Tuba City

Welcome to Tuba City, situated within the colorful badlands of the Painted Desert and on the western edge of the Navajo Nation.

Tuba City's American Indian heritage shines at its two local history museums and a popular trading post. Located north of Flagstaff and 50 miles east of the Grand Canyon, the area's vast desert features the majestic Painted Desert, a remote canyon and 200-million-year-old dinosaur tracks.

All in a name

As the largest community on the Navajo Nation, Tuba City also has a small Hopi population since it shares a border with two Hopi villages, the Upper and Lower Villages of Moenkopi. In fact, it was a Hopi leader named Tuvi who inspired the town's name when Mormons settled in the area during the 1870s. They befriended Tuvi, but had trouble pronouncing his name, hence "Tuvi" becoming "Tuba." The Navajo (or Diné), who have inhabited the area since the 1890s, refer to their home as Tó Nanees’dizí, which means "tangled waters" because of underground springs that feed several reservoirs.

Tuba City attractions

Three Navajo community centers are steeped in cultural significance. Tuba City Trading Post, circa 1906, has always been a place to buy and sell goods. Today, you can purchase directly from artisans selling authentic handmade arts and crafts, such as jewelry, textiles, pottery, Kachina dolls and clothing. Located in the same building, the Navajo Code Talkers Museum encourages visitors to learn how Navajo code talkers were essential to Allied victory in World War II, during which they used their traditional language to transmit coded messages. Next door, the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum features exhibits about Navajo land, language, history and ceremonial life, as well as a life-size hogan (home) and hands-on weaving and basket-making displays.

Tuba City
Dinosaur tracks near Moenkopi


The Painted Desert's colorfully layered columns, mesas and rolling hills span some 150 miles across Tuba City and northern Arizona. It's part of Petrified Forest National Park, about two hours southeast from Tuba City, so plan a day trip for further exploration. Another striking place, with colorful formations and towering hoodoos, is the remote ravine Coal Mine Canyon, which sits at the edge of the Painted Desert. Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, outside of Tuba City, contains actual footsteps of creatures who roamed during the Jurassic Age some 200 million years ago—and visitors are allowed to walk on them!

Please remember to adhere to tribal rules and regulations while visiting Navajo Nation, and always respect the privacy and customs of the Navajo people.

More to Discover Near Tuba City

Navajo Nation

Covering more than 27,000 square miles of desert landscape around the Four Corners region, Navajo Nation has many treasures to explore.

Hopi Tribe

Hopi tribal lands are sacred regions that require a bit of effort to visit. Discover how to explore this special place and leave with a deeper...

Road Trips

Touring Tribal Lands in Arizona

From cultural etiquette to tour suggestions, here's everything you need to know about visiting the many tribal communities in Arizona.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Iconic Western landscapes inspire visitors to set off on scenic Arizona road trips.

Navajo National Monument

Explore the ancestral past of modern Southwest tribes at Navajo National Monuments’ three cliff dwellings: Batatakin, Keet Seel, and Inscription...



Nestled along the Colorado River gorge, Cameron is more than just a place to stretch your legs: it's a cultural and geological stop.



Enjoy all four seasons in Northern Arizona’s largest city — located along historic Route 66 just 80 miles from the Grand Canyon.

Family Activities

Walk in the Shadows of Arizona Dinosaurs

From dinosaur museums to roadside attractions, see some of Arizona's earliest inhabitants—the dinosaurs.

Search Filters

Search Results


Hopi Cultural Center

The Hopi Cultural Center features a hotel, indoor meeting room and restaurant for guests. When visiting the Hopi Reservations, contact us...

Nature & Wildlife

International Raptor & Falconry Center

At the International Raptor & Falconry Center, our mission is to make the world a better place for raptors through education and...

Nature & Wildlife

Lowell Observatory

Although recently demoted to a dwarf planet, the 9th planet Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory in 1930 by Clyde Tombaughs....

The Old West

M Diamond Ranch

Enjoy a private ranch getaway at our guest house on a 100-year old working cattle ranch near Sedona. Room for 2-10 guests reserved...

Nature & Wildlife

Meteor Crater Natural Landmark

Visit the world's best-preserved meteorite impact site on Earth. Located just minutes from Interstate 40 and the old Route 66 in Northern...

American Indian

Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites

The Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites in the Upper Village of Moenkopi has 100 rooms with standard amenities like flat-screen TV's,...


Mother Road Brewing Company

The Mother Road was the name given to U.S. Highway 66 by Grapes of Wrath author John Steinbeck, as he shared the story of the fictional...

American Indian

Museum of Northern Arizona

The Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) is a private, nonprofit, educational institution founded in 1928 by a group of Flagstaff citizens to...

The Old West

Pioneer Museum

Discover history in the cool pines of Flagstaff. The former 1908 Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent is now the Arizona Historical...


Rugged Nature Productions

FlagBeerFest: a fundraising eventRaise money for non-profit community organizations while sampling beers from different breweries!

American Indian

Shash Dine' Eco-Retreat

We are an off-grid retreat offering guests a unique stay utilizing quality canvas Bell Tents, a cabin, a traditional Hogan and restored...


Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.