Tuba City is located in Coconino County north of Flagstaff along US Highway 160 near the Little Colorado River and Greenwood Lake.
Tuba City is in the western portion of the Navajo Reservation. Mormons settled the town in the late 1870s, but in 1903 it was discovered that the town was built on Indian land, and the U.S. government bought out the improvements. Tuba City was made the headquarters of the western Navajo Agency.
Today, Tuba City is an urban center within the Tuba City Chapter, a local government unit of the reservation.
Most agree that the name "Tuba" came from the Hopi word Toova. The Navajo name for Tuba City, Tonanesdizi or tangled waters, probably refers to the many springs below the surface of the ground which are the source of several reservoirs. The springs of Tuba City have made it the oasis of the surrounding desert country.
There are numerous Navajo Tribal and National Parks in the vicinity of Tuba City, including Grand Canyon National Park.