Fairy Meadows Trek, Nanga Parbat-Pakistan

Travel Guide: The World’s Most Dangerous Roads for the Wary Traveler

Being a road tripper is one of the most exciting and fulfilling travel experiences. A road trip is that perfect opportunity to forget all your worries and make memories along the way. While road trips can be fun and educational, they can pose some risks, ranging from inconvenient to downright dangerous.

In this blog you will discover the most spectacular, scenic and dangerous roads around the world within few minutes. So Let’s take a look on some of the most dangerous roads across the world.

Halseema Highway – Philippines

Halseema Highway, Philippinesimage by: pinterest

Discovery World’s show, Hot Roads has highlighted Halseema highway as World’s Most Dangerous Roads. Also known as Baguio-Bontoc Road or Mountain Trail, has a length of 150 km. The entire highway forms a component of the National Route 204 (N204) of the Philippine highway network.

It is a zigzag road, goes up and down the mountain, concrete road but there are portions under construction that cause traffic to travelers. Highest altitude highway in the Philippines. Its highest point somewhere in Atok which is about 2,255 meters above the sea level. It is a two- to four-lane highway that stretches from Baguio City to Bontoc, Mountain Province, in the Philippines and touches some of the remote provinces in the country.

Under developed mountain roads and landslides creates the hazards of falling big stones from the peaks on the the road as landslides, mud slides, and falling rocks are common on this road. Along with these dangers, clouds and mist comes from the forest ruin visibility. Extreme foggy conditions and slippery asphalt during rainy season, complicate the driving. The turnings on the road being more threatening. Bus drivers travel at high speeds on these narrow roads, making it murderous for smaller vehicles.

Dalton Highway – Alaska, USA

The isolated Dalton Highway in Alaska, USA
Credit: New York Times

The James W. Dalton Highway, usually referred to as the Dalton Highway is a 666 km road in Alaska. It begins at the Elliott Highway, north of Fairbanks, and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields.

The Dalton Highway is no ordinary highway. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous highways in the world and was featured in the 2011 British television series World’s Most Dangerous Roads. This road has earned the reputation of being the “loneliest road in America” because there are so few places to stop along the 414-mile-long road. There are only three towns along the route: Coldfoot, at Mile 175, Wiseman at Mile 188, and Deadhorse, at the end of the highway at Mile 414

Traveling this farthest-north road involves real risks and challenges, and it can be dangerous too because the highway is essentially just a pebbles road. Sometimes its visibility reduced to zero due to extreme Arctic weather. Immeasurable fractures on the road creates makes it more menacing. Fuel is only available at 3 places over the entire course of the route. Headlights must be switched on at all times as there are a number of steep gradients over its course.

The highway runs parallel to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and despite its open, isolated and remote setting, it is often navigated by anything up to 150 trucks in summer and 250 trucks in the winter. The giant trucks that ply the route kick up huge clouds of dust, reducing visibility to zero.

Fairy Meadows – Pakistan

Road to Fairy Meadows, Pakistan
Credit: Youtube

Fairy Meadows Road is a spectacular and dangerous high mountain track located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. In 2013 the road was ranked as the second deadliest highway in the world. The track was built long ago by the villagers of the Nanga Parbat Mountain, almost hundreds of years ago and has not undergone any repair since it was built. As one could expect with a mountain road, the path is roughly formed from rocks and dirt, no actual pavement was done and the worst part is, the narrow winding road does not have guard rails on the sides.

The length of this deadliest road is about 16.2km,with a jaw-dropping height of 26,660 feet, which starts from the Karakoram Highway and ends at the village of Tato, near Fairy Meadows. From the high Himalayas near the Indus river this bumpy rocky road swirls up almost 8000 feet on its horrifying 10 km path. The most dangerous part of the road involves a narrow 6-mile ascend on an unpaved and uneven road.

The end of the road, Fairy Meadows, is a wonder to behold and worth the risky rout. The destination is stunning place for photographers and nature lovers. But this road is definitely not for the faint of heart. The road is steep and in some places only wide enough for one vehicle.

Passage de Gois – France

Passage de Gois, A road that disappears twice a day.
Credit: Bared Panda

The Passage de Gois or Gôa is a natural causeway between Beauvoir-sur-Mer and the island of Noirmoutier, in Vendée on the Atlantic coast of France. The most fascinating fact about the road is, that sometimes there is no road at all. Due to a tide, the passage is flooded twice a day. It is one of the periodically flooded roads in the world. This stony causeway was first used during the 16th century and is still used daily by tourists and locals. Today the causeway attracts thousands of visitors a year to watch the twice daily uncovering of the 4.3 kilometers of road

Passage du Gois is a natural passage with a length of 4.125 which is only accessible with the low tide and then only 1 ½ hour before the lowest tide and 1 ½ hour afterwards. At high tide the road lies under 1.5 – 4 meters of water.

Observing the disappearance of the road may be captivating, it is also dangerous, since the water level can reach over 13 feet. There is a safety information displayed on each side of the passage, as well as rescue points built throughout the passage.

So, if you want to have a once in a lifetime experience, then Le passage du Gois is a must see. Just use caution and take care

Zoji La pass – India

Zoji La pass in winters, a snow tunnel
Credit: Economic Times

Zoji La pass is said to be one of the most treacherous passes in the world. The pass, also known as Zojila or Zoji La, is one of the most treacherous passes in the world making is a favorite of many adventure and thrill seekers, as well as bike riders. It is a high mountain pass that runs through the Kashmir valley to Ladakh, at an altitude of 3528 m above sea level.

The pass links Amid Leh in the Western Himalayan Mountain Ranges and Srinagar and provides an important link between Ladakh and Kashmir. Not an easy drive, driving 4WD is recommended due to uneven surface. The roads are narrow, the drops are steep and there is no barrier on sides of the road. The pass remains closed half of the year because of heavy snowfall

In 2018, the Government of India approved the Zoji La tunnel project. It’s a 14.2 km long road tunnel which will further reduce the time to cross the pass from more than 3 hours to just 15 minutes.

Sichuan Tibet Highway – China

Sichuan Tibet Highway or Kangding-Tibet Highway, China
Credit: xinghuanet

Sichuan-Tibet Highway is one of the highest road in the world that begins in Chengdu of Sichuan on the east and ends at Lhasa in Tibet on the west. It is originally called the Kangding-Tibet Highway. Travelers can enjoy the magnificent and changeable scenery ranging from warm spring to cold and snowing winter, which one will never forget for a long. Sichuan-Tibet highway traverses 14 high mountains which average 4,000-5000m, spans dozens of famous rivers (Dadu River, Jinsha River, Lantsang River, Nujiang), crosses primeval forest and numerous dangerous sections.

There are too many dangers while driving on this road including only 50% of oxygen as compared to sea level. The chilling weather conditions are another challenge for almost 10 months in a year. The road is not paved which makes it a mud trap during the rainy season resulting in traffic jams stretching for miles. Nearly 38 kilometer road stretch as it swings down the mountainsides, starting at the 4,658 meter Yela Mountain, before descending nearly 1200 meters to a dangerous bridge.

Ideally, from May to October is the best time to travel this road, though you might want to think twice about driving it in July and August, the wettest months of the year, due to frequent mudslides caused by monsoon rains.

Skippers Canyon Road – New Zealand

Truck driving on dangerous road
Credit: Pinterest

Skippers Canyon Road, the most dangerous road, according to New Zealand’s road assessment program (KiwiRAP), is the state highway between Drury and Pukekohe. The road was ranked in the top three most dangerous, it pales alongside the top two listings. Tour buses and commercial tourism operators use this gravel road.

This scary and narrow road has a serious injury or death rate of 0.39 per kilometer per year. The main New Zealand road where rental car insurance is not honored, Skippers Road is mostly one-way, narrow and steep with sheer drops of several hundred meters.

This 16.5 miles pebbles road, is carved by hand. Over 140 years ago which was built during the gold rush. The miners who built the road in the late 1800s didn’t think much about luxury that is why this track is unpaved. The road is so narrow that if two vehicles have to pass each other, one vehicle might have to reverse for anything up to 3 kilometers of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass. The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark or both.

Highway to Hell: Bayburt D915 Road – Turkey

Bayburt D915 Road - Turkey
Credit: image by daily mail

Russian soldiers had built the Bayburt highway  in 1916 on the side of the mighty Soganli Mountain. D915 is the most challenging drive in the world, long considered the world’s most dangerous road. One mistake and it is a free fall to your death. It is definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides.

The road is 106km (65 miles) long and runs south-north from Bayburt (the provincial capital of Bayburt Province in the Northeast Anatolia region) towards Of (a small coastal town in Trabzon Province in the Black Sea region). This road is on an elevation of 2,035 m (6,677 ft.) above sea level with 29 sharp hairpin turns. The start and end sections of the route are paved with asphalt, the center part is only gravel. Çaykara with 13 hairpin turns, is the most risky part of the route. At a length of only 5.1 km, it has an elevation difference from 1,712 to 2,035m.

Luxor Al Hurghada Road – Egypt

Luxor Al Hurghada Road, Egypt
Credit: Pinterest

Road is extremely dangerous for several reasons, that links Luxor (in the southern Egypt) and Hurghada, the touristy city together. This less renovated road is 303 km (188 mile) long. There are many head-on collisions and fatal accidents due to drivers not turning on their head lights.

The violent attacks along this road are dangerous enough by themselves. And if the bandits don’t get you, the terrorists probably will. There 62 German tourists were shot and killed on 17 November 1997.

Guoliang Tunnel – China

Guoliang Tunnel, ChinaCredit: pando trip

Guoliang Tunnel is one of the most famous tunnels in the world. This 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mi) long, 5 meters (16 ft.) tall and 4 meters (13 ft.) wide, is located high in the Taihang Mountains of the Henan Province, China. It is one of the famous Chinese tunnel roads.

A tunnel dug through the side of a mountain by hand provides convenient yet death-defying access to a small village in China. In 1977, the Chinese villagers dig out 0.75 mi. of tunnel, 16 ft. tall and 13 ft. wide. A do-it-yourself mountain tunnel dug by hand is obviously not the pillar of safety. In fact in many spots of the tunnel, roughly carved pillars throws big danger.

It took five years to build it. 4,000 hammers, 12 tons of steel and quite a lot of chisels. Only 13 villigers has carved this one of the most dangerous tunnel in remote China.

The tunnel is pretty scary with 30 windows of various sizes and shapes. It is an extremely scenic route and is a key destination on the Chinese tourism map.

Conclusion

Driving on any of these roads is definitely scary. You are not the first person to travel the world. You are not discovering new continents or exploring uncharted territories. Take a deep breath and go on an adventure. But do not forget to take all the precautions and guidelines because safety comes first.

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