Overall Route Rating
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4.55 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.55
320 Reviews

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Jun 30, 2003

Rider Reviews

2627 McR Points
July 27, 2012
--I understand this is the road to which many…
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2 McR Points
November 4, 2011
Nice ride. I rode it the first time around 2002…

Written Directions

Deal's gap is not the easiest road to find on a map because it is just a small 11 mile stretch that hugs the border of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on its very sparsely populated southwest corner. Most of the road lies in Tennessee yet a small section of it crosses into North Carolina. Suggest you use the Online Map Link to get your bearings. The closest town to the north end of Deal's Gap is Tallahassee, TN and the closest town to the south end of the road is Tapoco, NC. And, keep in mind that when you get close to the road, all the locals can point you in the right direction if you are not sure.


Beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery includes some lush forests and evergreen covered mountains.

Update/Addition from Michael S. McDonald: People from all walks of life are drawn to the seducing curves of the Dragon (other wise known as Tail of the Dragon) at Deal's Gap, also known as US Hwy 129. They make their pilgrimage to test their skills, or in some cases, to be bitten by the Dragon. The area surrounding the Dragon was one of the last areas of North Carolina to be settled due to its inhospitable terrain. The southern Appalachian Mountains are made up of two separate ranges; the eastern range is the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the western range is known as the Great Smoky Mountains. For thirty-six miles along the TN/NC border the GSM are more than 5k feet in altitude with 16 peaks stretching to more than 6k feet. All of this altitude translates to treacherous travel, especially for the pioneers in their day, but also for us as motor-sport enthusiasts today

Drive Enjoyment

318 curves in 11 miles - what more needs to be said? Well these just aren't any curves as there are many sharp turns, steep drop-offs, not many cars, lots of bikes ... overall a real challenging road. The road is mostly in good shape as its become a real tourist draw and the local government knows to keep the road in good shape and the people will keep coming. Its challenging and exciting for some, scary to beginning riders, be careful on this one.

Update/Addition from Michael S. McDonald: 318 curves in 11 miles. By the time you reach the plateau from which the end (otherwise known as the turn around) your will be spent but very eager to hit the tight turns that are banked to perfection. Pay very close attention to on coming cars and large trucks as the turns are hairpin and they do come into your lane!

Tourism Opportunities

Not many pull-outs, one store at the end of ride, be sure to go in and see pictures of crashes that have happened along the road.

Update/Addition from Michael S. McDonald:

- GAS STATIONS : Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort

- FOOD: Dragon's Den Grill, , located at the resort

- HOTEL: Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort

- REPAIRS: NONE, You can get some very minor repairs at the resort. Nearest

repair is Wheelers, 16 miles south or the 129 Pit Stop located in TN 12 miles

north of the Gap.

- PULL OFF'S/OVERLOOKS: 1, Dragon overlook.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Nice Deal's Gap web site - Visit North Carolina web site. - A Deal's Gap video contributed by Chas - Visit North Carolina web site

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April 25, 2013
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
I rode The Dragon for the first time recently and was only somewhat impressed with the experience. There are so many better roads in this area that are more enjoyable than this one. The things I disliked the most about The Dragon were the amount of traffic, lack of scenery, and the extremely short length. In order to really enjoy the curves, I think I'd have to ride back and forth a few times before moving on with the rest of my ride.

The Dragon is a must-ride-at-least-once for just about every motorcyclist, though.
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3 riders found this road review useful
November 5, 2012
11 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
I've ridden the Dragon many times. Everyone needs to ride it once just to say they've done it. However, the Dragon is WAY over-rated. There are many roads in the area that are much better rides. Unless you go there during the week or very early on the weekend, it's overcrowded and there are generally a bunch of idiots riding it that should have a driver's license much less a license to operate a motorcycle.
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MCR Contributor
December 28, 2011
1039 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Other
Just read an article in the May 11 issue of Car and Driver. The article called "Chasing Tail" (page 76) was based on three sports coups (Audi TT RS, BMW-1 Series M, Infiniti IPL G37) being tested out on the Dragon's 318 curves in 11 miles. Among other things, it has some nice photos of the road and scenery as well as an interesting chart that show's that in addition to the turns, the Dragon's fun factor is increased by it's elevation gains as well ... in those 11 miles it rises from 800 ft above sea level to 2000 ft above sea level ... a 1200 ft elevation gain in only 11 miles!
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3 riders found this road review useful