24 Most dangerous roads in the world you wouldn’t want to drive on

When we talk about roads, we normally associate them with long, repetitive highways. However, not all roads are like that. Some roads require a lot of skill just to pass through them and stay alive. This list is about them: the most dangerous roads in the world. Expect to see a lot of single cliff-top roads, roads without any barriers and the steepest turns you couldn’t even imagine. From the snowy mountains and icy roads of Alaska to the canyons of New Zealand, here are the most dangerous roads in the world!

Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand

Skippers Canyon Road

The Skippers Canyon Road in New Zealand is so dangerous that you need a special permit just to drive on it. That’s why there aren’t too many cars on this road but it gets really interesting if you actually come across a car coming from the opposite direction. In these situations, one of the drivers will have to go reverse for up to 3 miles to find a place with enough space for both vehicles.

James Dalton Highway, USA

Dalton Highway

Stretching from Fairbanks to the North of Alaska, James Dalton is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The weather conditions on this road are horrible and the strong winds that scatter small rocks all over the place don’t make driving here any easier. Around 300 accidents happen on this road every year, which might not seem like a lot but you should also remember that not too many people attempt driving on it.

Federal Highway 1, Mexico

most dangerous roads in the world

Winding roads, sheer drops into the sea, and crazy drivers who are always in a rush make this Mexican Highway a real nightmare.  The road also has a lot of blind corners which contribute even more to the high number of accidents. The fact that six Mexican states don’t require any tests to get a driver license also doesn’t make things any easier.

Los Caracoles Pass, Chile

Most dangerous roads in the worldPhoto by Sundeep Joydhar cc by 2.0

Los Caracoles Pass between the borders of Argentina and Chile features a lot of steep, dizzying bends combined with blind corners every few hundred meters. To make things even worse, the road has no safety barrier whatsoever and is located at an elevation of 3,176 meters. However, the road is still used by many locals and even tourists buses except for the winters when it’s completely covered in snow.

Death Road, Bolivia

Yungas Road is known worldwide as the most dangerous road in the world. The 40-mile stretch of single track road is filled with steep cliffs on every step and no barriers to protect the drivers from falling off the road. However, the danger surrounding this road turned it into a tourist attraction. Cycling the Yungas road in the world is one of the most popular activities among tourists in Bolivia.

BR-116, Brazil

Most dangerous roads in the world

This road wears the nickname ‘Rodovia de Morte’, meaning the Highway of Death. It’s by far the most dangerous road in Brazil because it’s poorly maintained and gangs and bandits are stationed along the way. Additionally, the highway has a winding design that looks amazing from above but it’s definitely not easy to drive on it. In fact, the BR-116 has the world’s highest concentration of big rigs on a road.

Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen Pass

When looked from above, the Trollstigen Road looks like a child’s scribbles but it’s an actual road. The locals actually call it “the Troll Ladder. The road has an abundance of sheer drops and hairpin bends and it’s even more dangerous in the winter when large parts of the road get frozen.

Le Passage du Gois, France

Le Passage du Gois is so dangerous that the authorities open it only for a few hours every day. For the rest of the day, this road is under water. Yes, you read that correctly. The passage connects the island Île de Noirmoutier with the mainland and it doesn’t have any barriers to protect the drivers because the road is under water most of the time anyway.

Col de la Bonette, France

Located high in the French Alps, this mountain road is one of the most dangerous ones in France. While driving on this road, you’ll witness some of the sharpest and steepest turns in the world. The hundreds of car accidents that happen on this road every year make most people avoid this road and look for an alternative path.

The Pasubio Road, Italy

Pasubio Road
Pasubio is an ancient road that the Government has tried to shut down on several occasions. The locals, however, refuse to give up on it. This road is famous for some of the most incredible views of the Alps and the 52 hand-carved tunnels you’ll meet along the way. Needless to say, driving here requires a lot of caution and the careless motorbike riders don’t make things any easier. This road is certainly one of the sights you can see only in Italy.

Gotthard Pass, Switzerland

Gotthard Pass

This Alpine Road features some of the most beautiful scenery in the world but it also deserves a place on this list. When you’re driving here, you mustn’t get too impressed with the beautiful view because the Gothard Pass requires every second of your attention. The Pass is riddled with twists and turns and if you’re not careful you can easily drive off the road.

Transfagarasan Road, Romania 

Transfagarasan Road

In the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, there’s an epic road that stretches up and down across the mountains. Transfagarasan reaches an altitude of up to 6,000 feet and once you reach here you need to be extremely careful. Not only is the air much more rare on this altitude but the road also drops so suddenly from the hill, it will make you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster. It gets really tricky since you also can’t hit the break because you never know if someone might be coming behind you.

Bakhchysarai Highway, Ukraine

Most dangerous roads in the world

This so-called road is nothing more than 77 km of spectacular hairpin bends and beautiful scenery. On a first glance, it doesn’t look as scary as some other roads on this list but wait till you get to the peaks. The sudden drops make driving on this road a one-of-a-kind experience. Add snow and ice during the winter months to the mix, and you’ll get understand why Bakhchysarai is one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia

Driving around Siberia is always a challenge and this list wouldn’t be complete without the Trans-Siberian Highway. Maintaining this long stretch of road is pretty much impossible to maintain and that’s why Russians don’t do it. Parts of the road look like a well-surfaced highway but most of it looks like a dirt track. When heavy rain strikes, only the most rugged 4×4 vehicles can go through this muddy beast. That’s why this road is actually safest in the winter when everything is frozen and there’.

Enjoying this article? Then you’ll probably like my guide to planning the perfect Pacific Coast Highway vacation itinerary.

Kolyma Highway, Russia  

Kolyma Highway

This highways has the nickname ‘Death Road’ and for a good reason. All of the people that were building the road who died were buried around the world underneath. Kolyma is especially dangerous to drive on, especially when it’s raining. During heavy rain, the clay covering the road turns into thick mud capable of swallowing every vehicle on the way. The winter is also pretty tough too because you have to care about the freezing temperatures, ice, and decreased visibility.

The road from Jalalabad to Kabul, Afghanistan

The road from Jalalabad to Kabul is oftentimes dubbed as one of the most dangerous roads in the world and that’s not only because it crosses through Taliban territory. It’s because of the combination of narrow, winding passages and reckless Afghani drivers that try to complete impossible maneuvers. No wonder fatal crashes are a daily occurrence here.

Nanga Parbat Pass, Pakistan       

Nanga Parbat Road

The Nanga Parbat Pass in Pakistan carries the nickname ‘Fairy Meadows Road’ but don’t be fooled by this innocent-sounding nickname. The unstable and narrow mountain passes combined with the treacherous high altitude makes this road a real nightmare. But it doesn’t end there. The Nanga Parbat Pass also features a 7-mile unpaved no-barrier road with hundreds of blind spots looking down from the western anchor of the Himalayas. At least the view from up there is absolutely stunning…

Zoji La, India

Zoji La Pass Most dangerous roads in the world         

Zoji La is a high mountain pass in the Indian Himalayas, rising 3,000 meters above sea level. The roads here are dangerously narrow and either frozen or really muddy, depending on the season. To add on that, vehicles often get stuck between the flocks of sheep and goats that come on the road. When this happens, drivers often have to wait for hours for the road to get clear. Zoji La is closed throughout most of the year because of the difficult driving conditions but when it’s open you can read about vehicles tumbling down from the road.

Khardung La, India 

Khardung La Most dangerous roads in the world                

When we talk about the most dangerous roads in the world, we simply can’t forget about Khardung La. This is the tallest motorway pass road in the world going up to 18,700 feet. Another problem that appears on this height is the lack of oxygen and the headaches you start experiencing along the way. That’s why no one dares to drive on this road, except for the most experienced locals.

Karnali Highway, Nepal

Karnali Highway Most dangerous roads in the world

If you like to drive off the road, you should definitely check out the Karnali Highway (at your own risk, of course). This 150-mile long Himalayan road in west Nepal can easily compare with the Yungas Road in Bolivia. The Karnali Highway is basically a dirt road without any barriers and close-to-zero visibility. On top of that, the road also has a lot of steep climbs and is filled with potholes. It really doesn’t take a lot to make a mistake here and that’s why even cyclists avoid riding this road.

Guoliang Tunnel Road, China

Guoliang Tunnel Road

This road is so remote the villagers had to make it on their own. They had to cut throughout the side of the mountain, creating really tight and unstable tunnels along the way. Cars that pass here must go through these improvised tunnels really slowly and avoid the steep drops and twists on the way. However, these improvised tunnels are the safest place on the road and the only one that has some kind of barrier that keeps cars from falling down from the mountain. The Chinese name of this road literally translates to ‘The Road that Tolerates no Mistake’.

Tianmen Mountain Road, China

Most dangerous roads in the world

The Tianmen Mountain Road is marked by 99 sharp bends and it looks more like a specially designed racing track than a road. However, speeding is the last thing you want to do here. In only 6 miles, this road climbs over 3,000 feet up in the air.

Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan

taiwan taroko national park

The Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan has a lot of narrow passes, sudden drops, and a lot of blind spots. However, this road is a bit different than the other ones on this list. The heavy seismic activity and typhoons that oftentimes struck the road make Taroko Gorge by far, the deadliest road in Taiwan.

Halsema Highway, Philippines

Halsema Highway most dangerous roads in the world

Even though this road recently was recently reconstructed and got new asphalt it still deserves a place on this list. When driving on this circuitous path in the Cordillera Central mountain range, beware that landslides, mudslides, and falling rocks are common on the Halsema Highway. During the rainy season, it gets even worse because of the wet asphalt and the extreme foggy conditions. Finally, the careless bus drivers that always try to rush through the highway makes everything even worse.

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28 thoughts on “24 Most dangerous roads in the world you wouldn’t want to drive on”

  1. I thought I had driven on some dangerous roads before but they were completely safe compared to these! I can’t believe how tight some of those hairpin turns are and the lack of any safety barriers. The villagers who built Guoliang Tunnel Road were really creative. Le Passage du Gois looks fun though if you time it right!

    • Indeed, Annick- driving on most of these requires special skills and endurance. I’m fascinated just by looking at these roads from above

  2. They all look dangerous to me! But I think the ones without any barriers around the mountain are the most dangerous ones. Like Death Road in Bolivia, Nanga Parbat Pass in Pakistan, and Skippers Canyon Road in New Zealand. Tianmen Mountain Road in China and Halsema Highway in the Philippines will sure make you dizzy. I think you must be in a fit condition driving there, both driver and passengers. If not, you will vomit. 🙁

  3. Such a fascinating list! Reminds me of the dochula pass drive in Bhutan. I would never dare to drive on any of these roads and order to hire a local jeep. Khardungla pass is definitely on my list for sure.

  4. Speechless to see these pictures of the most dangerous roads in the world! The Skippers Canyon Road looks so narrow and no wonder requires a permit to be driven on! Noticed two roads in this list are from Himalayan region in India. We have driven on some of the Himalayan roads as well and they do get tricky indeed. Did not know that Khardung La is the tallest motorway pass road in the world going up to 18,700 feet. WOW! Just looking at some of these such as Trollstigen, Los Caracoles Pass, or Guoliang Tunnel Road makes me breathless. What an achievement it would be to be able to cover even half of these 24 dangerous roads!

    • Yes, that’s right! Those roads in the Indian Himalayas were damn scary! I remember when I was going from Ladakh to Srinagar for Aid- the driver was driving with around 90 km/h in those roads to reach Srinagar in time to avoid the ongoing demonstrations. It was the scariest ride of my life!

  5. This is a great list! There are some roads on here I really want to try and some I really don’t! I had the opportunity to do a Death Road tour in Bolivia but I turned it down – and looking at that photo it was a good idea! That one in Pakistan looks crazy as well, I just can’t do roads with no barriers!

  6. Wow, this is a really interesting list! And here I thought that we have driven the most dangerous roads from our past roadtrips! I couldn’t imagine why anyone would end up on most of these roads, except for locals. I also couldn’t believe that one of the roads turned into a tourist attraction. I can’t add that to my bucketlist, I fear for my life! 😉 Check the F-roads of Iceland too. They are extremely dangerous and some roads include river crossing!

    • They sure are, Jen. But for some locals driving on these roads is a necessity! That’s the scariest part. The F roads in Iceland are pretty difficult too and I was hesitant about putting them on the list but decided not to in order not to make this list too long 🙂

  7. My palms are now sweaty after reading this post, thank you! Yes, I don’t plan to travel down any of these roads anytime soon. Death Road in Bolivia is frightening by photo, and by name too! Tianamen Mountain Road does look really pretty, but I’d be sure to drive slow!

    • Thanks, Lisa- I’m glad you liked the article. Of course, driving on these roads requires not only great skill but great courage as well 🙂

  8. These roads look insane and it’s gambling with your life to drive along them. It’s so easy to fell of the Yungas road in Bolivia. Among the list, I would love to drive along Le Passage du Gois. The idea of it goes underwater and completely disappears makes me thrilled.

  9. What an incredibly dangerous list ( or do I say..insanely dangerous) …Those hairpin bends are nothing short of a miracle. I have driven on some of the steep roads without barriers on sides, in the Himalayas. But not at a very high altitude. The road across the river in France is indeed interesting but I wonder on what basis do the authorities decide when to open the way for drivers?. And for me an aerial view of many of these especially that of Chile in itself giving jitters!

    • Thank you for commenting Meenkashi! I’m glad you found it interesting. As for your question, the authorities always keep a track of the rise and fall of sea levels and based on it, they decide when to open and when to close the road.

    • I remember Chang La too. I passed on it on the way to Nubra Valley but from my experience, Khardung La and Zoji La felt a lot more dangerous 🙂

  10. That’s fascinating! I was definitely sure I’ll spot atleast one Himalayan road. Glad to see almost 4-5 spread among India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afganistan!
    The most unusual one is the France road that’s underwater! Whenever we think of dangerous roads we only consider mountains; this one in sea is fascinating!

    • This list surely wouldn’t be complete without at least a few Himalayan roads 🙂 The Passage du Gois is sure different than all the other roads on the list and I guess that’s what makes it even more interesting

  11. Wow! Those photos make my hair stand on end, although Transfagarasan Highway has been on my bucket list for a long time 🙂
    I’d also add to this list road leading to Masca village in Tenerife – very narrow, winding and leading high up into the mountains.

    • Thank you Joanna, I’m glad you found this piece amusing. I haven’t visited this road yet but I googled it and it does look pretty scary.


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