We have been to DV many times with our '10 Outback. This time of year temperatures are moderate, so heat will not be a problem, but do carry water, food and simple tools. Cell phone service is non-existent except near Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. There is no "requirement" for 4x4 in DV, just recommendations for the type of vehicle needed on given trails. Bear in mind that AWD, found on the OB, is nowhere near the capability of 4x4 found on a Jeep, transmission, clearance, or tire-wise, and the weakest link on the OB is its road tires. If you have a flat off-road, you are in big trouble, so drive slowly when the going gets rough. Be sure to check daily current road conditions on the DV website and definitely download the pamphlet "Backcountry Roads" which lists 15 off-road trails with recommendations for the type of vehicle required. The OB can easily handle "high clearance" such as Titus Canyon (we did this a month ago) and can do a good job on "4x4 recommended". It cannot handle "4x4 required" and in all cases you just have to use your judgement on what you feel comfortable driving. We have done most of the drives described in the pamphlet, and in many cases turned around when the difficulty of the road was beyond our comfort level. Be prepared for dust and dirt throughout the vehicle and the potential for brush marks on the outside in close quarters. The attached photo was taken about 2/3 of the way up Trail Canyon about 2000 ft above the Valley floor. We were able to go about 2 miles further before the going got too tough, but, as you can see, it was well worth the drive.
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