Who doesn’t love road trips? Driving through a pleasant winding road, windows rolled down, the wind beating softly against your face, enjoying the lovely scenery and having a good laugh with family or friends, all of this while thinking of your much-awaited destination. Ah! Such bliss and ecstasy even thinking about it.
What if you were told that there are some roads where, if you went on a road trip, you would be void to such pleasures? What if you were told that if you went for a drive on them, you would be scared witless?
Well, believe it or not, these kinds of roads do exist. These man-made marvels possess a certain charm about them that can awe anyone. But they are also equally dangerous to make people think twice before driving on them.
We, at Superior Asphalt Paving, take an interest in them for their unique characteristics and “wow” factor. So, here are 10 of the craziest and most dangerous roads that you will ever come across anywhere in the world.
1. Lena Highway or The Amur-Yakutsk Highway, Russia
The Lena Highway connects the little town of Yakutsk to the Trans-Siberian Highway. In winters, it looks like a seemingly harmless dirt road except that it is located in arguably the coldest town on Earth with temperatures averaging at a ridiculous -40 degrees Celsius!
In summers, the highway gets worse. Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius! Talk about extreme temperatures. And to make matters worse, the Lena River that runs alongside the highway is so prone to flooding that the road is waterlogged half the time.
The problem with this road is that this isn’t some old unused road. Since there are no alternatives to get around it, the extremely muddy and flooded roads are prone to massive traffic jams that can last for days!
2. The Atlantic Road, Norway
The Atlantic Road is an amazing architectural wonder in Norway that runs on the Atlantic Ocean. The road is 5 miles long and has eight breathtakingly dangerous bridges that connect a chain of little islands.
On a calm and dry day, the road is a sight to behold, one that is straight out of a postcard – a photographer’s dream. But try crossing it when the ocean is angry, and the heartless Atlantic will make you wish you had never even thought of going anywhere close to it.
The cold Atlantic waters hit the roads during rough storms without any regard for whom or what obstructs its path. The roads become wet and slippery with continuous waves hitting the banks. Added to this are the cold Scandinavian temperatures and the harsh Norwegian winds.
3. Tianmen Mountain Road or The Tongtian Highway, China
Located in the Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park in the northwestern part of the Hunan Province in China, the Tianmen Mountain Road or the Tongtian Highway is a winding high-altitude road that leads to the famous mountain peak Tianmen cave.
The highway covers a length of 6.21 miles and lies 1200 meters above sea level. Overlooking the profound and dark depths of the mountain from such a high altitude, this road is not for the faint-hearted. The road is so winding and twisting that it has 99 sharp turns!
4. Stelvio Pass, Italy
On the eastern side of the Alps, just within the Italian border and not too far off from Switzerland, is a lonely road that lies at an incredible 2757 meters above sea level.
The Stelvio Pass is one of the longest winding roads in the world. And although breathtakingly beautiful, this road is extremely steep and narrow.
5. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Since the only way to access their village was a very steep mountain stairway called the “Sky Ladder,” 13 people from Guoliang carved out this narrow tunnel through the mountains. And they did this using just their hammers!
After 6 years of toiling, the villagers had completed a narrow road that barely allows two cars to pass at the same time. The tunnel also consists of 30 “windows” that enable people to enjoy the scary but breathtaking mountainside view.
6. Col de Turini, France
Home of the famous annual Monte Carlo Rally and occasionally, the stage for the Tour De France; the Col de Turini is a narrow mountain pass in the Alps. It is highlighted by its closely constructed roads and sharp hairpin turns that overlook the incredibly steep Alps.
While many regard it as one of the most charming roads in the world, it is certainly not for people who advocate safety first.
7. James Dalton Highway, United States
The James Dalton Highway in Alaska, US is one of the loneliest highways in North America. Initially built as a supply road to support the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the Highway is a gravel road that begins at the north of Fairbanks, Alaska and ends at Deadhorse, near the Arctic Ocean.
With only three towns along the incredibly long stretch, it would be wise to carry plenty of supplies, both food and fuel included. Attempt crossing the highway without extra supplies and there is a high probability that things won’t turn out well.
8. Gorges du Dadès, Morocco
Popularly known as the “Road of a Thousand Kasbahs,” this famed desert mountain road in Morocco is a spectacular drive winding through deserts and dry gorges of the Dadès Valley between the Atlas Mountains and the Anti-Atlas Mountain range.
What makes this road so dangerous is that any car that ventures here is just 12 inches away from the edge of the mountain, overlooking the deep, rock-lined trenches. What’s worse is that there are practically no barriers to protect cars from plunging into it.
9. Karakoram Pass, Pakistan & China
At 5562 meters above sea level (whoa!), the Karakoram Pass is the highest paved international road. The nauseatingly high-altitude trail connects China, India and Pakistan through the Karakoram Range which is home to some of the highest mountains in the world. It is also called the “Friendship Highway” because of its tie with the three nations.
It took 20 years to construct the pass and is easily the second most dangerous road on our list. The mountain is prone to massive landslides. And if the landslides are not taking away people’s lives every year, then it’s the mountain gorges that swallow anything or anyone that dares to flirt with it.
10. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Hands down, the most dangerous road in the world is the old North Yungas Road in Bolivia. It is even nicknamed as “The Death Road.” The narrow cliff-side 40-mile long road connecting La Paz and Coroico in the Amazon Jungle is often blanketed by thick fogs and vapor. The twisting road offers no barriers for protection from the high cliffs. The road goes up over 4000 meters at its highest point.
Every year, the road used to claim an average of 200 to 300 people’s lives. Now that number has significantly reduced due to a new bypass that was built in 2006.
This list of roads is not just a compilation of dangerous roads but is also testaments of how skillfully man has achieved in surpassing even the gravest of terrains.
- See more at: Superior Asphalt Paving Ltd