In some parts of the world, reaching your final destination is hardly as simple as going from Point A to Point B. Poor road conditions, deathly heights, zero visibility and frozen tundra make these 10 most dangerous roads in the world the road less traveled for a very good reason.
10. Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
This narrow, mountainous road provides magnificent views of the region, but getting caught on this highway at the wrong moment can prove to be deadly. The road is often closed because of the area’s influx of earthquakes and typhoons, which make it impossible to make it safely to any destination.
9. The Zoji Pass, India
This five-and-a-half mile road extends to over 11,000 feet up into the mountains and provides no guard railings to protect drivers. The Zoji Pass runs between Ladakh and Kashmir in the Western Himalayas and is routinely inaccessible because of heavy snow during the winter months.
8. Ruta 5, Chile
Ruta 5, which stretches from Arica to Inquique, is full of deep, unforgiving valleys that showcase the road’s danger. This isolated route has very few drivers and mesmerizing scenery that can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
7. Trollstigen, Norway
The Trollstigen (Troll Ladder) is a mountain motorway full of sharp turns, constricted roads and steep inclines. While a popular site during the tourist seasons, it is closed during the winter and spring because of heavy snow that is too difficult to drive through.
6. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
The highway from Chengdu and Tibet is nearly 1,500 miles long and takes drivers on a breathtaking journey through its shifting scenery and altitude changes. However, the road, which extends across 14 mountains, causes many deaths due to landslides and rock avalanches.
5. James Dalton Highway, Alaska
The James Dalton Highway is over 400 miles of gravel road that winds through the arctic tundra and the northern-most points on Alaska. The path is littered with potholes, flying rocks carried by strong gusts of wind and nearly zero visibility on this middle of nowhere highway.
4. M56 Kolyma Federal Highway, Russia
This stretch of road connects Moscow to Yakutsk, where the coldest temperature on Earth outside of Antarctica was recorded. The frozen roads during the region’s 10-month long winter make driving in and out of Yakutsk nearly impossible. “The Road of Bones,” as it’s referred to, was built between the 1930s and early 1950s by Soviet prisoners, who were purposely overworked and starved to death before being buried under the road.
3. BR-116, Brazil
One of the longest roads in Brazil has been appropriately dubbed Rodovia da Morte (The Highway of Death). Each year, hundreds of people are killed because of accidents and road fatalities due to steep cliffs, poor maintenance and even gang activity.
2. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
The Goliang Tunnel Road was built by local villagers over the course of five years. And the end result was a three-quarter mile tunnel constructed through a mountain that is only 15 feet high and 12 feet wide.
1. The North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Often regarded as the most dangerous in the world, the North Yungas Road connects Northern Bolivia to the Amazon Rainforest region through 40 miles of twisting road. Built by Paraguayan prisoners in the 1930s, it has become known as El Camino de la Muerte (The Death Road) by locals because of high number of fatalities each year. The twisting path is only 10 feet wide, and has traffic coming from both directions.