With the 318 curves in 11 miles, it’s America number one motorcycle and sports car road. Deal gaps, also known as the Tail of the Dragon highway, is a portion of US Route 129 in the Blount County, Tennessee situated in a gap in the Swain Country, North Carolina, United States.
It is heralded as one of the most scenic drives in the entire USA.
The road still remains as an adrenaline-pumping journey. With the hundreds of blind curves, long blind crests, and the high degrees of camber, this claustrophobic scenic forest road presents plenty of opportunities to leave the pavement both laterally, and longitudinally and will even provide a challenge for even the most seasoned sim veterans.
The 11-mile driving dragon road in the Tennessee is said to have 318 curves. Some of the Dragon road sharpest curves have names like the Hog Pen Bend, Wheelie Hell, Gravity Corner, and Sunset Corner.
The road even earned its name from its curves being said to resemble a dragon tail. While you are there, be sure to visit the Three of Shame, where crashed motorcycle bits adorn the tree and dangle from its branches as a reminder of the road dangers.
These dangerous conditions could even lead to a serious accident.
The road is certainly breathtaking, and it has a fearsome reputation. It mostly travels with a forested area, and there are some of the few scenic overlooks and pull off points along with the route.
Just prior to this in 1992, the speed limit in both the North Carolina and Tennessee was 55mph. In 1993 the speed limit on the Tennessee side was even lowered to 40 mph. in 2002 the speed limit was reduced to 30 mph in early 205.
The presence of law enforcement on the Tennessee portion has also dramatically increased. This road used to be a much more popular shortcut for the truckers when I-40 was blocked by a landslide.
After so many accidents and incidents involving semi tractors, that authorities finally decided to restrict large commercial vehicles from using the stretch around a few years ago.
The weather on this tail of the dragon highway is hard and highly unpredictable, and it does not take much time for the bright sunshine to change over to moderate to heavy snowfall.
Weather on the Dragon is fairly predictable most of the summer. The winter months from November through March can be impossible to predict.
The road is desolate and can be a real adventure in the winter months, having to deal with bears, deer, turkeys and wild boars in the road, trees down, ice/snow, and tractor trailers taking up both the lanes in the curves.
It is not a road for the squeamish, but if you are looking for a little excitement then don’t miss this tail of the dragon map.
It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions can be so much extremely challenging.
There are also various ridable days in the winter, but they are not predictable. Higher elevations of the cherohala and Blue Ridge Parkway can experience snow well into May.
Many summer afternoons bring the widely scattered rain showers. Often the weather stations and the web weather will indicate rain for the entire area.
Be aware that you can still have nearly a full day of riding before even the summer showers hit in the middle afternoon. And these showers are here and there… not everywhere.
They often dissipate in the late afternoon leaving the several hours of good riding before the dark.
The main risk on the tail of the dragon highway curvy and narrow mountainous is coming around a blind corner and discover a vehicle proceeding towards you.
Cars can run the Dragon road most of the year. Winter is a great time to have the road to yourself. At times the road is dusted with the sand/salt, but that is only when a severe storm is coming.
It is usually gone after the next good rain. One big advantage of winter on the tail of the Dragon highway is the ability to see through many the corners because the trees have dropped their leaves.
Good visibility from November through the entire March. One downside is the sun which is lower and can get in your eyes even at noon time. The shadows also make for reduced visibility. It has been the setting for the countless movies.
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