Located in the Painted Desert, Tuba City is a great base for exploring both ancient and contemporary Hopi and Navajo cultures.
Tuba City gets its name from a Hopi American Indian tribe man, Tuuvi, who befriended the area's first Mormon settlers. The Navajo who've lived in the area since around 1892, refer to it as To'Nanees Dizi, which means tangled, scattered or braided water – a reference to the many springs below the surface.
Just five miles outside of town compare your shoe size to dinosaur tracks preserved in sandstone that date back 200 million years. Two remote canyons, Coal Mine and Hahonogeh, are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, but without the crowds. Plan a visit during sunrise or sunset for striking skies.
The historic Tuba City Trading Post, which dates to 1905, sells authentic American Indian sandpaintings, rugs, jewelry, and pottery for the serious collector and the souvenir shopper. The Navajo Interactive Museum is an excellent introduction to the land, language, history, cultural, and ceremonial life of the Navajo people, as well as the patriotism of the tribe’s World War II Code Talkers. And while in town, don’t pass up the chance to try traditional dishes like mutton stew and fry bread.
Tuba City lies adjacent to the Hopi villages of Upper and Lower Moenkopi and both locales share restaurants, accommodations, and other travel services. On the Tuba City side, travelers can enjoy the usual fast food offerings along with the Hogan Restaurant (located by the Tuba City Trading Post) and China Star Buffet, a Chinese-owned and operated restaurant located next to the Bashas’ Supermarket. The Upper Village of Moenkopi owns and operates The Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites, Experience Hopi Tours, a 24-hour restaurant and the 24-hour Tuuvi Travel Center along US Highway 160.