Deals Gap and “The Dragon”

Deals Gap is an internationally famous destination for driving enthusiasts located in North Carolina along a stretch of two-lane road known as “The Dragon“. The 11-mile stretch is said to have 318 curves and crosses the border into Tennessee. Some of the Dragon’s sharpest curves have names like Copperhead Corner, Hog Pen Bend, Wheelie Hell, Shade Tree Corner, Mud Corner, Sunset Corner, Gravity Cavity, Beginner’s End, and Brake or Bust Bend. The road earned its name from its curves being said to resemble a dragon’s tail. Since part of the road is also the southwestern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there is no development along the 11-mile stretch, resulting in no danger of vehicles pulling out in front of those in the right of way. It mostly travels through forested area and there are a few scenic overlooks and pull-off points along the route. However, saying all this there are several deaths annually on the road that result from the technical aspect of so many curves and usually car and motorcycle enthusiasts travelling at high speeds.  If you see the map below it outlines the recent fatalities.

To get a real perspective for the seriousness of the “Dragon” the following video shows what it is really like to cruise its path.