon.com.

 

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Allison
Hi there! I am the founder of Tips for Family Trips. I am a married mom of two children, ages 10 and 12, living near Salt Lake City, Utah. We took our first child on a two-week road trip when she was four weeks old and we have been traveling as a family ever since. We love to get out of the house to see and do fun things, both far away and in our own neighborhood.

89 Comments

  1. I hope to stand in 4 states this summer!!! Thanks so much for the tips!

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  2. visiting that part of the USA is DEFINITELY worth it…however, we drove into this monument and refused to pay the entrance fee so did a U-turn and drove back out the driveway. Everything but the actual photos of being in 4 states can be seen/done much more effectively elsewhere in that part of the country…

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    • So you drove 3 hours from anywhere to save $5.00 a person? Hardly seems worth how cheap you are.

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  3. Update: as of June 8, 2014, the entry fee was $5.00 per person. With a car full of people, that costs more than a National Park. Ridiculous. We turned around, too.

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    • Wow! You drove how many miles to get there and were too cheap to pay $5 bucks a pop to enjoy a fun tourist trap? Sad. Just think of the gas you wasted by not planning ahead!

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      • How is that any concern of yours?

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    • That does seem kind of pricey. You would think that they could charge by the car and maybe a slightly higher price for an RV, but $5/person could add up

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  4. We visited a couple weeks ago and if it hadn’t been so hot we would have stayed longer. The vendors have some very nice reasonably priced items. Also a some had beautiful handmade sterling silver jewelry very reasonably priced. We were only 2 people, don’t think I would have felt the same for a family of 4.

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  5. Thx so much for the useful info. We are planning to go and glad we found your site.

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  6. Heading there next month am so excited the 5 dollar fee does not seem to be bad to go to a magical place as that is cheap price to pay for the energy and experience you will get there.. i would think different if it was more then 3 of us going but am taking My 76 year old mom and my 73 year old Aunt so this will be there once in a lifetime visit even though they were born and raised in Colorado .Guess i am blessed to go there and get the chance to be there with them 🙂 thanks for all your info and thanks everyone else for you comments sure did help alot.. Blessings to all

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    • Yes. I agree. That sounds like you are in a differant level of your life out look. I haven’t been but I would like to and I live in Fl.

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  7. We arrived in the morning on Sept. 12th, It was well worth the stop. I enjoyed talking with the vendors. I enjoyed eating fried bread, too. We bought a sand painting. I thought the prices were great.

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  8. I’m curious what the weather is like in the area during the different seasons. Has anyone visited during winter or spring?

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  9. Can you take a large RV in the parki

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  10. sorry for last post-did not finish.Can you take a large (40 feet) RV in the parking lot or do we need to park it and drive in without it. Is the road paved or gravel going in?

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  11. There is enough room in the parking lot for large rvs. You have to watch where you drive because the parking lot has pot holes and big rocks. We thought the admission fee ($5) was acceptable. All the vendors were fun. Great place to visit!

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    • Thanks for coming back with the information! I’m sure that your experience will be helpful to other travelers.

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  12. can you please tell me what the weather is late February early march. thank you

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    • Temperatures at that time of year are typically in the high 40’s or low 50’s (F). Sun is more common than rain or snow in that part of the country, but the still-winter weather can be unpredictable. You’ll probably also benefit from smaller off-season crowds. You’ll want to keep an eye on the forecast just before you go, but it should be a great time to visit!

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  13. Question: Where is the closest place to set up a tent near Four Corners? I will be arriving on my bicycle in July

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    • We did not camp, so I cannot recommend a specific campground. Cortez, Colorado is about 40 miles away, and that was our base. It has many services, including commercial campgrounds, and is located just outside of Mesa Verde National Park, which also has campgrounds, and should not be missed if you’re in the area. There may be campsites nearer the Four Corners Monument, but the area is quite rural, with limited opportunities to find water. It sounds like you’re planning a great adventure. Good luck!

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  14. Make sure to check their hours before you drive all that way. We got there at 5:23 and it closed at 5:00. Very disappointing. While we were siting there at least 30 other vehicles drove up.

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  15. That would be disappointing! Thank you for this important reminder.

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  16. What is the closest fueling location in miles, from the Monument?

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    • According to Utah.com, the nearest gas station is 6 miles away in Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. The site lists other communities with fuel as well. We traveled to Cortez, Colorado (40 miles away) after visiting Four Corners, and I recall that there is a truck stop in between Four Corners and Cortez.

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  17. Going to 4 Corners, should we fly to Farmington or Durango for accommodations,

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    • We drove from Salt Lake City, and stayed inside Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, Colorado. Cortez is located between Durango and Four Corners, and has a number of hotels to choose from. I highly recommend visiting Mesa Verde if you are in the area. I know that there are other fun things to do in Durango as well, so that will probably be a good choice. I am not as familiar with Farmington, NM.

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  18. Im planning a trip in early August, can anyone tell me how the weather is around that time. Thank you.

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    • Maribel, it is going to be quite hot and dry. I’ve been in the summer a few times and there is no shade and it is very rural. I’ve been there in a rainstorm so it can rain, but I would plan for a lot of heat and direct sun most likely.

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  19. We were in Four Corners at the booths and talked to Betty Slim, 1 of the vendors that is Navajo. My daughter bought a ceramic cat from a booth 2 – 3 down from Bettys. She dropped it as soon as we got home and was heart broken we are trying to find the person who made it and order a new one, If anyone can help. Thank you

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    • I’m so sorry! I hope that someone is able to help connect you with this vendor.

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    • I live close can you email me a picture of this cat and when I go down there I’ll look into it for you.

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  20. Of the four states Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah… which would be the better vacation location to have 4 Corners as part of the itinerary?

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    • It was part of our trip to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, which I highly recommend. You’ll also find two national monuments and the resort town of Durango not too far away from Mesa Verde. However, you’ve got some good options in the other states as well. Arches and Canyonlands in Utah, Monument Valley in Arizona, or the Farmington area of New Mexico.

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  21. I am planning a trip to 4 corners next spring. Would March, April or May be the better time to visit for warm, not hot weather? Would there be any type of flowers in bloom – cactus maybe?

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    • I can’t say for sure, because we visited in October. Based on historic data, April is probably the sweet spot. You’ll likely get pleasant temps just about anytime in the spring. Rain and snow are not unheard of, but not typical either. It’s very dry. You may get lower crowds early in March, and you’ll beat much of the Spring Break travel season.

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  22. What hotels are there around that area on the Arizona side?

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    • I don’t have recent experience with the Arizona side. Kayenta, Arizona is about an hour from Four Corners and has a handful of hotels that serve Monument Valley tourists. I have only visited Kayenta once, many years ago, but recall that it is among the better developed towns in the area for tourists. Farmington, New Mexico may be a good alternative, but I have not visited that city.

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  23. This is not a tourist trap. It is a National Monument. The only place in the USA where 4 states meet and you can be in all 4 at once. I find it totally unique. I am so surprised that some people here got all the way up and refused to pay $5 each to get in. Shame on you. So very cheap. But I bet you dropped plenty of money off in gas to get there. Unbelievable

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  24. I agree, Carol! I have been two times and plan to return this year. All jewelry is authentic, unlike the knock offs found around the west. Beautiful pots and other crafts. Such a unique place with interesting artisans. NOT a tourist trap with cheap foreign made souvenirs. Who would drive all the way out here and let the entrance fee deter them? Yes, unbelievable…..

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  25. I have been wanting to do this for some time now just didn’t have no-one to do it with now i do thanks for letting me know what to expect

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  26. Heading out west in about a month and Four Corners is on our list. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I can’t wait. $5.00 is nothing for a once in a lifetime opportunity! I am coming from Pennsylvania!

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    • It’s definitely a bucket list kind of place, totally worth it for us! Have a wonderful trip!

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  27. Do you know where the “Dark Sky” is near 4-corners? I have heard that there is one there.

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    • Are you talking about stargazing? Four Corners is so remote that you shouldn’t have much trouble with light pollution anywhere around. Natural Bridges National Monument is “Dark Sky Certified.” It’s in the southeast corner of Utah, about 2 hours drive from Four Corners.

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  28. Hi Allison,

    We are staying near Monument Valley just for a night before heading back to Page, AZ the next day this Thanksgiving holiday. Is the Four Corners something we can do within half a day? Like a round-trip to and from Four Corners?

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    • Four Corners is about 2.75 hours drive from Page, Arizona. Monument Valley is about halfway between the two and drive time will vary depending on your starting point (I guessed Kayenta.) It might be a little tight, but you could probably make the trip to Four Corners and back to Page in half a day. Make sure that you have plenty of fuel, water and snacks. The weather will probably be OK, but check the forecast. This area is very remote with few services. It sounds like a fun trip to me. Have fun!

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      • Thanks Allison for your quick reply. One more thing, is the road to and from paved?

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        • Some roads in the area are not paved, but when we traveled from Salt Lake City to Four Corners, it was all paved. I believe that the main highways through Monument Valley and Page, Arizona will all be paved too.

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  29. Thank You mom, you were very helpful, I want to take my daughter sometime this year

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  30. Has anyone ever got married on there and how would they go about it

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  31. You forgot to mention Albuquerque, that is the nearest airport from the Four Corners!

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    • Thanks for letting me know! I have updated that information in the post, and making a note to visit Albuquerque before too long. 🙂

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      • You are very welcome!! 😀

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  32. I read somewhere that the road leading to the Four Corners closes at a certain time because of the remoteness. Any info on that? I can’t seem to find where I read that at. Thank you

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  33. What is the temperature their in march

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    • March typically begins cool and warms up by the end of the month. Average high temperatures range from the high 40s to mid 60s, Fahrenheit. Weather can be unpredictable at this time of year and snow is still possible in March, but sunshine is the norm in this desert destination.

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  34. I’m very glad I came upon your website, particularly the information on 4 Corners. My grandkids live in Colorado Springs and I am planning a road trip this year with them (12 and 8) to Mesa Verde Nat’l Park, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater and 4 Corners and maybe the Grand Canyon. We couldn’t do those stops on our way from Colorado to California last summer (had the dog with us and too hot) and they were quite disappointed. Thank you for the tips….

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    • You are welcome! That sounds like a great trip, and I hope you all have a wonderful time!

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  35. does anyone know if Bicycles are allowed in park and any camping as I am coming through from Page Az Thanks

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    • I can’t say for certain, but I assume that bikes are OK. The fee is simply listed as “per person” and I don’t remember anything about the road or parking lot that would prevent you from riding a bike in. I assume that bikes are not common since this such is an isolated destination. Please plan for a few unpaved roads and take care!

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  36. I know this is mainly regarding Four Corners, of which we’ll be headed to in 3 weeks…but we are avid atv riders, and have spent many a trip from home (western Canada) to the Moab region, usually 3 or 4 couples and RV’s. We’ve researched the area many times, and absolutely love the area, so a big thanks to your site Allison, for helping those of us that care to travel the area. I’ve still not made it to Zion National Park, but will try hard to do so on this upcoming trip! Bryce will be another region we’ll try to see, and often it comes down to whether our RV will fit in the parking lots. Thanks again!

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    • Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m so glad to help and hope you are able to visit Zion and Bryce before long. They are my favorite places on earth, though Moab is a close second. 🙂

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  37. How long was the wait to take your picture at Four Corners

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    • Our wait was pretty short – 5-10 minutes. We visited in mid-October, which is probably not high season. I’m guessing that waits can be longer, but I’d be surprised if they were a lot longer than 15-20 minutes any time. Summers are hot and this is a remote destination.

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    • We were just there June 9th 2017. there was a short line and the wait was very minimal 10 to 15 minutes. the people in line are very patient waiting for everyone to take pictures. Some in line even offer to take pictures for you so that that speeds up the process. all in all it’s a good experience I recommend that you go we loved it and we’ll go back sometime in the future

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    • We were there at noon on June 5, 2017 and we waited about 15 minutes. There is a sign that asks you only take 3 pictures per group so the line can keep moving. Many groups would get their pics and then go get in line again.

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  38. We just visited 4 Corners a week ago. The $5/person was definitely with it. We had a wonderful time seeing the spot where the 4 corners meet up. The vendors were all super nice and so friendly. It was neat when you realized that you were shopping in 4 different states while you were walking around the square of vendor shops. Just so everyone knows – while we were there we noticed that they had a new bathroom building built but it wasn’t open yet. When we asked a vendor about it she said it should be open any time because the water had been ran and hooked up. We waited about 15 minutes to get pictures and we were there around noon in early June. They do have a sign that asks only 3 photos per group to help the line move along. There were several groups that would take their 3 pics and then go get back in line. Definitely worth stopping at and I got to check something off my bucket list!

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  39. I am planning to drive there Wednesday and my mom walks with a walker and has severe asthma, is it a long walk from the parking area to the actual four corner monument that you would stand on for the picture? -Thx Chris AZ

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    • Hi Christine. The walk from the parking lot to the marker is short (a few hundred feet?) and flat. You’ll pass some shops on your way and the marker is in the center.

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  40. Planning a road trip from San Antonio Texas to the Grand Canyon by way of Colorado Springs Colorado and stopping at Four Corners what would you say is the best time to be at the Monument? And would you know how far from the Monument to the Grand Canyon ?

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    • I have only visited Four Corners Monument in late afternoon, and that was an OK time to visit. First thing in the morning is the best time to visit most attractions because it is the least crowded. Summer temperatures will be most pleasant in the morning. According to Google Maps (which is an essential tool in my travel planning) it’s about 4 hours from Four Corners to Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. Sounds like a great trip! Have fun!

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