People use it to go to work. It links farmers and producers to markets. It allows students to reach their schools. It is possible to get the sick to hospitals because of it. What is it?
Road. People seldom give it a second thought, but its value is something nobody cannot and should not take for granted. During the very few times you think about roads, however, we bet that you imagine road trips where you drive with your windows down, singing passionately to songs blasting on the radio. Enjoying the fantastic scenery as you leisurely cruise through various secluded highways.
But we hate to burst your bubble because not all roads are wide, made of concrete, convenient, and safe for travel. There are numerous roads around the world that are completely different from how you envision roads to be. They are narrow, remote, steep, and winding. Pretty intimidating, right?
If you are curious to know some of these crazy and dangerous roads, we have compiled a list right here. Normal people would most likely prefer walking than driving through some of the roads on the list, but if you are a daredevil who crave a good adrenalin rush you may want to add these roads on your bucket list.
25 Sichuan-Tibet Highway (China)
Considering that the Sichuan-Tibet Highway has a record of at least 100,000 deaths per year or 1 fatality every 5 minutes, it is evident that the road is not only crazy but dangerously crazy! This 2,142-km-long high-elevation unpaved road begins in Cheng du of Sichuan on the east and terminates at Lhasa in Tibet on the west. The road is notorious for its terrible driving surfaces, sharp mountainside hairpins, rock avalanches, and landslides as well as hostile drivers. If you challenge yourself to pass by this road, you will still be rewarded with a gorgeous view of snow mountain peaks, mountain passes, and deep gorges.
24 La Carretera de los Yungas or “Death Road” (Bolivia)
La Carretera de los Yungas road in Bolivia is undoubtedly worthy of its title as a “death road” as it contains all the elements of a perilous road – extremely narrow single lane, cliffs with sheer drops of up to 2,000 feet, no guard rails, and ridiculous hairpin bends. If all these things are not enough to make you cringe, this road can get extremely muddy and slippery when it rains and practically invisible when foggy. Considering La Carretera de los Yungas road’s condition it is not surprising that it is responsible for about 300 deaths every year.
23 Kallikratis-Kapsodasos Road (Greece)
The Kallikratis-Kapsodasos Road is a curvy mountainous road in southwest Crete, Greece. It is characterized by a sharp winding and precipitous ascent in a steep and narrow zig-zag road. This 11-Kilometer-long road is one of the most popular hair pinned roads in the world as it has 27 hairpin turns that will take you from the sea level to 800 meters high. The asphalted road is very narrow, bumpy, and has no barriers but it offers an amazing view of the Libyan Sea.
22 Sangetsar Lake Road (India)
The Sangetsar Lake road or Madhuri Lake is a high mountain lake road at an elevation of 3.708 above sea level situated in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh in India. This road is terrible with 52 hairpin turns and narrow gravel roads unprotected by guardrails. Only 4x4 vehicles have a chance of traveling this path. Non-Indian travelers require a special permit from the District Commissioner’s office located at Tawang to visit the lake and thus, pass this road.
21 Trans-Siberian Highway (Russia)
The Trans-Siberian Highway is one of the longest in the world, stretching almost 11,000 miles from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, a city in Krai, Russia. The condition of the road varies from the excellent motorway in the west to terribly bad paved roads in the east. People who want to attempt to drive the entire Trans-Siberian Highway from start to end should be thoroughly prepared for encountering the absolute worst as it crosses forests, mountains, deserts, and remote stretches that are absolutely far from help or gas.
20 Col du Chaussy (France)
Located in the Savoie department in the Rhone-Alpes region in southeast France, Col du Chaussy is a balcony road (a lane cut into the sides of sheer cliffs) that includes a 3-kilometer stretch with 17 hairpins. Driving through this road essentially feels like climbing a cliff. It has twisty hairpin corners, high elevation, steep grades, and a vertical drop of 400 meters which means you cannot afford a brake failure. The road may be crazy because it is highly difficult to navigate, but travelers would be in for a treat because of spectacular views.
19 Cotopaxi Volcan Road (Ecuador)
The Cotopaxi Volcan Road stretches for 25 miles and connects the Pan American Highway with the Cotopaxi National Park. This road is not for the amateur driver as it is a dirt track covered with potholes, slippery slopes, and runs through streams that often causes dangerous and fatal flash floods with even the smallest amount of rain. While Ecuador is known for having the most terrible roads on the planet, Cotopaxi Volcan Road is undoubtedly on a different level.
18 Old Kunyi Road (China)
With 26 hairpin turns in just over 2.1-kilometer long, it is not surprising that the Old Kuni Road in Yiliang County of Yunnan Province is one of the craziest and challenging drives in China. Drivers who intend to challenge this road should brace themselves as there is a sharp turn every few meters. In addition, the road is very steep with an elevation gain of 139 meters, not to mention crooked with 68 bends from the foot to the top.
17 A44 Road (United Kingdom)
The A44 road runs from Oxford in southern England to Aberystwyth in west Wales and is considered a major road in the United Kingdom. This road is dangerous particularly because of a section with several black spots caused by tight bends and with very little opportunity for overtaking. Considering the large number of accidents that happen here on a daily basis, 25% of which involved head-on collisions according to analysts, A44 has earned a negative reputation as one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
16 Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) (Bolivia)
If you want a truly crazy road in all respects, then Salar de Uyuni is the place for you. While it is not technically a road, since there isn’t one, knowledgeable local drivers are the most capable in navigating the vast expanse of the wet and salty terrain of the Uyuni salt flats. No matter how good a driver you are, this salt flat may be way out of your league since it is easy to get lost here and finding help would be difficult as there’s no phone signal, no garage for miles, and the night time temperature can be as low as -30 degrees Celsius.
15 Stelvio Pass Road (Italy)
The Stelvio Pass is the third highest and one of the most breathtaking mountain passes to drive in the European Alps. It is located in the Ortler Alps in Italy between Stilfs in South Tyrol and Bormio in the province of Sondrio. The Stelvio Pass includes a challenging section consists of 48 hairpin bends, extremely narrow road, zig-zag paths, and very steep inclines. Numerous people who underestimated this road’s difficulty got into serious accidents. The Stelvio Pass road may be grueling, but it leads to superb views of peaks and glaciers.
14 Tsugaru Iwaki Skyline (Japan)
The Tsugaru Iwaki Skyline road located in Japan is one of the most challenging roads not only for drivers but passengers as well considering its 66 hairpin turns that will surely make anyone carsick even by just looking at it. If you like long, windy roads that stretch to great heights then you will definitely like the Tsugaru Iwaki Skyline as it goes from the foot of Mt. Iwaki up to 1, 247 meters above the sea level. If you can endure the trip, you would be greatly rewarded with remarkable nature view.
13 24-Zig Road (China)
Located near Qinglong town in Guizhou Province, 24-Zig Road is a winding mountain road in China which was constructed during World War II for transporting supplies to resist the Japanese invasion. The 24-Zig road is 4 kilometers long and was named after the 24 bends or zigzags ascending from the valley bottom to the Qinglong town. This gravel-paved road is no longer active but is still often used as a shortcut by tourist and some locals in motorbikes or three-wheelers.
12 Cetinje-Kotor Road (Montenegro)
With a total length of 38 kilometers, the Cetinje-Kotor Road in Montenegro is a dangerous curvy mountainous road that connects the cities of Cetinje and Kotor. This asphalted road is narrow and fits only one vehicle and is most popular for its steep route with 30 hairpin turns. Look this road up on a map and you will be amazed (or completely terrified) by its sheer drops and winding twists and turns. the Cetinje-Kotor Road is not for the faint-hearted but anyone who takes the challenge will be delighted by the serenity and view of a picturesque landscape.
11 Curvas de Huanchaca (Peru)
With a total length of 9.8 kilometers, the Curvas de Huanchaca in Southern Pero near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range is cut out of the rock dangerous road with 24 tight hairpin turns. This crazy road rises in elevation by almost 700 meters! The view of the mountains would be extraordinary if you try to take this route, but you have to prepare yourself for a mixture of precarious steep, winding hill, as well as a sandy gravel terrain
10 Jacob’s Ladder (Tasmania)
Jacob’s Ladder is a narrow zig-zag road that climbs up to the Ben Lomond Mountain in Tasmania at an elevation of 1.570 meters above the sea level. This road is unsealed, dusty, bumpy, and extremely steep with numerous hairpin bends. If all these things do not turn you off and you still wish to take a risk and take a trip here, then you must be driven by someone who has experience on this road. In the end, you will be greatly rewarded with an incredible experience an amazing view.
9 BR-319 (Brazil)
BR-319 is a highway in Brazil but it is unlike most highways you know. This road is famous for its terrible condition, gigantic potholes that could easily pop a tire, crack your rim, or even screw up your car alignment. While BR-319 was constructed to open-up the Amazon rainforest for economic purposes, the combination of remote location and poor workmanship that led to the outrageous state of the road made it difficult to achieve this goal especially since the road is practically impassable during rainy days because of the thick mud.
8 Forcella Lavardet (Italy)
Connecting Canale di Gorto and Campolongo in Italy, Forcella Lavardet is a high mountain pass that contains 14 sharp turns that seem to occur one after the other. This gravel road is very narrow; hence, drivers are advised to drive slow particularly in the bends when oncoming traffic is practically invisible. Forcella Lavardet is not for the cowardly because of its set of hairpin bends, climb elevation of thousands of feet, and remote areas. The picturesque view of the mountain, however, may be worth the risk.
7 Trampolin del Diablo (Colombia)
If you are looking for crazy dangerous roads to navigate then you need to experience traveling in the 69.7-kilometer-long Trampolin del Diablo or “Devil’s Trampoline” road connects Mocoa and the San Francisco crossing the Andes in Colombia. With over one hundred hairpin bends that zigzags the Andean mountain range, this road is also aptly called as “adios mi Vida” or “bye bye my life” considering the number of deaths and numerous cars that fell off this road since its construction in 1930.
6 The Way to Fairy Meadows (Pakistan)
Although it sounds like a road in a fairy tale, The Way to Fair Meadows or Fairy Meadows road in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan is a dangerously high mountain road that is 16.2 kilometers long. The gravel road is completely unmaintained, steep, and extremely narrow without any guardrails for protection. The Fairy Meadows road is regarded as one of the deadliest highways on the planet primarily because of its high altitude as well as an unstable and narrow mountain road.
5 Moldo-Ashuu (Kyrgyzstan)
While it is recognized as one of the most beautiful roads in Kyrgyzstan, traveling through Moldo-Ashuu is not for the faint-hearted as it is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.346 meters above the sea level. The gravel road can only be reached using 4wd cars as it is constantly turning and the slope is quite steep. The view at Moldo-Ashuu may take your breath away figuratively but the drive can literally take your breath away as well because most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500 to 2,800 meters.
4 Skippers Canyon Road (New Zealand)
Hand-carved by miners more than 140 years ago and made from a very narrow cut in the middle of a sheer cliff face, Skippers Canyon Road is extremely dangerous that your rental car insurance wouldn’t be valid if you decide to travel here as no insurance company covers rental cars here. Located in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, this road is generally one-way and very steep with sheer drops of a couple of hundred meters. It may be a treacherous journey but the scenic view may be worth the risk.
3 BR-116 (Brazil)
Running from the north of Brazil to the south, BR-116 is the longest highway in the country and is the most bizarre roads in the world for sexual exploitation of children. This asphalted road is also nicknamed “Highway to Hell or Highway of Death” because it is notorious for many accidents because of its extremely unstable weather conditions. The view may be superb but the road itself is curvy and some of its parts run along the edges of steep cliffs, which is unforgiving of drivers who slip up.
2 Halsema Highway (Philippines)
Halsema Highway stretches from Baguio City to Bontoc, Mountain Province in the Philippines and is known for its steep crags as well as narrow and sheer drop-offs of over 1,000 feet. The road is 150 kilometers long and is one of the most under-maintained mountain roads in the world. The view along this road is epic but you may want to think twice considering the occurrence of landslides, mudslides, falling rocks, and local bus drivers who travel at high speeds even though the roads are narrow.
1 Taroko Gorge Road (Taiwan)
Taroko Gorge Road cuts through the mountain and connects the East and West Coast of Taiwan. This road passes through the Taroko national park which will definitely satisfy your craving for natural beauty but people who might get experience vertigo or those who fear landslide should not travel here as it is filled with blind curves, sharp turns, and narrow paths leading through cliffs and mountains. In addition, the location of the Taroko Gorge Road is prone to an average of three to four cyclone per year which can result in serious landslides and rocky debris on the road.