I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest that taking a wide-angle into a big landscape is kind of asking for cliched results. There's a temptation to use the wide angle to "get it all in", and there's so much "all" out in the Great Basin that one often ends up with photos that try to swallow everything and end up being about nothing.

So that's my argument for taking a narrower lens and paying attention to details. Textures, colours, contrasts, things down at the human scale. Obviously this is just one viewpoint, though, and feel free to ignore it.

Also, be careful out there, especially in Death Valley. Things will be starting to heat up and dry out; keep your brain engaged, and if you're going off the main roads, make sure the park staff know where you went.

You know you're going to have to go around Yosemite and enter from the west, right? The Tioga Pass road virtually never opens before mid-May, and sometimes not until June.