Tuba City

Tuba City is one of the largest of communities within the Navajo Nation, behind only Shiprock, New Mexico in size. The location, within Arizona’s Painted Desert, is scenic and peaceful. The badland’s desert is in the area of the Four Corners from the Grand Canyon leading into Petrified Forest National Park and offering many things to do and see within a short range. The Navajo people have lived in the region for around five hundred years, while residents of the Hopi tribe have been settled there for almost 1000 years. The area is also convenient to the Grand Canyon’s National Park’s eastern entrance, just fifty miles away.

Tuba city, Arizona
Tuba City, Arizona

Tuba City Arizona history can be followed back almost 200 years - to about 1776 - when the area was visited by the renowned friar from Spain, Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés. His account of area history includes the cultivation of crops by native tribes. It is the point of headquarters for the Western Navajo Agency, an administrative component of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Navajo.

Aside from the various major attractions located all around Tuba City, there are several other points of interest to explore. One of the city’s greatest claims to fame is the many dinosaur tracks found along the highway at the roadside inside the Navajo reservation. Informal guided tours of the tracks are available through locals who frequent the location. Found along the border of the Navajo and Hopi reservations, about 15 miles from Tuba City Arizona is Coal Mine Canyon, one of the most impressive of all canyons within the Painted Desert. The vibrant formations edging the ravine on the upper side are quite a rare sight. It is one of the Southwest’s most remote canyons, mostly passed up for larger attractions like Monument Valley, but well worth finding.

Hiking, boating, camping, and fishing are more possible activities near Tuba City within both the Hopi and Navajo reservations. There’s a colorful Flea Market each Friday evening featuring Navajo and Hopi arts, crafts, and food. The Navajo Western Fair is a fun event kicking off annually in October, presenting authentic pottery crafts, rugs, and a variety of food. Another way to spend some time is to delve into the history presented at the Navajo Interactive Museum including information on the work of the Navajo Code Talkers during WWII.

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