Window Rock, Arizona

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Window Rock, Arizona
Navajo Nation Council Chamber
Location in Apache County and the state of Arizona
Location in Apache County and the state of Arizona
Coordinates: 35°40′22″N 109°3′44″W / 35.67278°N 109.06222°W / 35.67278; -109.06222Coordinates: 35°40′22″N 109°3′44″W / 35.67278°N 109.06222°W / 35.67278; -109.06222
Country United States
State Arizona
County Apache
 • Total 5.3 sq mi (13.7 km2)
 • Land 5.3 sq mi (13.7 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 6,830 ft (2,082 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,712
 • Density 514/sq mi (198.4/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 86515
Area code 928
FIPS code 04-83720
GNIS feature ID 0013908

Window Rock (Navajo: Tségháhoodzání) is a small city that serves as the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. It lies within the boundaries of the St. Michaels Chapter. Window Rock hosts the Navajo Nation governmental campus which contains the Navajo Nation Council, Navajo Nation Supreme Court and the Offices of the President and Vice President.

Window Rock's population was 2,712 at the 2010 census.[1] Window Rock's main attraction is the window formation of sandstone the community is named after. The Zah Museum & Library and the Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park, as well as the Navajo Nation World War II Memorial are also located within Window Rock.

Origin of name[edit]

Tségháhoodzání, the "Window Rock"

Until 1936, the area was sparsely populated and known only by its ceremonial name Niʼ Ałníiʼgi ("Center of the World"). John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, chose the site to establish the seat of the Navajo Central Agency. His proposal to make the ceremonial name the official name met with resistance and Navajos soon ridiculed it as "ni ałnííʼgóó" (~ "into your middle (parts)").

Due to this, the name of the major local landmark, the rock-with-hole-through-it (Navajo: tségháhoodzání) was chosen and rendered in English as "Window Rock".[2]


Window Rock is located at 35°40′22″N 109°3′44″W / 35.67278°N 109.06222°W / 35.67278; -109.06222 (35.672752, -109.062097).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.3 square miles (13.7 km2), all land.[1]


The greater Window Rock area comprises the Fort Defiance and St. Michaels chapters, as well as the hamlets of Hunter's Point and the Summit, and Tse Bonito on the New Mexico side of the border with Arizona.


Navajo Nation World War II Memorial located next to the Window Rock

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 3,059 people, 876 households, and 713 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 589.3 people per square mile (227.6/km²). There were 998 housing units at an average density of 192.3/sq mi (74.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.46% Native American, 3.17% White, 0.42% Asian, 0.16% African American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.07% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.

There were 876 households out of which 51.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 29.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.6% were non-families. 15.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.42 and the average family size was 3.81.

In the CDP the age distribution of the population shows 36.3% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 4.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $36,885, and the median income for a family was $36,500. Males had a median income of $27,266 versus $26,902 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,122. About 24.6% of families and 24.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.6% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.


Window Rock is a part of the Window Rock Unified School District, which serves the greater Fort Defiance and St. Michaels chapters population center.

Window Rock is served by:

  • Window Rock Elementary School
  • Tse Ho Tso Middle School
  • Window Rock High School located in the Fort Defiance Chapter.

The community is also served by the private Saint Michael Indian School, a K-12 private, Catholic school established by Katharine Drexel in 1902. Saint Michael Indian School is a member of the National Catholic Education Association and the Diocese of Gallup Catholic School System.


As a district within the St. Michaels Chapter, Window Rock is served by a Chapter Council and President.

Travel and tourism[edit]

Tourism is an integral part of the local economy. Window Rock attracts a large number of tourists and visitors due to its close proximity to many National Parks and Sites and Navajo government. The area is a popular base of commerce for the regional people as well.

Window Rock is within driving distance to:


Numerous events are hosted throughout the year in the greater Window Rock area, which includes Fort Defiance and St. Michaels, such as:

  • Navajo Nation July 4 Celebration
  • Navajo Nation Fair & Rodeo

Health care[edit]

Window Rock is served by the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital[5] in the Fort Defiance Chapter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Window Rock CDP, Arizona". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ Linford, Laurent. Navajo Places. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City, Utah: 2000.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Wittenberg, Jonathan (2006). Navajo Nation 1950: Traditional Life in Photographs. Glitterati Incorporated. ISBN 0-9777531-9-0. 

External links[edit]