OVERVIEW | The Four Corners Area & the American Southwest
Geographically, the so-called Southwest is composed of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California, and the Soutwestern part of Texas. But the oldest and most homogenous heart of this very large land is formed by Arizona and New Mexico, together with Southeastern Utah and Soutwestern Colorado. In fact, the four states come together and meet in one common point called the Four Corners.
For many who travel to the Four Corners states, especially for those who come from other continents, the hubs of Nevada and California are often access points to the other four states. Not a negative option, quite the contrary, as the cultivated San Francisco, the spectacular Los Angeles, and the tempting Las Vegas, with their climate, number of inhabitants, history and lifestyle, represent a discontinuity with lands that in previous centuries experienced, in a particularly intense way, invasions by the Spanish, the defeat of the natives, and then the reconquest of their right to live where their ancestors had been born.
The brief stopover in California or Nevada is in fact preparatory to obtaining a deeper understanding, both visually and mentally, of the diversity of the Southwest, to discovering what remains of the Indian culture of the past and understanding the Indians in their present-day lives.
What we find in the Four Corners is an infinite number of parks, each unique in its own right and all unforgettable, some with marvelous creations of nature that have no equal anywhere in the world, numerous archelogical sites, rock formations with incredible shapes that jut up in isolation or in large and small canyons, and colors that make you lose your head. There are not many cities but they are expanding rapidly, and many new and old villages, all immersed in landscapes that seem extreme but that are rich in history, legends, struggles and successes.
This is a region where you can travel back in both geological and historical time, where the human experience takes on special meaning. The immensity of this land makes the imagination run, amazes, takes one’s breath away and brings out a spirituality that is often forgotten.