After bad-mouthing rubble of the desert, it might seem ironic to praise a gravel surface, but the gravel surface in question is called desert pavement. It behaves just the opposite of loose gravel rubble. Desert pavement is a gravel surface that is hard and non-loose. Heavy vehicles don't even make ruts in it, which is probably why the BLM encourages campers to congregate where there is desert pavement. In fact it is fairly rare.
Wikipedia has an article on it, with several theories about how desert pavement is formed. The only theory that made sense to me is the one about wind and water carrying away the dust and sand, which leaves the gravel to settle and pack into itself.
Desert pavement is not perfect for a camper, but it is better than anything else. When rainy, a camper won't get stuck on desert pavement. Nor will their vehicle leave unsightly ruts. The gravel is not sharp enough to cause flat tires in bicycles and sore paws for a dog.
I would like to see desert pavement get more praise and glory. The trouble is that the tourist's/snowbird's camera is drawn toward other things. Once again, 'the medium is the message.'
This is no small matter. To have a long-term love affair with any kind of land is largely about moving away from postcard-porn and towards the appreciation of more solid things.