Mountain, a large laccolithic dome, straddles the Utah-Arizona border
of the Navajo Indian Reservation. The Navajo call this sacred mountain
Naatsis'aan, "Head of the Earth Woman." Navajo Mountain has a rich and
varied historical past. The earliest maps identify it as Sierra Panoche.
The ruined dwellings and irrigation ditches of Desha and Anasazi people,
evidence of years of human occupation, still stand on nearby mesa tops,
canyon walls, and desert floors.
documentation of the occupation of Navajo Mountain began with Spanish
explorers and Catholic fathers Anastasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez
de Escalante, who "met only Paiutes" when they forded the Colorado River near Navajo Mountain in 1776. The San Juan Paiutes and Navajos occupied
the surrounding mesas and rugged canyons in the early 1800s.