Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon") + ADD NEW ROUTE
in Tennessee Tennessee11 Miles
By Mark H.
on July 1, 2003
- Trip Toolbox
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
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!
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.
Nickname (optional) : Mark H.