Near the parking area there is a dirt road leading south that offers a route for exploring Cow Canyon. Canyons of the Ancients has many small ruins sites but it is a find it on your own park.
Both the sites I saw had survey pins with site number tags attached. These two sites are small and it’s hard to see anything, but it’s good to find these early in a hike that doesn’t have a definite destination. Continuing on the dirt road until it reaches the forest edge. I made my way to a rocky point that overlooks the east fork of the head of the canyon.
The top of the canyon is mostly steep cliffs but there are many notches and gaps to get through the cliffs onto the gentler slope of the canyon side. This site used some large boulders as a foundation and seemed to be reasonably large, extending down the hill for a ways.
Hikers approaching along the canyon floor would have to be looking into the forest area carefully. It is in the portion of the east fork that runs east and west for a short distance.
Since I was already down in the canyon I decided to return along the bottom rather than retrace my steps. This was a good idea but I made a navigation error and climbed out on the east side rather that the west side, fooled by a small side canyon to the east.
When I reached the top, I could see the protective structure of Lowry Ruins and headed north for it, but was surprised when I reached the east fork canyon again. The bright side of this mistake was that I came across the remains of an old log cabin down below and was able to see the east fork of Cow Canyon from another angle.
I found a cow path that led back down and then up and crossed again. It took me about 2:00 hours to find the Cow Canyon east fork site and 2:00 hours to return for a 4:00 total hike for about 3.5 miles. It was an 84 F early July day with a good breeze blowing and I carried 2 liters of water.