Driving through Death Valley is spectacular but also drawn-out since the only thing you are going to see for miles during a lonesome drive is the flat desert.
Nevertheless you should have the Valley on your map coming to California. Its sights are marvelous and the difference to the other landscape within the state is impressing. Coming here you will get an idea how strenuous and exhausting the first settlers’ treks from the east coast must have been and how diversified the state of California is.
The most amazing sights in Death Valley are spread along HWY 178 and 190. Since they could be a far drive apart you should make a plan where to go first before visiting the National Park.
Arriving from Yosemite I would recommend to take HWY 190 first and drive through to Zabriskie Point before turning around heading to HWY 178 and the other sights in the south.