Great DrivesSoutheast

Tail Of The Dragon

311 Turns in 11 Miles

The tail of the dragon doesn’t really need any more introduction than saying it’s 311 turns in 11 miles. There are few places in the world like this road. It’s not just one of the best roads near Atlanta or the southeast… or even the US; it’s potentially one of the top roads in the world. And it’s less than 4 hours away from Atlanta.

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The Route

This road isn’t just for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. Going in the later spring, summer or early fall means crowded roads. It’s still fun to drive, but it’s not nearly as fun when stuck behind an RV.

Weather in the winter can be unpredictable due to elevation. In December thru February it’s not uncommon to see snow or ice on the roads.

Make an overnight trip with a stay at Fontana Village. Or plan at least a full day. It will be ~10 hours in the car with the drive up from Atlanta.

If you are bringing a passenger who isn’t in it for the thrill of the drive they’ll love the views but hate most everything else. Fontana is a nice stop but otherwise there isn’t a lot to do.

Getting There

The route essentially starts at Deals Gap Motorcycle resort. It’s a store, restaurant and small inn. While it is aimed at motorcycles you can stop for a snack or drink before setting out on the road. It also has the “Tree of Shame”. A tree covered in parts of wrecked motorcycles who took the road lightly.

The route ends at essentially when 129 gets to Tabcat Creek.

There are no turns to worry about. Set your GPS for the Deals Gap Motorcycle resort and then run it until you run out of turns.


Best Time To Go: Late Fall, Winter, Early Spring

Worst Time To Go: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall

Where To Stay: Fontana Village

Where To Eat: Fontana Village

How Far Away: 4 hours to the route start. About 30 minutes drive each way.

Difficulty: Moderate

Passenger Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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