Remember the Steppenwolf hit number Born to be Wild that goes something like, ‘get your engine running, head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure and whatever comes our way?’
Boy! Doesn’t it awaken the adventurer in us?
If you dream of wild adventures on the road, the world’s most dangerous roads are sure to test even the most advanced driver.
Tread safely, amigos! The 1,600-kilometer (1,000-mile) mountain roadway known as Federal Highway 1, runs along the Baja Peninsula and has some of the most treacherous terrains, sharp twists and turns, and dangerously driven freight trucks that honk and passes you at impossible turns and sharp cliffs. Though some might cringe at the thought, many adventure drivers say they love the adrenaline rush. Every moment spent on this road keeps you on your toes.
Location: 3264 Governor Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
Passage du Goise is not worth taking a chance on for cautious drivers for the simple reason it gets inundated twice a day by high tide. Running the length of 4.3 kilometers (2.6 miles), this natural passage leads to the island of Noirmoutier on the Atlantic coast. But if the adventurer in you compels you to take the plunge, be careful of the tide timings, since any miscalculation will have you and your car end you up under the sea.
Location: Hemko Bruinsel and Martine Hoogschagen, Au Passage du Gois, Rue du Gois-Le Ménitres, 85230 Beauvoir-sur-Mer
Guoliang Tunnel Road is termed the ‘road that tolerates no mistakes’ for a reason. This mile-long road, chiseled through sheer mountain cliffs, is danger personified. It is 4.5 m (15 ft) high and 3.6 m (12 ft) wide, with 30 cut ‘windows’ in the cliffs. Undoubtedly a thrill to drive on, but beware, it tolerates no mistake.
Location: 2001-1-1, Nanxiaojie, Guangqumen, Dongcheng District, Beijing, PRC
If you dare to venture onto Death Road, you are certainly courting death by road if not awake and alert at all times. North Yungas Road in Bolivia is a 64-kilometer (40-mile) stretch in precarious mountain terrain with sheer cliffs and sharp turns that has had even die-hard driving enthusiast calling it quits. Be warned, more than 200 drivers plummet to their death every year, mostly in the attempt to squeeze past trucks.
Location: Bolivia office, 265 Calle Santa Cruz (Close to The Witches Market, 2 blocks from San Francisco)
BR-116 in Brazil is a 4,385-kilometer (2,724-mile) long road, and known as the ‘Highway of Death.’ It runs along the coastline, and looks innocuous enough, but is deemed one of the most dangerous roads in the world, especially between Sao Paulo and Curitiba. If you want to brave the challenge of unstable weather, inconsistent terrain, steep cliffs, and the concentration of big rigs that fear none, BR-116 in Brazil has it all.
Location: Secretaria de Estado do Turismo e Desenvolvimento Econômico, SETDE/PB, Av. João da Mata, s/nº, Bloco 2, 1º andar, Centro Admin., João Pessoa, CEP: 58015-020
The scenic beauty of this mountain pass located in the Italian Alps is unsurpassed. But there is a downside of course; Stelvio Pass is located at an elevation of 2,757 m (9,045 ft) and counted among one of the most dangerous roads. Drivers taking on Stelvio Pass should be prepared to negotiate 180-degree corners and icy, slippery road surfaces.
Location: Stelvio Experience, Via Funivia 34, BORMIO (SO), Italy
This serpentine-like, narrow mountain road with a gradient of nine percent, 11 hairpin bends, and steep sides, may prove thrilling to driving enthusiasts, but for long vehicles making turns on sharp bends, it proves a nightmare. That is why vehicles over 13.1 meters (43 feet) in length are prohibited from driving the Trollstigen of Norway.
Location: Destinasjon Ålesund & Sunnmøre, Skateflukaia, N-6002 Ålesund, Norway
Zoji La is a strategic and important 9-kilometer (5.5-mile) long roadway located at the height of 3,528 m (11,575 ft) that connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh (India). It is risky due to uneven surfaces, frost, high winds, and heavy snowfall. If you love driving through challenging terrain, live your dream on the Himalayan Mountain roads by taking on Zoji La. Come prepared, though, and follow all safety instructions.
Location: J&K Tourism Development Corporation, Tourist Reception Centre, Vir Marg, Jammu Tawi, J&K, India
Photo Credit: Jørgen Vik from Stranda, Norway – Atlanterhavsveien – Uploaded by Arsenikk, CC BY-SA 2.
The moment you start driving on the eight-kilometer (5-mile) picturesque Atlantic Road highway in Norway, you will fall in love with the scenic beauty of it. However, don’t be lulled into complacency or stare out the window at lady nature too much; it may prove deadly. This highway has a notorious stretch along the ocean that looks safe enough, but during storms gets pounded by mammoth waves and fierce winds that will have you clinging to the steering wheel and sweat going down your spine.
Location: National Tourist Route
The most dangerous road in the world title goes to the James Dalton Highway in Alaska. This 666-kilometer (414-mile) passage between the Arctic Sea oil fields and the nearest human habitation, is a risk that you should be prepared to take on mentally and physically if you dare to drive on it.
Away from civilization and facing crippling icy conditions and freezing winds, you can just pray that you don’t have a breakdown. Most often, travelers prepare for their journey across the James Dalton Highway well in advance with enough thermal blankets, food supplies, and an emergency kit.
But if you are an adventurer at heart and looking for an exhilarating experience, this highway is the one that will challenge not only your driving skills, but also your perseverance. Brrrr!
Location: Central Yukon Field Office, 222 University Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-3844
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