Hualapai Indian Tribe
The People of the Tall Pines
While many Indian Tribes in Arizona have called the Grand Canyon and its surrounding lands “home,” few have had as great and lasting an impact as the Hualapai Indian tribe.
The Hualapai are an Indian tribe in Arizona whose traditional territory—the Hualapai Indian Reservation—is made up of 108 miles of land that stretch alongside the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. In 1988, the Hualapai Indian tribe opened their lands to visitors with the organization of Grand Canyon West, which gives visitors an opportunity to step beyond the rim (literally!) at the Grand Canyon Skywalk. (Combine your Jeep tour with a visit to the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the Grand Canyon West Rim Classic Tour, the Above, Below, and Beyond Tour, or the Drive, Fly, and Float Tour.)
The Hualapai tribe has a rich history and culture that have shaped the Grand Canyon and the state of Arizona. Here are some quick facts about the Hualapai Indian Tribe:
- Their name is derived from the word “hwa:l,” meaning ponderosa pine.
- The Hualapai Indian Reservation covers 1,142 square miles, reaching into three Arizona counties: Coconino, Yavapai, and Mojave.
- Their tribal capital is located in Peach Springs, which lies along historic Route 66.
- Traditional Hualapai dress includes deerskin suits and rabbit skin robes.
- The Hualapai War, which lasted from 1865-1870, was fought between the Hualapai tribe and European Americans as the area became more frequently travelled.
- The Hualapai and the neighboring Havasupai were at one point one tribe; they are now considered politically separate groups.
Today, the Hualapai tribe keeps its culture alive at the Grand Canyon. Through their efforts at Grand Canyon West and with Grand Canyon tourism in general, they share their customs and traditions with thousands of the canyon’s yearly visitors. The proud heritage of the Hualapai stands as a symbol of Arizona history and culture, and continues to benefit the land and the people of the Grand Canyon.