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Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Welcome

Feel the old wooden floor give slightly and squeak beneath your feet as you enter the oldest, continuously operating trading post on the Navajo Nation.  As your eyes adjust to the dim lighting of the "bullpen" you might catch the trader negotiating a deal with a Native American artist for their art.  You will experience history first hand at Hubbell Trading Post NHS.

John Lorenzo Hubbell purchased a trading post here in 1878, ten years after Navajos returned to their homeland from their terrible exile at Bosque Redondo, Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. During the four years held at Bosque Redondo, Navajos were introduced to many new things. After they returned home, traders like Hubbell supplied those new items for the Navajo.

Hubbell family members operated this trading post until it was sold to the National Park Service in 1965. The trading post store is still active.  Now operated by Western National Parks Association, a non-profit co-operating Association they carry-on the trading business the Hubbell family established.

Take some time to discover this authentic Indian trading post and original 160 acre homestead.

P.O. Box 150
1/2 Mile W. Hwy. 191 on Hwy. 264
Ganado, Arizona 86505


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Things To Do:

1) Explore the oldest continuously operating trading post in the American Southwest. Shop for authentic Navajo rugs, jewelry, and baskets.

  • 2) Enter the bullpen of the trading post where the community shops for food and dry goods. Buy a delicious snack for the road.

  • 3) Watch, listen and experience the trader buy a Navajo rug from a skilled Navajo weaver.

  • 4) Wander through the grounds of the Hubbell family homestead and see the barn, bunkhouse, guest hogan, historic farm equipment, horses, chickens, and Navajo Churro sheep.

  • 5) Attend a "Sheep Is Life" workshop to learn about Navajo Lifeways.

  • 6) Join a tour of the historic Hubbell home ($2 per person), the original home lived in by J. L. Hubbell and his family.

  • 7) Watch the Navajo artist in the Visitor Center weave a Navajo rug.

  • 8) Learn how to weave a Navajo rug first hand on the visitor's loom, also in the Visitor Center.

  • 9) Attend an auction of Native American art.


    Natural resources have influenced Hubbell Trading Post. When Mr. Hubbell chose this site for his business he recognized the importance of water and set up his business here because the Pueblo Colorado Wash flows through the site.

    This 160 acre historic site is surrounded by the Navajo Nation within the Colorado Plateau geographic region in Northeast Arizona at approximately 6300 feet in elevation. The environment is considered high desert and is dominated by Colorado Plateau shrub land and Pinon-Juniper woodland vegetation.

    Much of the natural landscape has been manipulated by humans especially since the arrival of European settlers in the mid to late 1800s. These settlers introduced domestic animals including horses, cattle and sheep to this region. Navajo people soon became very adept ranchers and maintained large herds. 

    These herds heavily grazed the landscape, and introduced non-native plant life that competed with the native grasses interspersing alien plant species among native vegetation. In an attempt to protect the herds, coyotes, badgers and foxes were hunted and their numbers greatly reduced.

    At the turn of the 19th century when irrigation became a reality in this part of the Navajo Nation, larger plots of land were cultivated. John Lorenzo Hubbell cleared over a hundred acres of his land and grew alfalfa, further reducing native vegetation at this site. 

    During the late 1950s Hubbell's agricultural fields were no longer cultivated and native as well as non-native plant species once again took over the cultural landscape. In addition, many native animal populations returned to the site.

    After the National Park Service fenced out livestock, the native plants and animals are becoming more abundant. The National Park Service has, in recent years, actively removed non-native tamarisk and Russian olive from the Pueblo Colorado Wash and planted native willows and cottonwood trees. 

    With the reintroduction of agriculture in the once dormant alfalfa fields, the Hubbell ranch is once again alive with crops.

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