Tuba City, AZ


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Location / Description
Tuba City is the Navajo Indian Reservation's largest community. It is located within the Painted Desert on the western side of the Navajo Nation. The town is on US Route 160 near Route 264. It lies 50 miles from the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Most of the residents are Navajo with a small Hopi minority.

Population / Elevation

Population: 9116 (2003)
Elevation: 4940 feet above sea level

Area: 8.9 square miles




The name Tuba City comes from Toova, a Hopi headman from Oraibi and in Navajo translates as "tangled water" - Tonanes dizi. This refers to the many springs below the surface of the ground which or the source of several nearby reservoirs.

The town's written history goes back more than 200 years when Father Francisco Garces visited the area in 1776 and recorded Indians cultivating crops. It was settled by Mormons late in the 1870s, but in 1907, it was discovered to be Native American land, and the United States government bought out the improvements to the town.

The Tuba City Trading Post dates back to 1905.

The state of Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time. However, the Navajo Nation does. Thus, for half the year Tuba City and its Navajo community neighbors are a different time than the rest of the state.

Things To Do

  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Offroad Activities
  • Shopping
  • Fishing


  • Every Friday Night - Flea Market behind the Chapter House offering Navajo and Hopi arts and crafts plus food.
  • October - Navajo Western Fair - authentic Navajo crafts, rugs, pottery, foods.


Resources & Nearby Attractions


Cities & Towns

Parks & Monuments

Recreation & Wilderness Areas

Historic & Points of Interest

  • Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff (56 miles) 
  • Sunset Crater National Monument in Flagstaff - eruption took place in the winter of 1064-1065 and formed a cinder cone. Just east of Flagstaff.
  • Dinosaur Tracks - on Route 160 just before Tuba City on top of a Mesa. 
  • Monument Valley


Other DesertUSA Resources
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