Hilltop Ruin provides a good overview of this portion of the canyon near where several excavations occured. Soft sedimentary rocks are exposed here at river level, yielding a wide, relatively shallow river, and open, relatively level places for people to live. From this location, the North and South Rims, where other ancestral people lived, are visible.
Hilltop Ruin was not excavated as part of the NPS/MNA project. While the sites excavated in this project were buried by sediment until exposed by erosion, Hilltop Ruin sits on the surface and can be easily seen by backpackers and river runners. Hilltop Ruin was probably used by the ancestral Puebloan people at the same time that they inhabited Furnace Flats and other nearby sites.