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Shiprock, New Mexico
Shiprock Chapter House
Shiprock Chapter House
Naat’áanii Nééz
Location of Shiprock, New Mexico
Location of Shiprock, New Mexico
Shiprock, New Mexico is located in the United States
Shiprock, New Mexico
Shiprock, New Mexico
Location in the United States
Country United States
State New Mexico
County San Juan
 • Total 16.2 sq mi (42.0 km2)
 • Land 15.9 sq mi (41.1 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)
4,892 ft (1,491 m)
 • Total 8,295
 • Density 617.1/sq mi (238.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
87420, 87461
Area code(s) 505
FIPS code 35-72770
GNIS feature ID 0902354

Shiprock (Navajo: Naatʼáanii Nééz) is a census-designated place (CDP) on the Navajo reservation in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 7,718 people in the 2020 census. It is part of the Farmington Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Shiprock is named after the nearby Shiprock rock formation. Since 1903, the town has been called Naat’áanii Nééz (meaning “tall leader” in the Navajo language) after the San Juan Indian Agency superintendent William T. Shelton who settled Shiprock for the United States government.

The annual Northern Navajo Fair is held every October. Since 1984, the community has hosted the Shiprock Marathon and Relay. Diné College is a local four-year college (formerly Navajo Community College), a tribally controlled community college with seven other campuses across the Navajo Nation. It is the site of a Chapter House for the Navajo, a Bureau of Indian Affairs agency and the Northern Navajo Medical Center (an Indian Health Service hospital).

The town is a key road junction for truck traffic and tourists visiting the Four Corners, Mesa Verde, Shiprock and the Grand Canyon. It lies at the intersection of U.S. Route 64 and U.S. Route 491 (formerly U.S. Route 666).


Shiprock is located at 36°47′34″N 108°41′14″W / 36.79278°N 108.68722°W / 36.79278; -108.68722 (36.792789, −108.687294).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.2 square miles (42 km2), of which 15.9 square miles (41 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (2.10%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2000 8,156
2010 8,295 1.7%
2020 7,718 −7.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,156 people, 2,184 households, and 1,847 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 513.6 people per square mile (198.3/km2). There were 2,594 housing units at an average density of 163.3 per square mile (63.1/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.74% Native American, 2.17% White, 0.16% African American, 0.12% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.29% of the population. In 2010, the population of Shiprock was 8,295, which is an increase of +1.7% since 2000.

There were 2,184 households, out of which 52.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 28.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.4% were non-families. 13.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.73 and the average family size was 4.06.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 38.6% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 16.5% from 45 to 64, and 4.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $24,523, and the median income for a family was $24,951. Males had a median income of $24,032 versus $17,328 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $7,967. About 38.3% of families and 39.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.2% of those under age 18 and 47.5% of those age 65 or over. In 2010, estimated median household income was $31,805, which is 29.7% above the value in 2000 (it was $24,523 in 2000).

In film

Paramount's 1994 film Pontiac Moon starring Ted Danson was partially shot here.

It was one of the filming locations for the 1994 crime film Natural Born Killers.

The 2002 film Rocks With Wings, directed by Rick Derby, follows the Navajo members of the Lady Chieftains, the girls' basketball team from Shiprock High School, as they struggle with a new (black) coach, their own expectations, and those of their community and the "Anglo" world around them.


The Central Consolidated School District serves Shiprock as well as other communities in western San Juan County. Shiprock is home to Shiprock High School, Career Prep High School, Tsé Bit'a'í Middle School, Mesa Elementary School, Nizhoni Elementary School, Eva B. Stokely Elementary School

Shiprock Associated Schools, Inc., associated with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), operates Atsá Biyáázh Community School and Shiprock Northwest High School (7th to 12th grade).

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Shiprock (Nuevo México) para niños

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