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The Most Spectacular Roads In The World



Driving is already a dangerous activity whenever you decide to sit behind the wheel, but when you factor in dangerous roads, the potential hazards grow exponentially. There have been many sketchy roads built all around the world, and unfortunately, they’ve also claimed many lives.
While these roads seem inconceivable, and reckless to build in the first place, transportation to extremely rural and remote areas is still necessary. Regardless of the danger, people have to make these drives to survive. These are the most treacherous roads in the world.

Apache Trail – Arizona, U.S.

The Apache scenic trail in Arizona is a beautiful drive up and down the Superstition Mountains, but it’s also a perilous one. The winding roads that crawl up the edge of cliffs and down into the gulches seldom have guard rails, and drivers distracted by scenery could easily reach an ill fate if they’re not careful.

Guoliang Tunnel – China

If you’ve ever looked into the world’s most dangerous roads, you’re sure to know about Guoliang Tunnel. Any footage from the path seems incredibly ominous, and makes you wonder how they constructed it in the first place. Regardless, driving on the edge of a cliff, let alone a road carved in the side of one, seems incredibly dangerous, so only the bravest attempt to do it.

Khardungla Pass – Ladakh

Khardungla Pass is one of India’s most menacing roadways, and can seem deceiving on a day with good conditions. But with winding roads at both the top and foothills of rocky mountain ranges, landslides, ice, and unmarked turns lead to it requiring a lot of skill and blind faith.

Dalton Highway – Alaska, U.S.

Just based on its location and remote nature, it’s common to think driving in Alaska would generally be tougher than most other places. And that’s certainly the case on Dalton Highway, considering it’s one of the most isolated highways in the world. Not only is it near nothing, but it’s constantly icy, and being caught on it during any storm is bound to leave you in deep trouble.

Yungas Road – Bolivia

Yungas Road in Bolivia is nicknamed “the road of death,” and for good reason, considering between 200-300 people die on it each year. Not only is it known for its tight path along some of the region’s steepest mountains, but fog and congestion wreak just about as much havoc as the road itself. Paired with the common landslides, Yungas road surely isn’t for the faint of heart.

Caucasus Road – Russia

Like many other large countries, Russia has tons of remote areas only accessible by hundreds of miles of barren highway. And with this being the case, it’s inevitable that a ton of logistical issues present themselves to drivers. Not only does this particular road wind through a scary mountain range, but it’s also mostly unpaved and incredibly narrow. With snow or rain, watch out.

Le Passage du Gois, France

Not often do you come across a road so perfectly at sea level, that if high tide is a problem, crossing the surrounding water is impossible. Well that’s the case for France’s Le Passage du Gois, which runs along the Atlantic coast. Not only is it only passable at certain times, but drivers could be whipped by a wave at any given time if conditions are rough, so beware.

Trans-Siberian Highway – Russia

Once again – remote Russian highways aren’t really your best friend. Considering the Trans-Siberian highway basically states it’s traversing through the Siberian region, you already know it’s not driver-friendly. This is like back roads gone haywire, and sometimes conditions are worse than you can imagine. Whether it be horrible weather or road conditions, good luck finding help if something goes wrong.

Hana Highway – Hana, Hawaii

One of the most beautiful of the dangerous roads in our world is the Hana Highway, which runs along the scenic Hana coast of Hawaii, glancing right out to the Pacific Ocean. Between bad weather and the commonality of rockslides, drivers are often faced with the situation going from bad to worse quickly. However, many are drawn every year by the greenery and incredible views.

Stelvio Pass – Italy

Located in the gorgeous Alps of Italy, Stelvio Pass is known for being perhaps the most winding road in the world, and without the right vehicle, it’s borderline impossible to travel on. Although it’s short, the tight turns within the unpredictable mountain conditions make it a hazardous adventure for even the most fearless road warrior.

Sichuan-Tibet Highway – China

You’d assume people would think against ever building roads along steep mountainsides, but there are so many around the world! This Tibetan highway in China is one of the craziest, as not only is the elevation already insane, but the dangers have gotten worse. In the last 2 decades alone, 82,000 people have lost their lives, which equates to 5.1 per 10,000 vehicles.

A44 – United Kingdom

What may appear to be just a normal highway at first glance, A44 presents a unique challenge to drivers who aren’t familiar – it switches which lane goes in either direction at one point, like a train track sometimes does. And as you could imagine, drivers don’t realize, resulting in head-on collisions. This is unfortunate, and also probably avoidable, it will just take some technology.

Kabul-Jalalabad Highway – Afghanistan

Another mountainous region that’s had to travel treacherously from point A to point B is Afghanistan, which has quite a diverse geography. However, this 65 kilometer stretch is notably dangerous for multiple reasons, one of which is that the 600 meter deep gorge will swallow you instantly if you fall victim. Oh, and it also runs through Taliban territory, so explore at your own risk.

Highway 80 – Iraq

Spanning from Basra, Iraq to Kuwait, Highway 80 was known during the Gulf War to be the “Highway of Death” due to the amount of people killed in the region as the US forced out Iraqi insurgencies. They bombed 2,700 tanks and trucks in 1991, resulting in casualties up to the range of 10,000. Today, it’s remote nature and geopolitical location make it a risky excursion.

The Karakoram – Khunjerab Pass, China to Pakistan

This extremely hazardous highway is another that deals with tough elevation changes, at one point peaking at over 15,000 feet. The road connects vital shipping lines between eastern China and Pakistan, and most of it is unpaved, although the parts that are don’t seem to help much anyway. Prone to landslides and drastic weather conditions, the Karakoram is unpredictable.

US Route 431 – United States

Running through the rural southeastern region of the U.S., Route 431 extends from Kentucky to Alabama for 556 miles and is nicknamed the “Highway to Hell”. It’s one of the country’s most dangerous roads, mostly due to the narrow, single lanes which prompt aggressive lane changes and put lazy drivers on the alert the second the attempt to travel on it.

Luxor-al-Hurghada Road – Egypt

The biggest danger on this Egyption road isn’t distracted driving or frankly even dangerous road conditions – it’s the threat of bandits and robberies. Not only are they camped all along the highway, but drivers elect to drive without headlights at night to avoid any situation, which has led to a number of fatal head-on collisions. You could probably say it’s just not worth driving on.

Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road – Greece

This Greek road is a beautiful, scenic drive, but adventurers be wary – there is nothing forgiving about Patiopoulo-Perdikaki road, including trying to say the actual name. However, much of this mountainous roadway is not protected by any guard rails, and there are some precarious unpaved parts that cars are advised to avoid unless they’re quite small. This has become known as the most treacherous road in the Mediterranean.

Transfăgărășan, DN7C – Romania

Though the scenic views are as picturesque as you could ever imagine, the Transfăgărășan is easily the highest roads in Romania, and presents many of the same challenges the other winding, unguarded roads do. However, when distracted by scenery, attention to the wheel is often lost, and it’s led to a lot of avoidable accidents on this road over the years.

Cotopaxi Volcano Road – Ecuador

As far as roads with multiple potential hazards, this one probably takes the cake, considering that in the instance of a volcanic eruption, your fate would be worse than simply falling to your death. It doesn’t help either that Cotopaxi Volcano Road is largely unkempt, and even unpaved in many areas, leading to tons of car troubles and accidents. Even experienced drivers abstain.

R504 Kolyma Highway – Russia

Perhaps the scariest origin story of any of the roads on this list, the Kolyma Highway, or “Road of Bones,” was built by prisoners beginning in 1932, and took 21 years to complete. Not only does the name reflect the amount of lives lost building the road, but it also runs through the region where the only temperature colder than Antarctica has been recorded. Oh, and it’s the only road in the area. So yeah, you could probably say this is up there for “scariest in the world.”

Los Caracoles – Chile to Argentina

Paso de los Libertadores is an Andean pathway between Argentina and Chile, and it snakes up a mountain and back down the other side like you’ve never seen before. The weaving road lacks any sort of ledge protection, and unfortunately cars on roads below are sometimes victims of others’ carelessness. The winding roads are some of the most heart-stopping out there.

The Road of Skippers Canyon – New Zealand

This mountainside roadway in New Zealand is one of the most sketchy in the whole country, which is dominated by elevation changes in the hills spread throughout the country. But these tall, steep cliffs are no joke, spanning hundreds of meters above the gorge below. While the ravine is incredibly scenic, it requires full attention and an offroad-type vehicle.

Karnali Highway – Nepal

The Karnali Highway is yet another high elevation roadway that completely relies on experience and skill of the driver above anything else. Navigating through some of the tallest mountain regions in the world, landslides, washed away paths, and even erosion plagues this highway, creating constant struggles in logistics for the people who call the mountains home.

Commonwealth Avenue – Philippines

Commonwealth surely doesn’t look like anything else on this list for a reason, and that’s largely due to the fact that it’s completely due to high volumes of traffic. The 7.5 mile road extends up to 18 lanes at one point, and is deemed the “Killer Highway” by locals. Thousands of people die each year, and that’s pedestrians, motorbikes, and numerous other accidents featuring all sorts of vehicles.

Federal Highway 1 – Mexico

Mexico’s Federal Highway 1 stretches for most of the length of the Baja California region, and in the parts where it’s most remot, havoc seems to strike constantly. Many of the vehicles on the path are freighters, and most surprisingly, many of the drivers in that region aren’t required to get a drivers license to operate a vehicle, so you can only imagine how it throws things off.

Nanga Parbat Pass – Pakistan

Known colloquially as “Fairy Meadows Road,” Nanga Parbat Pass is an all-gravel road reaching over 10,000 feet above sea level, or 6 miles above the ground if you tumble off. There aren’t any guard rails either, and for the 10-mile venture, you’ll have to hold on for dear life because some of the parts don’t even fit two vehicles, so lots of give and take is important.

BR-116 – Brazil

BR-116 has many monikers – Rodovia de Morte, “the highway of death” – but what really makes it rough around the edges isn’t just the poor road conditions. It’s mainly plagued by gang violence and bandit robberies, which keep even the locals away. This coupled with the constant potential to be hammered by a landslide make the whole highway more or less unappealing.

Eyre Highway – Australia

The Eyre Highway is the only landlocked road from western to southern Australia, and it has one of the longest completely straight roads in the world, stretching over 90 miles without a single inch of turning. However, the long, barren highway often causes drivers to be distracted or fall sleepy, leading to tons of avoidable accidents that seem all too common on rural roads.

Leh Menali Highway – India

Leh Menali highway is only open for about 5 months every year, and that’s because the weather in this northernmost Indian region is pretty unforgiving. Although it’s built to withstand the biggest military vehicles, the sketchy foundation, conditions, and plenty of rocks are sure to make even the most confident drivers wary. One wrong move and you could be off the sides.

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