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The only way to see the superb Cliff Palace is to take the hour-long ranger-led tour. The tour retraces the steps taken by the Ancestral Puebloans – visitors must climb down a stone stairway and four 10ft ladders. This grand engineering achievement, with 217 rooms and 23 kivas, provided shelter for 250 to 300 people.
Its inhabitants were without running water. However, springs across the canyon, below Sun Temple, were most likely their primary water sources. The use of small ‘chinking’ stones between the large blocks is strikingly similar to Ancestral Puebloan construction at distant Chaco Canyon.