Overall Route Rating
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4.25 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.25
93 Reviews

Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Jul 01, 2003

Rider Reviews

GJRonK
1459 McR Points
July 28, 2012
--I understand this is the road to which many…
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Noica
2 McR Points
November 5, 2011
Nice ride. I rode it the first time around 2002…
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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.

Scenery

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

Top Images

Tail of the Dragon
FJR Tail of the Dragon
Tail of the Dragon - Deal's Gap Store/Killboy Store
Tail of the Dragon ride away (wet)
Tail of the Dragon (wet)
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon")
Share Your Comments ( 93 )
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GJRonK
July 28, 2012
1459 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
--
I understand this is the road to which many others are compared. For number of curves per mile, it may have no peer. For viewing, there are thousands of roads that are more scenic, such as the nearby Cherohala Parkway. As you are concentrating s
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15 riders found this road review useful
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Noica
November 5, 2011
2 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
Nice ride. I rode it the first time around 2002 on a rented bike from Pigeon Forge. A lot has changed in the past years...more bikes, more cars, more cops, more wrecks, and also more semi's trying to cut a few miles off of their trip (WATCH THE CURVES). When in the area, I usually ride the Foothills Parkway, Cherohala Skyway, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (Gatlinburg, TN.) and Great Smoky Mountain Parkway. You can make a loop around from Gatlinburg, through Townsend (great little sandwich shop in the gas station - great homemade pimento cheese), picnic on the side of the mountain just outside of Townsend, ride the Foothills Parkway, ride the 'Dragon' to Deals Gap (stop and take a short break), leave on NC 28 South and ride down past Fontana Village and Lake (check out the Fontana Dam overlook...real nice), head toward Cherokee, NC on 441, blow some money at Harrah's, and cruise through the Smoky Mountain Park back to Gatlinburg. About a good days ride with beautiful scenery and several rest stops.
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10 riders found this road review useful
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GIJoe
January 3, 2012
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
I have ridden the Dragon about 6 times, and it is still one of the best roads to test your skills on. NOT for the weak of heart, our group has taken novice riders on this road, but they are warned to be very careful, and DO NOT push their skill level . . . ride your ride and enjoy the experience!!
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9 riders found this road review useful