The unmarked cow trail that provides an easy route to the top of Cannonball is 1.4 miles north along the rough road. At the top I turned left or north, and continued along the rim, past a narrow northwest point to an overlook of a boulder based Ancestral Pueblo ruins site. Slightly to the east, there is a notch in the cliffs that allows a descent down the slope.
I had spotted this site on a previous hike along the Cannonball Mesa Cliffs. The notch has several easy to view petroglyphs near the rim. It took me 0:45 minutes to arrive at the notch.
The hike down the slope is somewhat slippery but feasible. The best routes are often easier to see looking up the slope rather than down. At the ruins site, there are some minor wall sections still in place around the edges on top and much rubble has tumbled down on the south side.
I didn’t see any other structures around the boulder. From this site it is an easy walk down toward the canyon bottom and the flowing creek and there are many other large boulders in the vicinity.
I followed the old road, walking slowly and scanning the opposite side with binoculars. In about 20 minutes of direct walking, the road leads to the creek and dead ends. I didn’t spot any ruins sites in the creek area, but they are often hard to see from a distance. During my hike, there was an old backhoe parked at the end of the road.
I was 3:10 hours into my hike when I arrived back at the ruins site on my return hike. I saw a few alcoves high to the west and wanted to see if there was another route to this area. When I climbed to a ridge below the alcoves I had a major surprise. (Go to the next post for the surprise.) Otherwise, my total hike took 4:10 hours on a 60 F degree partly cloudy and windy mid March day. I carried and drank 2 liters of water for about 5 miles of hiking.