In the mountaineering parlance of the Western United States, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet. There are 96 fourteeners in all west of the Mississippi River. Colorado has the most of any single state. Many peak baggers try to climb all fourteeners in the contiguous United States, one particular state, or another region; the summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways: topographic elevation: the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level. Topographic prominence: how high the summit rises above its surroundings. Topographic isolation: how far the summit lies from its nearest point of equal elevation. Not all summits over 14,000 feet qualify as fourteeners. Summits which qualify are those considered by mountaineers to be independent. Objective standards for independence include topographic prominence and isolation, or a combination of the two. However, fourteener lists do not always use such objective rules. A rule used by mountaineers in the contiguous United States is that a peak must have at least 300 feet of prominence to qualify.
By this rule, Colorado has 53 fourteeners, California has 12, Washington has two. According to the Mountaineering Club of Alaska, it is standard in Alaska to use a 500-foot prominence rule rather than a 300-foot rule. By this rule, Alaska has at least 21 peaks over 14,000 feet and its 12 highest peaks exceed 15,000 feet; the following table lists the 96 mountain peaks of the United States with at least 14,000 feet of topographic elevation and at least 300 feet of topographic prominence. Of these 96 fourteeners, 53 rise in Colorado, 29 in Alaska, 12 in California, two in Washington; the 22 highest fourteeners all rise in Alaska. The table above includes 97 peaks; the number of peaks included. A criterion of 100 meters includes 90 peaks, 500 feet includes 77 peaks, 1000 feet includes 63 peaks, 500 meters includes 46 peaks; the following U. S. summits have 14,000 feet of elevation, but have less than 300 feet of topographic prominence: Denali, Browne Tower, 14,530, Alaska. Prominence = 25–125 feet, it is unclear.
Mount Cameron, 14,238, Colorado. Prominence = 118 feet. El Diente Peak, 14,159, Colorado. Prominence = 239 feet. On many fourteener lists. Point Success, 14,158, Washington. Prominence = 118 feet. Polemonium Peak, 14,080+, California. Prominence = 160–240 feet. Starlight Peak, 14,080, California. Prominence = 80–160 feet. North Conundrum Peak, 14,040+, Colorado. Prominence = 200–280 feet. North Eolus, 14,039, Colorado. Prominence = 159–199 feet. North Maroon Peak, 14,014, Colorado. Prominence = 234 feet. On many fourteener lists. Thunderbolt Peak, 14,003, California. Prominence = 223 feet. Sunlight Spire, 14,001, Colorado. Prominence = 195–235 feet. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of Greenland List of mountain peaks of Canada List of mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains List of mountain peaks of the United States List of the highest major summits of the United States List of the major 4000-meter summits of the United States List of the major 3000-meter summits of the United States List of the most prominent summits of the United States List of the ultra-prominent summits of the United States List of the most isolated major summits of the United States List of the major 100-kilometer summits of the United States List of extreme summits of the United States List of mountain peaks of Alaska List of mountain peaks of California List of mountain peaks of Colorado List of mountain peaks of Hawaiʻi List of mountain peaks of Montana List of mountain peaks of Nevada List of mountain peaks of Utah List of mountain peaks of Washington List of mountain peaks of Wyoming List of mountain peaks of México List of mountain peaks of Central America List of mountain peaks of the Caribbean United States of America Geography of the United States Geology of the United States Category:Mountains of the United States commons:Category:Mountains of the United States Physical geography Topography Topographic elevation Topographic prominence Topographic isolation United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System @ USGS United States National Geodetic Survey Geodetic Glossary @ NGS NGVD 29 to NAVD 88 online elevation converter @ NGS Survey Marks and Datasheets @ NGS Bivouac.com Peakbagger.com Peaklist.org Peakware.com Summitpost.org
A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form and alignment that have arisen from the same cause an orogeny. Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are a feature of most terrestrial planets. Mountain ranges are segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not have the same geologic structure or petrology, they may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types. Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt.
The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the world's longest mountain system; the Alpide belt includes Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains, Balkan Mountains fold mountain range, the Alps, ends in the Spanish mountains and the Atlas Mountains. The belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges; the Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, 8,848 metres high and traverses the border between China and Nepal. Mountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres.
The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians; the parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range is parent to the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range. The position of mountains influences climate, such as snow; when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture.
A rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down; the basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains; the early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet of Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east; this mass of rock was removed as the range was undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight. Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment.
Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides. Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are isolated and formed by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan and Pluto, in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto; some terrestrial planets other than Earth exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on Earth and Tartarus Montes on Mars, Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes. Peakbagger Ranges Home Page Bivouac.com
Montezuma County, Colorado
Montezuma County is the southwesternmost of the 64 counties in the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,535; the county seat is Cortez. Mesa Verde National Park, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Yucca House National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument preserve hundreds of ancient Amerindian structures, including the famous cliff-dwellings, found in the county. Montezuma County is home to most of the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation, home of the Weeminuche Band of the Ute Nation, known as the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, with its headquarters at Towaoc. Montezuma County has been settled since AD 600, had an estimated population of 100,000, four times its current population, in the 12th century. However, a series of events caused all permanent settlements to be abandoned between 1200 and 1300, the area was contested between nomadic Ute and Navajo bands until resettlement occurred in the 1870s. Montezuma County was created out of the western portion of La Plata County by the Colorado Legislature in April 1889.
It was named in honor of a famous chief of the Aztec Indians in Mexico. The building ruins in Mesa Verde National Park were thought to be of Aztec origin at the time. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,040 square miles, of which 2,030 square miles is land and 11 square miles is water. A large county 1/3 of its area is tribal land, 1/3 is federal land, 1/3 private or state/county land, it is varied topographically, ranging in elevation from about 6,000 feet to more than 13,200 feet, from high Colorado Plateau desert to alpine tundra. The county has the second largest reservoir in Colorado, McPhee Reservoir, many other large reservoirs, hundreds of private lakes and ponds. Much of the county is irrigated cropland, it produces fruit, large numbers of cattle and sheep, beans, it is served by U. S. Highways 160 and 491, by Cortez Municipal Airport, it has no rail service, although both Mancos and Dolores were established as railroad towns in the 1890s. Dolores County - north San Juan County - northeast La Plata County - east San Juan County, New Mexico - south - New Mexico portion of Four Corners.
Apache County, Arizona - southwest - Arizona portion of Four Corners. San Juan County, Utah - west - Utah portion of Four Corners. Montezuma County is the only county in the United States to border three counties with the same name in three different states; the "border" with San Juan County, Colorado, is, only a point of zero length. Mancos State Park McPhee Reservoir Great Parks Bicycle Route San Juan Skyway Trail of the Ancients Western Express Bicycle Route As of the census of 2000, there were 23,830 people, 9,201 households, 6,514 families residing in the county; the population density was 12 people per square mile. There were 10,497 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 81.72% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 11.23% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.26% from other races, 2.38% from two or more races. 9.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 9,201 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.40% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.20% were non-families.
24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.04. In the county, the population was spread out with 27.50% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.20 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,083, the median income for a family was $38,071. Males had a median income of $30,666 versus $21,181 for females; the per capita income for the county was $17,003. About 13.10% of families and 16.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.20% of those under age 18 and 14.40% of those age 65 or over. Cortez Dolores Mancos Lewis Towaoc Arriola Pleasant View Yellow Jacket In its early history Montezuma County favoured the Democratic Party.
It was one of the few counties in the West to be won by Alton B. Parker in 1904, along with neighbouring La Plata County was one of only two Colorado counties to give a plurality to John W. Davis in the three-way 1924 election. However, since the 1940s Montezuma has been a Republican county: no Democrat since 1968 has won forty percent of the county’s vote in a Presidential election. In gubernatorial elections, Montezuma County is Republican-leaning: in 2010 it was along with neighboring Dolores County one of only two counties to give a plurality to Dan Maes; the last Democratic gubernatorial nominee to win Montezuma County was Roy Romer in 1990 when he carried all but four counties statewide. The last Democratic senatorial candidate to carry Montezuma County was Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell – to switch to the Republican Party – in 1992. Outline of Colorado Index of Colorado-related articles William B. Ebbert, represented Montezuma in the Colorado General Assembly in early 20th century. National Register of Historic Places listings in Montezuma County, Colorado Montezuma County official website Montezuma County Sheriff's Off
The Jurassic period was a geologic period and system that spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era known as the Age of Reptiles; the start of the period was marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Two other extinction events occurred during the period: the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction in the Early Jurassic, the Tithonian event at the end; the Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early and Late. In stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic series of rock formations; the Jurassic is named after the Jura Mountains within the European Alps, where limestone strata from the period were first identified. By the beginning of the Jurassic, the supercontinent Pangaea had begun rifting into two landmasses: Laurasia to the north, Gondwana to the south; this created more coastlines and shifted the continental climate from dry to humid, many of the arid deserts of the Triassic were replaced by lush rainforests.
On land, the fauna transitioned from the Triassic fauna, dominated by both dinosauromorph and crocodylomorph archosaurs, to one dominated by dinosaurs alone. The first birds appeared during the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs. Other major events include the appearance of the earliest lizards, the evolution of therian mammals, including primitive placentals. Crocodilians made the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic mode of life; the oceans were inhabited by marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, while pterosaurs were the dominant flying vertebrates. The chronostratigraphic term "Jurassic" is directly linked to the Jura Mountains, a mountain range following the course of the France–Switzerland border. During a tour of the region in 1795, Alexander von Humboldt recognized the limestone dominated mountain range of the Jura Mountains as a separate formation that had not been included in the established stratigraphic system defined by Abraham Gottlob Werner, he named it "Jura-Kalkstein" in 1799.
The name "Jura" is derived from the Celtic root *jor via Gaulish *iuris "wooded mountain", borrowed into Latin as a place name, evolved into Juria and Jura. The Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early and Late. In stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic series of rock formations known as Lias and Malm in Europe; the separation of the term Jurassic into three sections originated with Leopold von Buch. The faunal stages from youngest to oldest are: During the early Jurassic period, the supercontinent Pangaea broke up into the northern supercontinent Laurasia and the southern supercontinent Gondwana; the Jurassic North Atlantic Ocean was narrow, while the South Atlantic did not open until the following Cretaceous period, when Gondwana itself rifted apart. The Tethys Sea closed, the Neotethys basin appeared. Climates were warm, with no evidence of a glacier having appeared; as in the Triassic, there was no land over either pole, no extensive ice caps existed.
The Jurassic geological record is good in western Europe, where extensive marine sequences indicate a time when much of that future landmass was submerged under shallow tropical seas. In contrast, the North American Jurassic record is the poorest of the Mesozoic, with few outcrops at the surface. Though the epicontinental Sundance Sea left marine deposits in parts of the northern plains of the United States and Canada during the late Jurassic, most exposed sediments from this period are continental, such as the alluvial deposits of the Morrison Formation; the Jurassic was a time of calcite sea geochemistry in which low-magnesium calcite was the primary inorganic marine precipitate of calcium carbonate. Carbonate hardgrounds were thus common, along with calcitic ooids, calcitic cements, invertebrate faunas with dominantly calcitic skeletons; the first of several massive batholiths were emplaced in the northern American cordillera beginning in the mid-Jurassic, marking the Nevadan orogeny. Important Jurassic exposures are found in Russia, South America, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In Africa, Early Jurassic strata are distributed in a similar fashion to Late Triassic beds, with more common outcrops in the south and less common fossil beds which are predominated by tracks to the north. As the Jurassic proceeded and more iconic groups of dinosaurs like sauropods and ornithopods proliferated in Africa. Middle Jurassic strata are neither well studied in Africa. Late Jurassic strata are poorly represented apart from the spectacular Tendaguru fauna in Tanzania; the Late Jurassic life of Tendaguru is similar to that found in western North America's Morrison Formation. During the Jurassic period, the primary vertebrates living in the sea were marine reptiles; the latter include ichthyosaurs, which were at the peak of their diversity, plesiosaurs and marine crocodiles of the families Teleosauridae and Metriorhynchidae. Numerous turtles could be found in rivers. In the invertebrate world, several new groups appeared, including rudists (a reef-formi
Ute Mountain, is a peak within the Ute Mountains, a small mountain range in the southwestern corner of Colorado. It is on the northern edge of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation; the Reservation forms the southwestern corner of Montezuma County. Nomenclature for this peak and its range varies; the highest peak is sometimes known as Sleeping Ute Mountain. All of these forms of the mountain's name and of the range's name can be found on various USGS maps and reports; the Ute Mountains, with a collective profile known as “The Sleeping Ute”, are a dense cluster of peaks 5 by 12 miles in extent and stand in isolation from other mountains. Despite being much lower than Colorado's highest peaks, Ute Mountain is the eighth most topographically prominent peak in the state, due to this isolation, it is notable for its large local relief in all directions its rise of 4,250 ft over the Montezuma Valley to the southeast. The Sleeping Ute is said to resemble a Ute Chief lying on his back with arms folded across his chest.
The mountains were valued as a sacred place by the Weeminuche Ute band. It is still a sacred place to their descendants, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and still plays a role in their ceremonies as indicated by the “Sundance Ground” on some topographical maps nestled between The Knees and Horse Peak; the northern part of the mountains were outside the reservation boundaries as reduced following a series of treaties in the late 19th century, but a trade of land now in Mesa Verde National Park 15 miles east, for federal land on the mountain, allowed the reservation boundary to be extended north to McElmo Creek and encompass the entire mountain range. In particular, this means that recreational access to the range by outsiders is restricted. Few roads or trails are found in the mountains, although radio towers and water tanks have been built, a road along Cottonwood Wash from Towaoc nearly reaches the summit of Ute Peak. A Ute Indian legend describes the Sleeping Ute as the sleeping form of a “Great Warrior God, known as a chief” who fell asleep while recovering from wounds received in a great battle with “the Evil Ones”.
Various other forms of the legend can be found. Recognized from many spots up to 50 miles east or west, the profile is best seen from 15 to 25 miles somewhat north of east of the mountains as in the accompanying photograph. Identified features of the profile include the following: Head - the profile of Marble Mountain provides recognized facial features while a feathered headdress can be seen tapering north from Black Mountain and Marble Mountain.. Crossed Arms – Ute Peak is the highest, the most prominent and eastern-most peak in the Ute Mountains Ribcage – Horse Mountain to the east and the twin peaks Black Mountain/Ute Mountain to the west form a recognizable ribcage. Knees – Hermano Mountain or “The Knees” are the knees of the figure. Toes – East Toe is a small and prominent igneous protrusion at the south-eastern end of the Ute Mountains proportioned and placed to complete the figure from the east. West Toe, a second protrusion, has a similar profile and is placed to complete the figure from the west.
The illusion of a reclining figure is further reinforced by its symmetry. The figure is nearly as complete seen from the west as from the east.located east of cortez Though on the southwestern fringe of the original Rocky Mountain home of the Ute Tribe, the Sleeping Ute is the most prominent feature of the high-desert Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. The only town on the Reservation, lies at the feet of the figure and is home to most of the Reservation's population; as the Reservation capital, Towaoc is the Ute Mountain Ute tribal headquarters. Cortez, the largest town in the area with a population of over 8000, lies outside the reservation 11.5 miles east-northeast of Ute Peak. The elevation of Cortez can be considered the base elevation of the Ute Mountains; the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park adjoins Mesa Verde National Park to the east of the mountains. The western boundary of Mesa Verde National Park is 12 miles east of Ute Peak; the Mesa and the Sleeping Ute share equal prominence as regional landmarks.
McElmo Creek and Canyon Of The Ancients National Monument form the northern terminus of the Ute Mountains and the Reservation. The Ute Mountains were formed by intrusion of igneous rocks at about 72 million years, concurrent doming, subsequent erosion; the most common type of igneous rock is porphyritic hornblende diorite, but rock types present range from gabbro to granite. Forms of intrusions include laccoliths, stocks and sills. One dike can be examined at a roadside there; the igneous rocks intrude a sedimentary section of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks and the youngest rocks intruded are in the Point Lookout Sandstone. The intrusions are similar in form and rock type to those in other Colorado Plateau mountain ranges, such as the Henry Mountains and the La Sal Range and the Abajo Mountains, all nearby in Utah, but the intrusions at these three Utah occurrences are about 20 to 30 million years in age; the Ute Mountains and the similar Carrizo Mountains, nearby in Arizona, lie within a southwest extension of the Colorado Mineral Belt, but no ore deposits are known to be associated with these igneous rocks.
The topographic isolation of a summit is the minimum great-circle distance to a point of equal elevation, representing a radius of dominance in which the peak is the highest point. It can be calculated for small hills and islands as well as for major mountain peaks, can be calculated for submarine summits; the following sortable table lists the Earth's 40 most topographically isolated summits. The nearest peak to Germany's highest mountain, the 2,962-metre-high Zugspitze, that has a 2962-metre-contour is the Zwölferkogel in Austria's Stubai Alps; the distance between the Zugspitze and this contour is 25.8 km. Its isolation is thus 25.8 km. Because there are no higher mountains than Mount Everest, it has no definitive isolation. Many sources list its isolation as the circumference of the earth over the poles or – questionably, because there is no agreed definition – as half the earth's circumference. After Mount Everest, the highest mountain of the American continents, has the greatest isolation of all mountains.
There is no higher land for 16,534 kilometres when its height is first exceeded by Tirich Mir in the Hindu Kush. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain of the Alps; the geographically nearest higher mountains are all in the Caucasus. Kukurtlu, which rises near Mount Elbrus, is the reference peak for Mont Blanc. Musala is the highest peak in Rila mountain, in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula, standing at 2,925 m it is the 4th most topographically isolated peak in Continental Europe.. Rila is the 6th highest mountain in Europe. With a topographic prominence of 2473 m, Musala is the 6th highest peak by topographic prominence in mainland Europe. Table of the most isolated major summits of North America Table of the most isolated major summits of the United States Most isolated mountain peaks of Canada Most isolated mountain peaks of Mexico geodesy physical geography summit topographic elevation topographic prominence topography bivouac.com Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia peakbagger.com peaklist.org peakware.com World Mountain Encyclopedia summitpost.org^ ^ "Europe Ultra-Prominences".
Peaklist. Retrieved 26 February 2015
Four Corners Monument
The Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah meet. It is the only point in the United States shared by four states, leading to the area being named the Four Corners region; the monument marks the boundary between two semi-autonomous Native American governments, the Navajo Nation, which maintains the monument as a tourist attraction, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation. The origins of the state boundaries marked by the monument occurred just prior to, during, the American Civil War, when the United States Congress acted to form governments in the area to combat the spread of slavery to the region; when the early territories were formed, their boundaries were designated along meridian and parallel lines. Beginning in the 1860s, these lines were marked; these early surveys included some errors, but so, the markers placed became the legal boundaries, superseding the written descriptions of geographical meridians and parallels.
This includes the Four Corners Monument, established as the corner of the four states. The monument where "visitors can straddle the territory of four states" is maintained as a tourist attraction by the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department. Unlike many other attractions based on what are political boundaries, such as the Berlin Wall, Four Corners Monument is an example of a political boundary, a tourist destination in its own right; the monument consists of a granite disk embedded with a smaller bronze disk around the point, surrounded by smaller, appropriately located state seals and flags representing both the states and tribal nations of the area. Circling the point, starting from north, the disk reads with two words in each state "Here meet in freedom under God four states". Around the monument, local Navajo and Ute artisans sell souvenirs and food. An admission fee is required to photograph the monument; the monument is a popular tourist attraction despite isolated location. As early as 1908, people traveled long distances to take pictures of family and friends at the monument in Twister-like poses, sitting on the disk, in a circle of friends or family around the disk, or for couples to kiss directly over the disk.
The monument is located on the Colorado Plateau west of U. S. Highway 160 40 miles southwest of Cortez, Colorado; the monument is centered at 36°59′56.31″N 109°02′42.62″W. In addition to the four states, two semi-autonomous American Indian tribal governments have boundaries at the monument, the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation, with the Ute Mountain tribal boundaries coinciding with Colorado's boundaries at the monument. Located in the Colorado Plateau desert region of the Southwestern United States, The Four Corners Monument has a strong cold desert climate according to the Köppen climate classification system. Winters are sunny, while summers are hot and dry; the record high temperature of 105 °F was observed five times, on June 19, 29 and 30, 1974, July 14, 2003, July 21, 2005. The record low temperature of −18 °F was observed on January 3, 1974; the area now called Four Corners was American Indian land and beginning in the 16th century it was claimed by Spain as part of New Spain.
After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, the area was governed by Mexico until being ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 following the United States' victory in the Mexican–American War. The first boundary which would become part of the monument was set as part of the Compromise of 1850, which created the New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory; the border between the two territories was congressionally defined as the 37th parallel north by the 31st United States Congress. In 1861, the 36th United States Congress transferred land allocated to the Utah Territory, to the newly created Colorado Territory; the Colorado Territory's southern border would remain as the 37th parallel north, but a new border—between the Colorado and Utah Territories—was declared to be the 32nd meridian west from Washington. This line was derived from the reference used at the Washington meridian. In 1860, just prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War, a group of people in the southern portion of New Mexico Territory passed a resolution condemning the United States for creating such a vast territory with only a single, small government in place at Santa Fe.
They claimed by doing so the U. S. had ignored the needs of the southern portion, left them without a functional system of law and order, allowed the situation to deteriorate into a state of chaos and near anarchy. The group declared secession from the United States and announced their intent to join the Confederate States of America under the name of the Arizona Territory; the U. S. Congress responded in 1863 by creating another Arizona Territory with different, but overlapping boundaries; the Confederate boundaries split New Mexico along an east–west line, the 34th parallel north, allowing for a single state connection from Texas to the Colorado River. This would give the Confederacy access to the Pacific coast; the Union definition split New Mexico along a north–south line, the 32nd meridian west from Washington, which extended the boundary between Colorado and Utah southward. The Union plan became reality, this created the quadripoint at the modern Four Corners. After the split, New Mexico resembled its modern form, with only slight differences.
After the Civil War, efforts began to mark the actual borders. In 1868, the General Land Office had Ehud N. Darling survey and set ma