There is an old saying that goes: “Take the road less traveled and you’ll soon reach greatness.” But, can you imagine driving down the road, surrounded by exotic and beautiful landscapes, when suddenly the railing disappears, the road narrows to a trail, and thousands of feet below you can see skeletal remains of lost cars? Well, sometimes the less traveled road is less traveled for a reason.
Some roads are consistent, relaxing, and invite you to enjoy the ride. Yet there are others that are so terrifying that you’ll wish you never stepped foot on them. From high altitude roads disappearing into the mountains to horrifying twists nearly impossible to negotiate, here are ten roads you should definitely stay away from.
1. Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
If you thought that there is nothing dangerous about Norway, think twice. The Atlantic Ocean Road is a marvel of human engineering that shows how humans are able to defy all common sense. The road has eight bridges that connect several islands. The most famous one, the Storseisundet Bridge, has a maximum clearance to the sea of 75 ft. It was built that way to prevent the strong ocean currents from reaching the passing cars.
2. Guoliang Tunnel, China
Dug into the side of a cliff, this road is a masterpiece of engineering. Driving on this road is a breathtaking experience. The solid stone walls claim you as you pass through the one-of-a-kind Guoliang Tunnel. This tunnel is everything but your average everyday motorway tunnel.
3. Pass Of The Dades Gorges, Morocco
Traversing deep into a gorge above the river Dades on the Atlas Mountains, this road is probably the most “fun” on the list. But, although it looks simple and straightforward, the zigzag line of this road can be tricky to drive on. If you lose your concentration for a split second or misjudge the ability of your car at speed, very quickly you’ll be off into the river below.
4. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
Driving on this road may look like a smooth experience, but the curves and the overlook of a sheer cliff drop will not allow you to stay calm and relaxed. But, if the 1,550 miles of curves don’t scare you, then the bridge crossing over the Nujiang River with winds that hit 25 mph definitely will.
5. Himalayan Roads, The Himalayas
With the dangerous network of slippery, narrow and unpaved roads, Himalayan roads are some of the most dangerous roads in the world. Driving on these roads you’ll be able to see the casualties in real time, with buses and cars spread across the bottom of the cliffs.
6. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
No wonder people in Bolivia call this road the “Road of Death.” Once the fog hits the road, you have no idea where you’re going, and it’s a gamble when buses and trucks try to pass you in the opposite direction. The North Yungas Road stretches 38 miles without rails, and because of that many cars have fallen more than 2,000ft into the valley below. The worst thing is that it looks like the rate of accidents is not slowing down anytime soon.
7. Road To Fairy Meadow, Pakistan
Don’t be fooled by the name as the Road To Fairy Meadow is as dangerous as it gets. The road was built by locals with very little support from the government, and that’s why it has no asphalt or guard rails. Also, it means that all engineering design and structural integrity goes out the window. The road is 6.2 miles long, and it leads to Nanga Parbat, one of the highest peaks in the world. If you manage to make it past the tight lanes and falling rocks, you’ll be greeted with a fantastic view.
8. James Dalton Highway, Alaska
If you’re a novice at driving, you should not attempt this drive without extra petrol and adequate supplies. The James Dalton Highway is a different kind of dangerous. It’s remote, and it features an endless road of icy potholes and flying rocks in all directions from passing trucks. If you want to test your driving skills, this one’s for you.
9. Pasubio, Italy
Located in northern Italy, this road is a serious challenge for many drivers. One section of the road is so dangerous that no cars are allowed past after that point. But, since it was shut down, the road has attracted many people, who come with their bikes to tackle the mountain’s edge.
10. Taroko Gorge, Taiwan
In Taiwanese, “Taroko” means “splendid and magnificent,” and this road is definitely that. But, the scenic trail also has a dark side. When typhoons or earthquakes hit, the road is impossible to drive along without being blown away or hit by falling debris.
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