Tuba City Travel Guide

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Tuba City is located in the western part of the Navajo Nation, near the Grand Canyon. In Navajo it's called To'naneesdizi (tangled water or curly water) for the flowing streams of water from a plentiful spring. It is one of the largest communities on the Navajo Nation. 

Tuba City (or "TC" in local parlance) is a hot, dusty location with an interesting history. Allegedly the Dominguez-Escalante expedition from Santa Fe passed through the area in 1776. Tuba City started as a Mormon colony in the 19th century, established by famed Mormon missionary Jacob Hamblin. He wrangled some protection and company by convincing a group of Hopis to establish a Hopi colony, the little village of Moenkopi. The Hopi leader was a man named Tuuvi, thus the name of the new city. Navajos sued to remove the Mormons, who were illegally camping on Navajo land, and took over the town. The resulting community is an interesting fusion of Navajo and Hopi cultures.

There are two motels in town to serve the traveler, and a shopping center with a Basha's Dine Markets supermarket, a pizza joint (Pizza Edge), a chinese restaurant, and other stores. McDonald's and Taco Bell also have outlets in town. The Tuba Trading Post is still open for business, and the old Tuba City boarding school recalls the joy and hardship of the boarding school era for the Indians. The historic knitting mill built by Jacob Hamblin is still standing and may be restored eventually.

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