Hubbell Trading Post NHS

About this Location

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is located at milepost 446.3 on AZ-264. Visitors traveling on I-40 can take US-191 North to Ganado and drive west on AZ-264. If you are traveling from Gallup, New Mexico, you may take US-491 North to AZ-264 west toward Ganado, through Window Rock, Arizona. When you are driving south from Chinle, Arizona on US-191 you will drive east when you reach AZ-264.

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 shrubland 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 were 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.

Content from Official Website