Have you come across any of the world’s most dangerous roads? These include some perilous mountain passes, wicked highways along with some remote and rough off-the-beaten-track roads. If you are more into calm, easy to navigate roads, you might want to skip this one out. But for those of you who’d like to test out their strong nerves and superb driving skills, try out these dangerous roads.
Do You Have It In You To Go On These 8 Dangerous Roads In The World?
1. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Nicknamed Death Road, the North Yungas Road is 49.7 miles (80 kilometres) long and has a maximum elevation of 15,256 feet (4,650 metres). Bolivia’s most formidable route due to its steep curves, overhanging rocks, landslides and no guardrails, has rightfully earned the title of the world’s most dangerous highway. It is a 12-feet-wide single lane road built between La Paz and Coroico. Ths narrow stretch which is carved into the Cordillera Oriental Mountain in Bolivia is often shrouded in rain and fog, so just one wrong turn could send travellers plummeting anywhere from 4,000 to 15,000 feet into the Amazon rainforest below. The road also features over 200 hairpin turns.
2. 99-Bend Road To Heaven, China
Called the Tian Men Shan Big Gate, this spectacular road in the Tianmen Mountain National Park is 6.8 miles (11 kilometres) long with a maximum elevation of 3,855 feet (1,175 metres). Snaking around the Tianmen Mountain (Heaven Gate Mountain) in northwestern Hunan Province, China, this road is one of the world’s most dangerous roads. It offers you 99 nerve-wracking bends constructed hundreds of feet high as well as plenty of precipitous drops. The road took six years to complete, finishing in 2006. The Tongtian Avenue (Avenue towards heaven) of the road has 99 bends symbolising that heaven has nine palaces.
3. Highway Of James Dalton, USA
Also known as the North Slope Haul Road, the James Dalton Highway was made famous by the TV show ‘Ice Road Truckers’. This dangerous road is located in the wilds of northern Alaska and is also known to be one of the US’s most deadly roads. This lonely gravel road is over 414-miles (666 kms) long, and presents a gruelling drive for those who brave it. Usually used by truckers, it is advised to be prepared in advance for numerous possible perils such as fog, snow, potholes, bears, thundering trucks and fatigue. While the highway is paved in most places, about three-fourths of it, 240 miles, is not, making it the longest stretch of un-serviced road on the North American continent. There are no medical facilities along the highway, and only three towns exist along the way. Therefore, it is advised to carry your own survival kit and supplies for extreme weather, poor visibility, difficult terrain, steep grades, isolation, and wildlife.
4. The Highway Of Karakoram, Pakistan
Built as high as 15,000 feet above sea level and under very rough conditions, Karakoram Highway is 810 miles (1,300 kilometres) long, connecting China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range. This long-distance dangerous road follows the Old Silk Road, cutting through the most mountainous region in the world, and is plagued with a terrifying ensemble of natural disasters, including landslides, avalanche, flooding and heavy snow. The Karakoram Highway is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. The construction of this dangerous road began in 1966 and completed in 1979, although it wasn’t open to the public until 1986.
5. The Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
This terrifying rocky tunnel in China’s Taihang Mountains, in the province of Henan owes its existence to the inhabitants of the 13 villages who carved the mountain in 1970. The tunnel is 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometres) long, with a height of 15 feet and width of 12 feet. The villagers wanted a link to the rest of the Huixian, Xinxiang, Henan provinces of China and used explosives to blow their way through the vertiginous cliff. It took five years to build the tunnel and the road was open to traffic in 1977. Today, the tunnel stands with a maximum elevation of 2,000 feet (600 metres) along with sheer cliffs, no guardrails, rockfalls and mudslides. This becomes the world’s most dangerous road when it rains, due to thick fog and slippery surfaces.
6. The Pass Of Zoji La, India
Often closed during winter due to heavy snowfall, this terrifying pass in India is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. While it’s only 5.6 miles (9 kilometres) long, its maximum elevation is 11,575 feet (3,528 metres). Connecting the towns of Srinagar and Leh in the western Himalayan mountain range, Zoji Pass is a dirt road with no guardrails or traffic signs and where landslides are a regular problem. Moreover, this dangerous road which was originally built in 1947, zigzags among craggy peaks of the highest mountain range in the world in extreme weather.
7. Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
Located in Taiwan, the Taroko Gorge Road is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The road is 11.8 miles (19 kilometres) long, narrow and bendy. This Central Cross-Island Highway goes through Taroko National Park. Similar to the Guoliang Tunnel Road (number 5 on our list), Taroko Gorge Road is carved right out of the mountain face. While connecting the west and east coast of Taiwan, the road offers an electrifying drive filled with narrow, blind corners, rockfalls, sheer drops, hairpin curves, landslides, flooding and earthquakes.
8. The Highway Of Sichuan, China And Tibet
Known as one of the highest roads in the world, this dangerous road begins in Chengdu of Sichuan in the east and ends at Lhasa in Tibet in the west. It is 1,367 miles (2,140 kilometres) long with a maximum elevation of 15,420 feet (4,700 metres) and is continuously beset with rockslides, avalanches, mudslides and hairpin turns. This treacherous switchback-laden highway, built between 1950 and 1954, passes through snow-capped peaks, vast forested valleys, rushing rivers, glacial lakes and ancient monasteries. If you’ve picked winter for this visit, expect adverse weather conditions along with plenty of evergreen sharp turns and sheer drops.
Want To Check Your Fear Factor With Some Of The World’s Dangerous Roads?
Living dangerously never seemed this dangerous before now, did it? While you may add these alarming roads on your bucket list, keep in mind that they are indeed treacherous and worthy of keeping a steel wise grip on the steering wheel. Now, if you are up for these crazy, wild and dangerous roads in the world, which one would you pick first?
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