I know this is a very long shot, but for years I've been trying to ID a sci-fi novel, quite likely the first I ever read.
- Published pre-1982. Fairly short paperback, like an old Tor novel. Novella? Single story, not part of anthology.
- A group of space travellers (likely human) come to visit (crash on?) a planet.
- Discover planet was previously inhabited. I believe they find an old road.
- Road leads to a city.
- I think the city was inhabited by an alien race or a regressed human race. I vaguely remember they are apelike (no, not Planet of the Apes!), possibly lizard-like.
- Conflict of course.
- I seem to remember there was another, old spaceship that was discovered.
- I think the cover showed a rocket, the road and perhaps the city in background. But that could be a figment.
I know, super, super vague. I wish I could provide more, sorry. Thanks.