Colorado’s Remaining Corners

On October 18, 2009 · 3 Comments

The Four Corners phenomenon that exists in the United State’s desert southwest receives an inordinate amount of attention on the Twelve Mile Circle. I don’t know exactly why but perhaps it’s because it was one of the first places I ever visited simply because of its geo-weirdness. In fact, the fascination runs so deep that it extends to the other corners of those four kindred states.

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I’ll focus on Colorado if for no reason that this might be the easiest of the bunch. New Mexico and Arizona share a border with Mexico, making it a bit difficult to touch those corners with active Border Patrols in progress. Utah has a notch that gives it a couple of "extra" corners. Let’s try Colorado instead, not out of favoritism but because of ease, and see whether it might be possible to visit its three remaining corners as a theoretical construct. I recognize that Colorado isn’t really a rectangle but I’m choosing to ignore that for today’s exercise.

I start my virtual tour at the northwest corner where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming all join, the CO-UT-WY tripoint.

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There seems to be a defined trail, perhaps a fire road, that leads right up to the proper area. Also as I examine the satellite image in more detail I see a small object right around where the tripoint should be located. Google Maps is sometimes a few feet off with roads and borders and that might explain the discrepancy. This visit should be doable although perhaps not easily.

The northeast corer of Colorado forms the large notch in Nebraska.

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The entire area is crisscrossed by farm roads running north-south and east-west among center-pivot agricultural fields, and appear to follow right along the border including the corner. There shouldn’t any difficulty with this one. It’s about four miles away from an exit on Interstate Highway 80.

Finally, I’ll examine the southeastern corner where Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma meet, the CO-KS-OK tripoint.

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This is another instance where an abundant road network provides plenty of opportunities to access the area. It’s about eight miles due west of Elkhart, Kansas at the edge of the Cimarron National Grassland. This one even has a name, Eight Mile Corner, and a monument shaped like a windmill according to the Kansas Travel and Tourism Division. They also note, "the road to the 8-Mile Windmill is a non-paved road that is well-maintained so it is available for viewing at all times."

Thus, three of Colorado’s four corners should be easily accessible and the remaining corner should be feasible to someone with a little determination. I invite readers to share any reports of actual on on-the-ground visits to any of these points (especially ones other than the famous Four Corners).

On October 18, 2009 · 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Colorado’s Remaining Corners”

  1. Sorry this is about seven months late, but I wasn’t really aware of your blog until yesterday. You asked for input from people who have actually been to these corners… I have, along with some other interesting points along the Colorado border. Links to photos and descriptions can be found on this page:
    Your suspicion about the northwest corner was exactly right: one can get there, but it’s not a simple matter.

  2. Another thing that I find kind of interesting: the corner of Colorado that touches Kansas and Oklahoma is only accessible (by road) from those states, not from anywhere in Colorado itself. There are no bridges in Colorado over the (usually dry) Cimarron River, so this corner is isolated from the rest of the state. Another example of cartographic lines looking good on a map, but turning out to be somewhat impractical when applied to geographic reality.

  3. Dave says:

    I just visited the one tripoint you didn’t mention – CO-NE-KS. It is also accessible (although I was glad to have a 4WD to get there), and has a nice marker set in the middle of rolling ranch land (we call ’em sandhills here). Let me know if you’d like some pics, as I don’t see a way to upload.

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