Tuba City is in Northern Arizona. It is Coconino County. It is in the western part of the Navajo Indian Reservation and only 45 miles west of the Hopi boundary town of Hoteville. The town is at the junction of State Highway 264 and U.S. Highway 160. It is approximately 80 miles northeast of Flagstaff.
Tuba City began nearly 200 years ago, when Indians discovered it was an ideal place to grow crops. Now, the town is a designated growth center on the Navajo Reservation. Today Tuba City has a population of 7,300. The town sits at an elevation of 4,936 feet. The climate is mild all year round with a winter low temperature of 29 degrees and a summer high temperature of 100 degrees. The town is a perfect stop over for those traveling east to the Hopi Indian Reservation or northeast to Page.
There is a terrific attraction in town, especially if you are interested in Native American crafts. The Tuba City Trading Post offers an array of handiwork. The trading post was built in 1905 and is shaped like a hogan. It is a place worth stopping.
Tuba City has so many outdoor activities. Wupatki National Monument is located just south of Tuba City on State Route 89. Here you will see countless ruins of a community from long ago. The three-story dwelling at Wupatki is the most striking. The Little Colorado River Gorge Navajo Park is southwest of Tuba City on State Highway 64, near the eastern boundary of the Grand Canyon. The park is in a canyon with the Little Colorado River flowing below. You will see some spectacular views. There is a visitor center and a Navajo Arts and Crafts Guild Shop.
Navajo Western Fair October
Millions of years ago, this area was the home of dinosaurs. They roamed the green land. Many underground springs have survived since the Pleistocene period.
In 1776, Father Francisco Garces came to this area. He noted that the Indians were growing crops. Jacob Hamblin, a Mormon missionary arrived in 1877 to establish a community. He chose a spot two miles north of the village of Moenkopi. The Mormons use stones from nearby prehistoric structures to build their settlement.
There are many stories as to how the name Tuba City was chosen. One of the most popular stories is the word “Tuba” came from the Hopi word “Toova”. Toova was a Hopi headman at Oraibi of the third mesa. Another version is from the Navajo name for Tuba City. In Navajo, the name is “Tonanesdizi”. This means “tangled waters”, referring to the springs below the surface of ground. These springs are the source of several reservoirs. They made Tuba City an oasis in the desert.
In 1903, the Navajo Indians were given the reservation land to live on. It was at this time; the Mormons were notified that their settlement was on Indian Land. The United States government brought the land from the Mormons.
Tuba City had the first boarding school on the Navajo Reservation. Today, Tuba City is an agricultural town. It is the headquarters to many Navajo tribal services. The Tuba City Chapter is a part of the Navajo Indian Reservation government.