Photo By Ron Goulet

Crownpoint Rug Auction, AZ

By Ron Goulet

It’s as authentic as it gets at the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction, on the second Friday of every month at Crownpoint Elementary School.  Crownpoint is 57 miles north east of Gallup, New Mexico.  Make a point to be there, or if you just happen to be in Gallup on the second Friday afternoon, get to Crownpoint.

Over 50 years ago, Crownpoint Trading Post owners, the late Lavonne and Bill Palmer, started the rug auction, and it continues today featuring contemporary, handmade, all-wool Navajo rugs.  It’s the best place for a good deal on a Navajo rug where both weavers and buyers get a fair price!  Rugs go for as little as $50 and on up past $5,000, and the weaver pays just 15% of the sale price to the Navajo Rug Weaver’s Association of Crownpoint.

Weavers from across the region begin checking in their rugs at 4:00 p.m. on the day of the auction, through 6:30 p.m.  The auction starts at 7:00 p.m.  Hundreds of rugs can be auctioned in an evening.  It’s fun and fast-paced.  Inspect rugs closely beginning as soon as they are checked in.  Those wishing to buy must register and get a bidding number.  Credit cards are now accepted as well as cash or check.  There’s a 4% fee for credit card purchases.

Weavers are paid the same night as the auction by the Weavers’ Association.

The best advertising a rug auction ever got was by being mentioned in many of Tony Hillerman’s best-selling crime novels set mostly on the Navajo Reservation.

Sales are slow in winter, and the auction is at its busiest during the summer and fall travel seasons.

Take home an authentic keepsake of Navajo culture when you buy  rug at the Rug Auction.

You can also shop vendor tables up and down the school’s hallways for jewelry, pottery, and other Native American crafts.  Or, sample authentic Navajo and Mexican foods from many vendors.

This is the real deal, where rugs are held up for viewing by volunteers in an elementary school lunch room.

Auctions can last well into the late evening, so you’ll be driving back to town in the dark – watch out for livestock on the roads!

Getting There

Crownpoint Elementary School is located about 30 minutes north of I-40 (Thoreau exit #53) on state highway 371. Turn west at the sign for Crownpoint. The Elementary School is located about a mile towards town, just past the Post Office on the north side of the road.


There are no overnight accommodations in Crownpoint.  Accommodations are available just off of I-40 in Gallup (50 miles west of Thoreau) and Grants (30 miles east of Thoreau).  Camping is available at Bluewater Lake State Park (Prewitt exit off I-40), Redrocks State Park (Gallup) or in private campgrounds/RV parks in Grants, Gallup, and Farmington.

There’s a bricks-and-mortar Navajo rug store for everything a weaver needs, and rugs for retail sales. Walking in Beauty is at 233 W. Coal Ave. in Gallup, NM.

Weaving classes, weaving supplies, rug cleaning and rug repairs are all available at Walking in Beauty.

Our email is
Address: PO Box 454, Crownpoint, NM 87313
The Crownpoint Chapter Office phone is (505) 786-2130/2131
Or call Marcella Hale 505 362-8502.