My youngest son Jackson and I have just returned from an adventurous trip west to Death Valley and Great Dunes NP. We brought home memories of extraordinary hiking and sand boarding, dirty clothes, pockets of sand, a new found interest in glasses of water, and for me, a broken tailbone.
Death Valley has a number of Star Wars (New Hope) filming sites, and they still look the same from the 1970's.
In Death Valley, the best dining option is the Timbisha Village Frybread Tacos and Shaved Ice, which is about a mile away from Furnace Creek. This tiny Indian reservation was simply engaging.
Near Great Dunes NP in Colorado, our favorites were Calvillo's Mexican Restaurant and Hideaway Steakhouse.