One of the top places to visit on my list in New Mexico was Bandelier National Monument, a site of ancestral pueblo dwellings, both built in the form of buildings and natural in the form of partially dugout cavates. The pueblo left this area over 400 years ago to move to areas along the Rio Grande (where they still reside), but their legacy can certainly be felt in Frijoles Canyon.
This is also a fun place to visit (aside from the intense heat that closed most other areas of the park and Carson National Forest for the summer). All of us — yes, even our dad and mom — took turns climbing into the cavates, some of which were big enough to stand in. It’s amazing to think that people lived there!
Tyuonyi — the ruined walls — used to be a multistory structure, as did those built into the side of the cliff.
On our way home (after a fun afternoon in Santa Fe at the state capitol and Meow Wolf), we found ourselves trapped in a beautiful sunset, and had to stop. It felt uniquely southwestern.