The Four Corners area -- where the borders of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet -- is a major U.S. archaeological center. A vast complex of ancient villages dominated this entire region a thousand years ago. Among the red-brown rocks, abandoned canyons, and flat mesas lies another world, once ruled by the Ancestral Puebloans (also known as the Anasazi) and today largely the domain of the Navajo.
Wander among the scenic splendors of Monument Valley, where Navajo people tend sheep and weave rugs, and trace the history of a civilization that vanished more than 7 centuries ago, leaving behind more questions than answers. Those particularly interested in the ancient and modern Native American tribes of the region will want to continue their travels into Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Other sections on this site focus specifically on those states and can provide additional information.
The southeast corner of Utah is sparsely populated -- downright desolate and deserted, some might say -- and you're not going to find your favorite chain motel, fast-food restaurant, or brand of gasoline right around every corner. That's assuming you can even find a corner. So, many travelers discover a place they like, rent a room or campsite for a few days, and take day trips. This chapter is laid out using the village of Bluff as a base -- a series of excursions rings the tiny town. First, head southwest to Monument Valley and then northwest to Natural Bridges National Monument. Then head east, to Hovenweep National Monument and Four Corners Monument. Finally, this section takes you into Colorado, to visit Mesa Verde National Park, site of the most impressive cliff dwellings in the United States.