The name of the town honors Tuuvi, a Hopi headman from Oraibi who converted to Mormonism. The Navajo name for Tuba City, Tó Naneesdizí translates as "tangled waters", which probably refers to the many below-ground springs that are the source of several reservoirs.
The written history of the town dates back more than 200 years. When Father Francisco Garcés visited the area in 1776, he recorded that the Indians were cultivating crops. The town was named after Tuuvi, a Hopi leader. Chief Tuuvi converted to Mormonism circa 1870, and invited the Mormons to settle near Moenkopi.
Arizona does not currently observe Daylight Saving Time, though the Navajo reservation does. In practice the community has a varied observance: tribal offices and schools observe DST, while most businesses do not.
Tuba City, owing to its location in the rain shadow of the Mogollon Rim which keeps out moisture from the Gulf of California, has a cold desert climate (KöppenBWk) with hot, dry summers—though less hot than Phoenix—and cold, dry winters. Frosts are normal from October to April but the majority of winters do not have measurable snowfall due to the dryness of the air descending from mountains to the south.
Climate data for Tuba City, Arizona (1971 to 2000)
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,225 people, 2,036 households, and 1,675 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 921.6 people per square mile (356.0/km²). There were 2,445 housing units at an average density of 274.0 per square mile (105.8/km²). The racial make-up of the CDP was 92.01% Native American, 5.47% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 0.22% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. 20.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,036 households out of which 52.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 26.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.7% were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.00 and the average family size was 4.49.
In the CDP the age distribution of the population shows 42.8% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 4.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
Tuba City's median household income is $38,556, and the median income for a family was $37,813. Males had a median income of $29,280 versus $26,855 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,479. About 23.1% of families and 28.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.0% of those under age 18 and 44.8% of those age 65 or over.
There is a flea market held every Friday just northeast of the Chapter House, off Peshlaki Avenue. The flea market offers a variety of Navajo and Hopi arts and crafts, as well as local foods, such as mutton sandwiches, piki, and frybread. Also there a Basha's supermarket, Sonic and McDonald's located on main street.
Tuba City Trading Post, a store selling Navajo handmade crafts, has a building dating from 1905. It is adjacent to the Navajo Interactive museum, and Navajo Code Talkers museum off of Main Street and Edgewater Drive.
The Hopi tribe opened the Tuuvi Travel Center in 2008, a $6.3 million complex. They opened a 13 million dollar motel in 2010 and Denny's restaurant in 2011 across the street on US Highway 160. The Hopis plan a $100 million "Gateway to Hopiland" nearby.
Tuba City High School was awarded the 1982 National Cross Country Championship through the XC Legacy series published through Milesplit.us in an effort to begin filling in the national rankings from 1980-1988[clarification needed]. The Harrier Magazine, operated by Marc Bloom formerly of Runners World Magazine began keeping official rankings in 1989. The National Title is the first for historic Coach Bud Davis and caps off a remarkable season and school Legacy of eight straight state titles, eleven in thirteen seasons. Tuba City High School's varsity volleyball team are 2012 Champions. Also, Tuba City High School's Cross-Country team took 1st in the state in 2013.Tuba City National Title Top 3 Photo
Tuba City, Arizona was filmed during the six episode run of the hit TV show "Navajo Cops" which aired Mondays on National Geographic Channel between March and May 2012. It Followed Navajo Nation Police patrolling the western portion of the Navajo Nation, which spans over 27,000 square miles and into three states.
A special episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition filmed during the middle of 2005 in Tuba City aired on ABC. They built the Western Navajo Veterans Administration building on Maloney Street.
Several scenes of Easy Rider, a 1969 American road movie, feature the terrain, views, and land west of Tuba City in the Little Colorado River Valley, as well as to the east near Kayenta, AZ, and Monument Valley, Utah.
Leroy Van Dyke's song "Who’s Gonna Run The Truck Stop In Tuba City When I’m Gone" was set in Tuba City, and mentions a Greyhound bus passing through daily en route to Burbank.