This article contains several of the most dangerous roads in the world. So, if you’re not easily scared, tighten your seatbelt and take a virtual trip.
For a few of you, the possibilities are that you’re going to be satisfied that you’ve never had a reason to try and cross these bad-to-the-bone roads, whereas others of you are possibly going to put those alarming roads on your bucket list of places you’re going to have to go and make a whirl someday.
Well let’s start the countdown.
7. Sichuan-Tibet Highway (China)
This long highway connects Chengdu in Sichuan to Lhasa in Tibet, through the region identified as Kham. Constantly beset with rockslides and avalanches, the Sichuan-Tibet Highway is a treacherous, switchback-loaded highway that winds between roaring peaks, sometimes starting to cause vomit-like altitude sickness in visitors.
Various Buddhist monasteries, red-robed Buddhists and herds of yaks can be seen all along way. The road was constructed among 1950 and 1954, and ever since then, thousands of people have ended up dead on the Sichuan-Tibet Highway (a shocking 7,500 deaths for every 100,000 drivers).
6. James Dalton Highway (Alaska)
Also recognized as North Slope Hall Road, the James Dalton Highway is a road used mostly by truck drivers, mainly those traveling to and from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields on the northern slope of Alaska. In fact, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is supported by the road.
It’s 414 miles long, concreted in locations, but about three-fourths of it isn’t. There are also no medical services along the road, and there are only three cities along the way. It is recommended that anybody who travel on the road must bring survival equipment and a lot of supplies.
5. Lena Highway and Kolyma Highway (The Road of Bones)
Traveling through Siberia is indeed a difficult task. Dubbed the “Road of Bones,” this Siberian road from Magadan to Never meanders across one of the coldest regions in the world. It is a fusion of multiple highways, the R504 Kolyma Highway and the A360 Lena Highway, which are both subject to the very same hazards (though the R504 is better maintained).
The highways are merged by the Lena River Ice Road, which is exactly as it sounds like: a “road” across the river, which is available every year from December to April, once the ice is frozen enough to start driving on. Or that’s what one expects. Unfortunately, every year, dozens of people lose their lives when their vehicles collapse through the ice.
4. Guoliang Tunnel Road (China)
When the government of China planned that it was not worth the effort and expense to construct a road that would be used by hardly 300 villagers, 13 of those villagers decided to construct a 0.8-mile tunnel through the rock of a vertical cliff. Situated in the Taihang Mountains in Henan Province, the villagers used explosive materials to blow their way through this vertiginous cliff. Suffering from a lack of road-building experience, some villagers were killed in accidents.
This tunnel is 15 feet high and 12 feet wide, barely large enough even for two cars. The road was opened to the public in 1977, took five years to build. Warn: this road is extremely harmful when it’s raining.
3. Zoji La Pass (India)
Almost any other road that drifts through the highest mountain range in the world would probably be at least a little difficult to travel. The Zoji Pass is certainly qualified in this respect, as it is a dirt road without any safety barriers or road signs and where mudslides are a continuous problem. In addition, the road zigzags between stony peaks at more than 11,000 feet at its highest altitude.
Linking the villages of Srinagar and Leh in the western Himalayan Mountain Range (Indian Kashmir), Zoji Pass is usually closed mostly during winter when 50-foot deep snow make it impassable. Thankfully, the Zoji Pass is just over 9 kilometers long for the vehicles on the road. It was originally constructed in 1947 and first it was used for military purposes.
2. North Yungas Road (“The Road of Death”)
If you don’t really want to travel the road dubbed “The Road of Death,” stay far away from this one! Contributing from La Paz to Coroico, the Road of Death is almost 50 miles of a one-lane road, with vertical falls of up to 3,000 feet into the Amazon rainforest below. Surprisingly, the road has more than 200 hairpin rounds.
Almost 300 travelers ended up dead on the road each year until 1994. Various makeshift memorials can be seen in areas where hapless people have stumbled across the precipices and gone to the jungle ravines below. Luckily, the very worst part of the road has now been evaded by a two-lane paved road, so road traffic has decreased. But the bikers still keep challenging the Road of Death, some of them dying in the process. By the way, the South Yungas Road to Cochabamba is now almost deemed dangerous.
1. Killar to Pangi Road, via Kishtwar (India)
This hair-raising road is just for folks who likes to drive in the mountain ranges and also have steel nerves. Open only in the summer season, this bumpy, stoney road is around 70 miles long. A six-mile extension of it is extremely dangerous; rocky overhangs look as if they could collapse on the road at any time. The road was constructed hundreds of years ago by local villagers and it has not been rebuilt for decades.
Hardly broad enough for one jeep at a time and without safety barriers, this mud-and-gravel road is frighteningly unbalanced in places. One small mistake by the driver could send a vehicle 2,000 feet down a vertical cliff. This road is so terrifying that it’s uncomfortable to watch footage of people driving around. If this one is on someones bucket list, keep in mind it’s your last challenge! Not sure if you’re up to that, huh?