Thats interesting, I dont have much experience going across desert area, I stick to the northern states but am trying to learn. When would be the best time to do a arizona grand canyon, utah, northern nevada loop?
I've found that the fall (sept/oct) works better for those areas, usually no snow trouble, cooler temps, less tourists. The spring months may have cool enough temps but snow drifts and mud can limit where you can go.
Another good trip would be 72Virginians annual Reno to Bodie off road trip.