Location: North Virginia, USA
Length: 27.7 km (18.3 miles)
Width: 5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 8
Highest point: 606 m (1,988 ft)
Operating times: throughout the year
via US-129 N
Route: from 17556 Tapoco Road to State Hwy 115
Tail of the Dragon Road Description
The Tail of the Dragon Road is truly a unique drive due to its many twists and turns. On a short distance of approximatively 11 miles, you will have the chance to drive on no less than 318 curves.
This drive is scenic and also one of the most exciting ones in America.
The road is also known as the Deals Gap, and it’s a portion of U.S. Route 129, located in Blount County, Tennessee. The drive on this route is an adrenaline-pumping one. It features hundreds of blind curves and high degrees of camber. It’s going to be a challenge for any driver, but an exciting one, for sure.
Some of the 318 curves even have names such as Copperhead Corner, Hog Pen Bend, Shade Tree Corner, Mud Corner, Wheelie Hell, Sunset Corner, Gravity Cavity, Beginner’s End, and Brake or Bust Bend.
The name of this road comes from its curves as well because they make it look like a dragon’s tail. On this route, you will also find the Tree of Shame, a place where many motocycles have crashed, and the bits have remained on the tree, reminding everyone that this is a dangerous road.
A dangerous and scenic road
The road is both dangerous and scenic, a combination, not many passionate drivers could say no to. It mostly takes you through the forest. That means that every season will look different in the area, each showing you a different side of it. An advantage of driving here during winter is that you can see through the trees since their leaves have dropped. You will have an excellent visibility here from November to March.
The weather is unpredictable and harsh, especially during winter when there is heavy snowfall. In some higher points, like Cherohala and Blue Ridge Parkway, it can snow even in May.
The current speed limit is 30 mph. It was lowered in 2002 because of the numerous accidents that happened in this area.
The Tail of the Dragon road has a reputation for being dangerous and challenging. That’s usually because of a combination of the weather and the many twists and blind turns. Even during summer, the route can be a dangerous one because of rain showers. The make the road slippery, making it easier for drivers to lose control of the vehicle.
This curvy, narrow mountainous road offers a special drive. You will see no intersection roads, houses, driveways or businesses. Also, every curve is different, so your drive will vary a lot. There are some elevation changes too. Also, you will experience here a few twists that are off-camber and some that are decreasing radius curves.
It’s a pleasure to drive the unique Tail of the Dragon road, and the excitement cannot be equalled. The road itself is an attraction, and many come here just to has the chance to drive it.
Photos: https://roadtrippers.com, https://www.carthrottle.com, http://www.nicoclub.com, https://www.revvolution.com, http://www.dangerousroads.org, https://bikernation.bizr