4 Corners marker off, readings show
SALT LAKE CITY ” Tourists who want to put a hand or foot in each of four states at the Four Corners area are apparently off the mark ” by more than a couple miles.
According to readings by the National Geodetic Survey, the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of where it should be.
The only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together was first surveyed by the U.S. government in 1868 during the initial survey of Colorado’s southern boundary line.
The intended location was 109 degrees west longitude and 37 degrees north latitude. But, because of surveying errors, the popular tourist spot is actually just a bit off.
The accurate location would be downhill to the east of U.S. 160 in Colorado and northeast of the San Juan River as it flows into New Mexico.
“That’s a long ways to be off,” said David Bronson, surveyor of San Juan County, Utah. Still, he said the monument’s present location is the accepted one.
Bronson said that given the crude equipment of the era, it’s amazing surveyors were as accurate as they were around the time the marker was established.