“One always wonders about roads not taken” – Warren Christopher
Thrill can be incredibly intoxicating, and this is a fact that can be attested to by any number of passionate road trippers amongst us. The high one experiences on attaining a cherished travel goal is incomparable, and those who manage to do so in the company of perilous conditions feel it even more keenly.
So, we present 5 of the world’s most dangerous roads for all of those who thrive on pushing their limits to the extreme. Tread with caution if you must!
An ominous legend in the realm of road travel, La Carretera de los Yungas was formerly known as the most dangerous road in the world; also going by the moniker, Death Road. This gravel dirt track covers a 69 km (43 m) stretch between La Paz and Coroico in the Yungas region of Bolivia.
Before an alternative and much safer means of transport was constructed nearby in the 2000s, it was estimated that approximately 200 to 300 people met their maker every year while traversing this infamous Bolivian highway.
Built in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco War, the Death Road climbs up the Bolivian mountain pass of La Cumbre, located at an elevation of 4,650 m (15,260 ft) above sea level. One side of this slim path is solid rock, while the other drops off into a seemingly bottomless gorge. The ‘Road of Death’ is now a celebrated destination for extreme sports enthusiasts, especially downhill bikers.
Unpaved roads, terrain as diverse as it can be, sub-zero temperatures and the never-ending lonesome drive – the Trans-Siberian Highway is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Extending approximately 7,000 miles from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian Highway is the broader term used for a network of federal highways that run across the width of Russia. Stretching from the Baltic Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the Japan Sea (Pacific Ocean), this menacing route is one of the longest roads in the world and runs through mountains, deserts, forests et all.
Adventure seekers are not advised to embark upon this road in severe weather as avalanches, heavy snowfall, blizzards and landslides have been known to strike at a mere moment’s notice.
The James W. Dalton Highway, also referred to as the North Slope Haul Road and Alaska Route 11, is known the world over as one of the most isolated and trickiest roads to manoeuvre. The most northern highway in Alaska begins north of Fairbanks and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean.
A two-lane gravel road that stretches for 414 miles, the highway runs parallel to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System with only three towns along the route for company. It is for this reason that anyone embarking upon this route is encouraged strongly to pack survival gear for unforeseen circumstances.
The holy grail for any thrill-seeker worth their salt, the Dalton Highway has been featured on popular American television shows like Ice Road Truckers, America’s Toughest Jobs and the BBC’s World’s Most Dangerous Roads.
Huddled on National Highway No. 1 between Srinagar and Leh, Zoji La is not meant to be a leisurely drive. Situated at an elevation of around 3,528 m (11, 649 ft) above the sea level, this 9 km long rocky strip acts as a crucial link between Ladakh and Kashmir.
The pass mostly remains closed during the winter season owing to heavy snowfall, even as the Border Roads Organization (BRO) works diligently to ensure the flow of traffic remains smooth herein.
Offering spectacular views of the mighty Himalayas along with nerve-wrecking vertical drops into the abyss below, one needs to exhibit total confidence in his/her driving skills and over the vehicle they are commandeering in order to drive through this trail successfully and safely.
Listed high amongst the most dangerous roads in the world is the highway connecting Nepali towns of Jumla and Surkhet. Karnali Zone is large, extremely remote and one of the least developed areas in Nepal.
This 232 km long stretch, also referred to as H13, is a challenging blend of tremendously narrow stretches, rocks, flooded parts, random landslides, irksome potholes, steep cliffs and bumps. Add to it plenty of billowing dust and roving cattle, and what you get is one heck of a drive!
Though rewarding you with some stunning views, a drive through the Karnali Highway is not to be taken lightly and demands unwavering focus and skill on the driver’s part.
If you are someone who seeks adventure and are looking to conquer the road in your own special way, reach out to us. Be it as part of our pre-planned expeditions, or a fully customized road trip, we at Adventures Overland promise to be your partner in this journey – with your comfort and convenience always coming first.