Northwest Region, NM
Northwest New Mexico includes the three counties in the northwestern corner of the state, and borders
Colorado to the north and Arizona to the west. The largest city in the region is Farmington, and other larger
municipalities are Gallup, Grants, Bloomfield and Aztec. The region is famous for Four Corners, the only point in
the U.S. where four states meet, and a large part of the region is part of Navajo Nation, the largest Indian
reservation in the country. The Zuni Pueblo is in the southwest corner of the region and features Zuni pottery,
jewelry and fetishes that are highly regarded. The Acoma and Laguna Pueblos both operate casinos. The region has an
abundance of New Mexico's oil and gas reserves, and New Mexico is the third largest net exporter of energy in the
country. The San Juan Basin is the single largest proven natural gas reserve in the country. Even with much of the
oil and natural gas being extracted in the region, more people employed by petroleum refineries, with other
businesses in place to support oil and gas operations. There is also some agricultural production and food
processing in the region. University of New Mexico has a two-year campus in Gallup and Navajo Technical University
is a tribal university in Crownpoint.
The area in general is fairly rugged and dry, lacking the high mountains that give the North Central region more
rain, vegetation and scenery more commonly associated with the Rocky Mountains. There are around five protected
areas in the region. Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves one of the country's significant cultural
historic areas. Chaco Canyon was a major hub of ceremony, trade and administration of ancestral Puebloan culture
between 850 and 1250 AD. The architecture is distinctive and was well-organized and advanced by the Chacoan people,
with roads, ramps, dams and mounds, astrological alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering creating an
ancient urban center. Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway also runs through this area. Other protected areas include
Bluewater Lake State Park, with year-round boating and fishing, and well-stocked with trout and catfish, Navajo
Lake State Park and Red Rock State Park. Other points of interest include Aztec Ruins National Monument and El
Malpais National Monument and National Conservation Area, and El Morro National Monument. Some other attractions
include Angel Peak Scenic Area, Bisti Badlands, De na Zin Wilderness Area and Four Corners Monument.
San Juan County is located in the northwest corner of New Mexico's Northwest region, and borders Colorado to the
north and Texas to the west, and of course contains the famous Four Corners, where the corner of Utah also meets.
It is the fifth most populated county in the state. Farmington is the largest city and Aztec is the county seat,
with Bloomfield also being a city in the county, and there are nearly 30 other census-designated places and
unincorporated communities. Much of the economy of the county is dominated by oil and gas production, and energy
production, with one of the largest coal-fired generating stations in the country. A large sector of the economy is
also accommodation and food services due to tourism activities, especially around Farmington. The agricultural
sector also plays a smaller role, with farm employment being ranked the fourth highest area of employment. San Juan
College is located in Farmington. Aztec Ruins National Monument and part of the Chaco Culture National Historic
Park are located in the county. Other attractions in the county include Salmon Ruins and Heritage Park, with 11th-
century pueblo ruins, historical buildings and a museum, San Juan River, one of the best freshwater fisheries in
the world, and the Bisti Badlands, a stark landscape that was once an ancient sea.
Cibola County is located in the southern portion of New Mexico's Northwest region, and borders Texas to the west.
Grants is the only city and the county seat, and there is one town and there are more than 30 other census-
designated places and unincorporated communities. With the decline of logging in the 1930s, Grants' economy relied
more on agriculture, with ideal conditions for farming, once being known as the "carrot capital" of the United
States. There was also a boom when uranium was discovered and more recently the scenic beauty has attracted
tourism. Part of Cibola National Forest, El Malpais National Conservation Area and El Malpais National Monument,
and El Morro National Monument are located in the county.