Complete Guide to Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Arizona, including things to do, history, hours, directions, and so much more.
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
Step inside the oldest operating trading post in the Navajo Nation at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site.
About Hubbell Trading Post NHS
This trading post has been serving Ganado, selling groceries, grain, hardware, horse tack, coffee, and Native American Art since 1878. When your eyes adjust to the dark lighting, you will be amazed at the number of goods available within the Hubbell Trading Post.
Hubbell Trading Post became a National Historic Site in 1965 with the understanding that it would remain in business as a working trading post.
The trading post was started in the 1870s and continues to operate today. The National Park Service manages the park within the Navajo Nation.
Make sure and give yourself enough time to explore the visitor center, trading post, and surrounding grounds.
The grounds include the blacksmith shop, chicken coop, bunkhouse, corrals, kitchen garden, and more.
Explore the oldest continuously operating trading post in the American Southwest.
Is Hubbell Trading Post NHS worth visiting?
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Park is worth visiting for various reasons.
The park offers visitors a look into the past, with its historic buildings and artifacts that were once used in trading by the Navajo Indians.
You can also learn more about Native American culture and observe some of the best preserved artwork and architecture from that era.
History of Hubbell Trading Post NHS
The Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site preserves the site of the oldest operational trading post in Navajo territory. Hubbell Trading Post was established in 1878 by John Lorenzo Hubbell. The Hubbell Trading Post became a bustling trade hub for the Navajo Nation.
The Hubbell Trading Post began trading ten years after the Navajo Nation returned to Arizona after the ‘Long Walk.’ The Long Walk was the forced removal of the Navajo Nation from their ancestral homeland to a reservation in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
The Hubbell Trade Post became an important lifeline for the returning Navajo. Here, the Navajo traded their traditional wares for European goods. The Hubbell family established a network of trading posts throughout Arizona.
The Navajo Nation
In 1864, the Navajo Nation was forced off their land in Arizona and had to walk to the reservation in New Mexico, where they were to be settled. The forced relocation came after a particularly violent period between the Navajo Nation and the U.S Army. The Navajo suffered greatly before, during, and after the Long Walk.
Once in New Mexico, the Navajo lived on the Bosque Redondo Reservation in Fort Sumner. During their stay, the Navajo traded with settlers for survival. It was here that the Navajo were introduced to items that later became staples to them, such as flour, sugar, coffee, and baking powder.
After four years of internment at Fort Sumner, the Navajo were permitted to move back onto a portion of their land in Arizona. When the Navajo returned to the area, they found their way of life destroyed.
As a result of violent clashes with the United States Army during and after the conflict, Navajo livestock, irrigated farmlands, and homes, were destroyed. The Navajo needed to rebuild their lives and supplement food and items they could grow and make themselves with other traditionally European goods. One way to do this was through trade.
The Hubbell Trading Post and others like it became important for the survival of the Navajo.
The Hubbell Trading Post
John Lorenzo Hubbell was born in 1853 in his family home, the Gutiérrez Hubbell House in New Mexico. Hubbell worked at trading posts in New Mexico and Arizona. He moved to Ganado, Arizona, in 1876 and bought a group of buildings that he turned into the Hubbell Trading Post in 1878. Hubbell became the most prominent Navajo trader.
When Hubbell bought the trading post in 1878, he began construction on additional structures. Hubbell built several guesthouses and corrals to house livestock that were traded. In 1897 Hubbell began construction on a barn for the trading post.
The barn was built in the traditional Anasazi style, out of sandstone, mud, and cornstalks. The additional buildings were constructed in the Navajo Hogan style. Navajo traveled from far and wide to visit the Hubbell Trading Post, so Hubbell built accommodation at the post to house the travelers. The additional buildings were built in the Navajo Hogan style.
Hogans are traditionally made from logs, and the door traditionally faces east. The guesthouse was initially called Pueblo Colorado but was renamed Grando after a prominent Navajo chief called Ganado Mucho.
Ganado Mucho became a close friend to the Hubbell family, and his son, Many Horses, is buried in the Hubbell family graveyard. The Navajo brought wool, rugs, jewelry, sheep, baskets, and pottery to trade at the Hubbell Trading Post. In return for these items, the Navajo received items that could supplement their homegrown produce such as flour, sugar, and other staples.
Hubbell not only built a thriving trading post on the land, but he homesteaded 160 acres around the post. As the Navajo Reservation expanded, the Hubbell homestead became part of it. Hubbell gained the approval of congress to keep his land which the reservation would encircle.
The Hubbell Trading Post After Hubbell’s Death
Hubbell and his sons bought and built twenty-four trading posts. They created an empire that utilized the railroad and stagecoaches. The Hubbell family became the most influential Navajo traders of the 19th Century.
Hubbell significantly influenced the traditional skills of Navajo rug weaving and silversmithing due to his demands around the quality of items traded at the Hubbell Trading Post.
Hubbell continued to operate the trading post until he died in 1930. Hubbell’s youngest son, Roman, took charge of the trading post. Roman continued to run and manage the post until he died in 1957.
Roman’s wife continued the tradition and managed the post until 1967, when the grounds were transferred to the National Parks Service. The trading post is still active and includes the original structures and furniture from the Hubbell home.
Things to know before your visit to Hubbell Trading Post NHS
$0.00 - There is no entrance fee to visit the park.
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Learn more about National Park Passes for parks that have an entrance fee.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
Mountain Time Zone
The Navajo Nation observes Mountain Daylight Saving Time from March through November while the rest of Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time.
Pets must be restrained or kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Dogs must wear a collar with current tags at all times, Pick up after your dog at all times and leave no trace.
On the other hand, pets are not allowed inside buildings unless they are service animals. Never leave pets unattended or alone inside a vehicle. Excessive barking is also prohibited.
GPS and cell phone services may not always be dependable in the Navajo Nation.
The park is open daily during summer from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (mid-May - mid-October).
Winter Hours: Depend on weather and staffing (mid October - mid May).
The park is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The Navajo Nation observes Mountain Daylight Saving Time from March through November while the rest of Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time.
There is no public Wi-Fi available
Insect repellent is always a great idea when outdoors, especially if you are around any body of water.
We use Permethrin Spray on our clothes before our park trips.
Make sure to bring your own water bottle and plenty of water with you. Plastic water bottles are not sold in the park.
A small parking is available in front of the Trading Post, as well as in front of the Visitor Center.
There are no restaurants within the park.
There are no gas stations within the park.
Drones are not permitted within National Park Sites.
National Park Passport Stamps
National Park Passport stamps can be found in the visitor center.
Make sure to bring your National Park Passport Book with you or we like to pack these circle stickers so we don't have to bring our entire book with us.
Hubbell Trading Post NHS is part of the 2018 Passport Stamp Set
Electric Vehicle Charging
There are at least 2 EV Charging stations in Gallup, Mexico, 50 miles from the park.
Details about Hubbell Trading Post NHS
Size - 160 acres
Check out how the park compares to other National Parks by Size.
Hubbell’s family sold the property to the National Park Service in 1965.
Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site was established by Act of Congress on August 28, 1965.
Public Law 89-148 authorized the purchase of the "site and remaining structures of the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona, including the contents of cultural and historic value, together with such additional land and interests in land … needed to preserve and protect the post and its environs for the benefit and enjoyment of the public."
In 2021, Hubbell Trading Post NHS had 21,256 park visitors.
In 2020, Hubbell Trading Post NHS had 11,407 park visitors.
In 2019, Hubbell Trading Post NHS had 50,285 park visitors.
Learn more about the most visited and least visited National Parks in the US
National Park Address
½ mile west of Hwy 191/264, Ganado, AZ 86505-0150
National Park Map
Where is Hubbell Trading Post NHS?
Hubbell Trading Post NHS is located 40 miles north of I-40, 50 miles north and west of Gallup, New Mexico.
Estimated distance from major cities nearby
Albuquerque, NM (192 miles)
Mesa, AZ (260 miles)
Phoenix, AZ (290 miles)
Las Vegas, NV (400 miles)
El Paso, TX (435 miles)
Denver, CO (520 miles)
Estimated Distance from nearby National Park
Grand Canyon National Park - 181 miles
Petrified Forest National Park - 63 miles
Mesa Verde National Park - 175 miles
Canyonlands National Park - 225 miles
Arches National Park - 237 miles
Capitol Reef National Park - 305 miles
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - 309 miles
Zion National Park - 316 miles
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - 345 miles
Where is the National Park Visitor Center?
The Visitor Center is on the right side of the Hubbell Trading Post NHS.
Getting to Hubbell Trading Post NHS
Gallup Municipal Airport (60 miles)
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (180 miles)
Albuquerque International Sunport (200 miles)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (265 miles)
Harry Reid International Airport (395 miles)
El Paso International Airport (450 miles)
Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (490 miles)
Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport (100 miles)
Show Low Regional Airport (135 miles)
Four Corners Regional Airport (140 miles)
Belen Regional Airport (205 miles)
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is located at milepost 446.3 on AZ state route 264. Visitors traveling on I-40 can take U.S. Highway 191 North to Ganado and drive west on Hwy. 264.
From Gallup, New Mexico, you may take U.S. Highway 491 North to U.S. Highway 264 west toward Ganado, through Window Rock, Arizona. When you are driving south from Chinle, Arizona on Hwy. 191 you will drive east when you reach Hwy. 264.
Best time to visit Hubbell Trading Post
The best time to visit Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is early summer to early fall. From mid-June to early September, visitors can experience the beauty and culture of this historic spot while taking advantage of warm, sunny days. During this period, days are usually rain-free and the air is dry and comfortable - perfect for outdoor activities!
Weather and Seasons
In Ganado, the summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear and the winters are very cold, snowy, and partly cloudy.
The hot season is from May 30 to September 14, with an average daily high temperature above 78 degrees.
The cold season is from November 22 to February 25, with an average daily high temperature below 51 degrees.
The snowiest season is from December 24 to February 13, with at least 1 inch of snow in a month. January gets the most snow with an average of 1.1 inches.
Best Things to do in Hubbell Trading Post NHS
Visit the Visitor Center
The visitor center is the perfect place to start your visit to Hubbell Trading Post NHS. The visitor center includes interpretive panels, trading post exhibits, a bookstore, and Navajo rug weaving demonstrations.
Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger Program is a great way for kids and adults to learn more about the National Parks you are visiting. We try to complete the Junior Ranger program at every park that we visit.
The Junior Ranger program for Hubbell Trading Post takes you around the grounds and gives you the chance to learn about life at the trading post.
Tour the Hubbell Family Home
Tour the Hubbell family home to see their amazing collection of Southwestern Art and Native American Arts and Crafts. The house is furnished as it would have been by the Hubbell Family.
Check out the Native American Auction in May and October.
We visited during the Native American Auction and it was an amazing surprise. We had no idea it was happening the weekend we planned to visit the park.
If you plan on attending the auction come early to get a parking spot and be
Always carry the 10 essentials for outdoor survival when exploring.
Walk the Veterans Trail along the Pueblo Colorado Wash and take in the natural beauty of the landscape.
How to beat the crowds?
We visited during the annual auction and the park was crowded but this event only happens twice a year.
We were still able to explore the park easily and check out the exhibits.
Where to stay when visiting/Lodging
There are no National Park Lodges within the park.
The nearest motels are available in Chinle (40 minutes), Window Rock (30 minutes), and Holbrook, AZ (1.5 hours).
Thunderbird Lodge in Chinle - Thunderbird Lodge provides amenities like a business center and a restaurant. Guests can connect to free in-room Wi-Fi. All 69 rooms include comforts such as air conditioning.
Best Western Canyon de Chelly Inn - A gym, a business center, and a restaurant are just a few of the amenities provided at Best Western Canyon De Chelly Inn. Stay connected with free in-room Wi-Fi.
Holiday Inn Canyon De Chelly - Shopping on site, a garden, and dry cleaning/laundry services are just a few of the amenities provided at Holiday Inn Canyon De Chelly, an IHG Hotel. The onsite restaurant, Garcias Restaurant, features regional cuisine. Stay connected with free in-room Wi-Fi, and guests can find other amenities such as a gym and a 24-hour business center.
Click on the map below to see available lodging near the park.
The nearest campgrounds are about 40 minutes away at Canyon de Chelly National Monument near Chinle, AZ.
Campgrounds can be found in Chinle, AZ; Window Rock, AZ; Holbrook, AZ, or Gallup, NM.
For a fun adventure check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built in beds, kitchen area with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
Escape Campervans has offices in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, New York, and Orlando
Parks Near Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
Canyon De Chelly National Monument
Navajo National Monument
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Sunset Crater National Monument
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Check out all of the National Parks in Arizona along with neighboring National Parks in California, National Parks in Colorado, National Parks in Nevada, New Mexico National Parks, and Utah National Parks
Check out all of the US National Historic Sites managed by the NPS
Leave a Reply