Taking a Trip on the Navajo Trail Highway

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Interesting article. I drove 160 from Durango to Flagstaff in 1995. I made the obligatory stop at the Four Corners monument to have my picture taken being in four states at one time. I was told later that the actual four corners is some distance from where this monument is, so it's geographically incorrect, but I don't know. After getting past Four Corners, the drive got to be pretty lonesome. Lots of remarkable scenary, vast wide open spaces and not much if any human settlement. There was a trading post in Teec Nos Pos where I stopped to get something to drink. They had a board by the cash register listing the names of everyone who was behind in paying their monthly tab. The turnoff to Monument Valley was kind of busy, but after that it was just wide open spaces until Tuba City.

The thing I couldn't figure out was I'd be driving for miles with no buildings in sight and then I'd come upon someone walking along the side of the road. I couldn't figure out where they might be going, everything seemed so vast, distant and remote.

I was driving to California to start a new job. I grew up in Denver but had never been in this part of the world, so it was a bit of an adventure for me, my own version of heading through the West for new opportunity over the horizon.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Jude! I remember seeing that part of the country for the first time on a road trip in 1995. The different landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for creating lasting memories.



There are still some "Navajo Trail" road signs along Highway 160 in the San Luis Valley. I recently (May 2021) shot a photograph of this one at the east end of Fort Garland: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Navajo_Trail_road_sign.JPG I have also seen the signs in Blanca. They are small and easy to miss.


I can remember seeing many Navajo Trail signs in the 50s, riding in the back seat of my parents' Chevy. I still drive 160 across Southern Colorado frequently but haven't noticed any signs, and I've always wondered what happened to them. Next time I pass through Fort Garland and Blanca I'll look harder!


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