But this is only one of many topographies of the reservation of the Navajo Nation, which spans 25,000 square miles across Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado (the "Four Corners" region of the United States). The land is part of the Colorado Plateau, "an intensely dissected rocky region of elevations that range from about 3,500 feet above sea level to more than 10,000 feet" (Klukhohn and Leighton 47).
Besides flat valleys, the reservation boasts broad upland plains, rugged tablelands with dramatic buttes and mesas such as Monument Valley, and impressive mountains such as in beautiful Tsaile and Luckachucki Trudy-Griffin Pierce poetically captures the essence of Navajoland, or Dinetah: "Navajo country is a varied land of magnificent vistas: Canyon de Chelly with its weathered vermillion cliffs and winding canyons, the fantastic spires and pinnacles of Monument valley, the dark fluted mass of Shiprock floating above a grassy sea, the broad cloud-dappled valley of the Little Colorado, the fragrant high pine forest of the Chuska Mountains, the mountain grasslands of the Kaibab Plateau" (15).
Each topography has a different climate and vegetation (Kluckhohn and Leighton 48-49):
The Navajo identify four mountains that form the boundary of their land: Blanca Peak (Sis našjiin) to the east in New Mexico; Mt. Taylor (Tsoodzil) to the South in New Mexico; San Fransisco Peak (Dookšošoš sliid) to the West in Arizona; and La Plata Mountains (Dibeš Nitsaa) to the North in Colorado. There are also two important mountains, Gobernador Knob (Cholišiši) and Huerfano Mountain (Dzil našoodil) in New Mexico, which are within the boundary of the four mountains (Beck and Walters 80).
While these mountains are important geographical markers, they are even more vital spiritual markers, for the Navajo recognize these as four sacred mountains that border their land from the time of emergence. [thesis leading to next page]