Big thanks for the input. We have done Death Valley a couple times but will do it again. We have done Red Rock Canyon and wheeled out the back side of it over the Pass. Done Garden of the Gods and love it. and the Valley of fire love it a couple times. Still plan to do them as some of the others have not done these places and they are not to be missed.Ok…..
this has ZERO to do with off-roading but…. While you are in colorado, why not drive the highest paved road in North America? Mt. Evans. It will take you to about 14.1k feet with very variable weather (plan ahead). Reservations required but fairly easy to obtain on short notice. Also consider a (paved) drive/hike inside Garden of the Gods in Colorado springs. stunning.
As you head North to Alaska, (I will ignore Yellowstone and glacier as you likely know all that already), consider Burgess Junction Wyoming there Are amazingly pretty off-road areas there (and one place to buy gas if you’re lucky). Also Shell Canyon in Wyoming is stunning. Do: devils tower and little Bighorn battlefield. Both are really interesting.
as you are bumping around California, consider Death Valley. It is one of my favorite places because it is so effing weird (geologically). pick-up Rhyolite ghost town (google it) while there (Head into Beatty, NV for lunch if you wish). Also, take your rig out to Sailing stones, camp the night, and take some amazing images at sunrise during magic hour.
I think that you already thought of valley of Fire SP in NV. It’s amazing too as is Red Rock Canyon just east of Las Vegas.
garden of the Gods
Red rock Canyon (Vegas)
Death Valley sand dunes
done devils tower and little Bighorn battlefield in the past, but the others may want to see these too.
I have added Rhyolite ghost town, Beatty, NV for lunch and Sailing Stone camp.
A tip of the day for Dash Valley if coming from or to California over the mountains..... Look up General Sherman's Pass. I brings you out by Hot Springs California and is a great drive. We have done it on motorcycles and convertible cars. It is all black top, but a great drive over the mountains.