One of the most extraordinary places I have visited in the US is Mesa Verde. It is a town abandoned intact by its residents about 700 years ago, located in the canyon-riven plateau foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the south-west of Colorado. The town stretches along canyon walls and reflects the 700 years that the Anasazi lived there. It’s thought that climate change forced them eventually to leave and move south.
It’s an amazing place, as any 700-year-old town would be even if it hadn’t then been abandoned for another 700 years. The living spaces, ceremonial spaces (kivas) and towers seem much more recently built and left. They are hidden in the overhangs of the canyon, hard to approach from the plateau but with easy access to the valley floor.
Mesa Verde National Park is a must-visit if you’ve ever the time to get there – a day or so of driving from Denver.