Most Nat Parks are about what you see on tv travel show. Some photographer sets up and waits all day or days for beautiful light and pics. It's hard to equal that with a pass thru drive.
Death Valley was not anything like Death Valley Days tv show.
Not like the pics I'd seen. Nothing I'd seen had done DV proper justice.
There are huge mountains and deep-deep valleys.
Wild flowers in spring and freeze your niblets cold in winter.
DV Rec Area is huge. An all day ride to get thru. There is probably 2-300 mi of pavement inside DV
I've been there 4 times and still haven't done any significant off roading.
Go see "the Racetrack" in the evening.
Spend at least a half day at Scottys Castle.
Ride the length of the park as well as the width.
I might add, any nat park needs at least a day to appreciate. You need to be there when the light is good.
This is especially true with the desert parks. Get there early in the morn or late in the eve to catch the shadows and changing colors. Overcast days also help.
I was at Grand Canyon at noon. It was just a big hole. About 6pm it came alive.
The same with Monument Valley. Stunning after the sun went down. Of course, I then had to ride out in the dark and find a camping spot, but that is the price for good experiences and pics. Finding a camping place after dark is its own adventure. Wake up in the morning to find people staring at you. "Where am I".