The words “San Tan” have a rich Native American background. They originated from the Tohono O’odham (Papago) people. They needed a word for the Spanish words “Santa Ana” or in English, Saint Anne. “Santan” was born into the native language. Santan was used to name a mountain range that sits in north eastern Pinal County, soaring up to a 3010 foot elevation. The San Tan Mountains are home to a 10,000 acre park with hiking trails, native american petroglyphs and diverse geology. Because the mountain range also sits on the southern boarder of Maricopa county, many people in both Pinal and southern Maricopa counties identify with the SanTan area. The words San Tan have also been noted as a way for businesses to identify their south east valley roots, like San Tan Brewery in Chandler, Az.

In 2009, the unincorporated census area of Pinal county that sits in the foothills of the San Tan Mountain range needed a name. They had the opportunity to assign a name to the area. The Pinal County Supervisor at the time and many local residents helped the area decide on a name that has become what is known as San Tan Valley today.