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If it weren't for my wife and I expecting our first kid in the next couple of weeks, I would love to do this. I read through some of the info but was wondering if this is a 4x4 required trail? I have a stock 2wd Tundra CM.
 

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If it weren't for my wife and I expecting our first kid in the next couple of weeks, I would love to do this. I read through some of the info but was wondering if this is a 4x4 required trail? I have a stock 2wd Tundra CM.
It said its possible but not practical. But it looks like you definitely need clearance. It might be ok if you went with other 4x4's but im not sure.
 

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If you do this it will be an adventure you'll not likely forget. The scenery will amaze, perhaps even give you a feelng of reverence. As canddmeyer said: lots of water, it's gonna be hot, chancy communications - that's it in a nutshell. I have lived and worked in this desert all my life, and have done a few stints in Death Valley; in summer (May to October) it is brutal hot most of the time, 120+ degree days are not uncommon there, and in winter (when it's not summer) it can be so cold you can't imagine; your midwest winters are NOT the same kind of cold. In a lot of places, when the wind blows (a lot of the time) you need to wear goggles to protect your eyes. For your trip, prepare well, let the Park Rangers know where you are going and when you'll return, or let them know you are safe and leaving the Park. Figure on taking five gallons of water per person per day - if you are going to be relatively sedentary; if you are planning on a lot of walking and climbing, take ten; the climate will literally suck you dry and desicate you. When I was working, we carried between fifteen and rwenty gallons per crew member, and we often used every bit of it in a ten or twelve hour day. Enjoy your trip.
 

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4wd is not really necessary - been down that road a few times and can't remember really needing 4wd anywhere. I would NOT do it in the Summer. And never go offroading alone - if you get stuck there is nobody to pull you out or help. Could end up on that show - I shouldn't be alive!
I ran across someone out on the racetrack road with 2 flats - They had no idea what they were gonna due and was totally unprepared. I carry full assortment of tools, air compressor, flat repair kit and tons more - we got them going with the spare and flat repair kit, can of fix a flat and the air compressor.
 

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I also posted this in the CA forum:

I've been all over DV. It is a beautiful, fun place to explore, but know that summer temps are BRUTAL. 120F+ is not uncommon. Special precautions must be taken when doing the valley floors in summer. They lose a couple of people a year there due to heat exhaustion/exposure, sometimes just because of a flat tire. Whatever your plans, don't ever do it in the summer by yourself. Make sure you travel with at least two vehicles at all times.

A mobile/handheld amateur radio set (FCC license required, easy to get) is also strongly advised. There is no cell/FRS radio service and CB signals are killed by the mountain ranges.

Here's a great website to help you create trips in the valley: Death Valley in a Week: 1000 photos (800x600) with GPS trip coordinates
 
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