Here’s a cliff dwelling that has just about everything you’d hope to find at a Native American ruin—nicely preserved walls, pottery, rock art, corncobs, stone tools, and even a kiva. You’ll find the ruin after a pleasant hike down Collins Canyon, a tributary of Grand Gulch, and then down the gulch a couple of miles. The ruin sits in what might be described as a “double-decker” enclave.
The upper enclave, which holds the main ruin, is completely inaccessible to visitors. However, it’s low enough that you can get a good look at the well-preserved walls and intact doors of the cliff dwelling. Two wooden beams in front of the dwelling appear to form banisters, a feature that prompted the site’s common name, Banister Ruin. The Ancestral Pueblo people, who built the ruin sometime between A.D. 1060 and 1270, probably used ladders to reach the upper dwelling. The lower enclave houses an amazingly well-preserved structure that could easily be mistaken for an oven or kiln, but it’s actually a kiva.
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