Overall Route Rating
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4.23 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.23
90 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
851 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

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")
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 ( 90 )
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Guest
September 28, 2012
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
I have been going to the Dragon every year since 1997. Have done it will over 150 times. Any one who is newer to motorcycling should not ride the Dragon or other roads in the area. You will be a danger to yourself and other bikers. To many times I have gotten behind a inexperienced rider who does not know how to ride a cruve or counter steer who goes to slow for safe riding and will not pull over. This is when the Rice Rockets get impatient and will try and run you off the road. Bit of advise if someone is faster then you please pull over and let them pass. I always will and it makes the ride more fun to ride at my pace. With that being said the whole are has some of the greatest motorcycle rodes to can ride for weeks and not run out of cruves. If you want scenic beauty go to Colorado here all you will see is trees. I hope to retire in 7 years and I have a place 60 miles from the dragon so I can ride every day if I choose.
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6 riders found this road review useful
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Sooner805
January 2, 2012
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
Still one of the best rides in the nation for bikes. The scenery is great and the road surface is excellant. Took this ride before in June of 2010 on a weekend. Way too many sport bikes riding stupid but the only crash I saw was Harley rider and his female companion. A Goldwing almost crashed into me in a curve crossing the center line. So, maybe the sport bikes were not so bad after all. I took the trip this time in Dec. 2011 and it was great. Very few bikes at all and all of them serious safe and skilled. The Deals Gap Resort is closed during the winter months but Robinsonville NC has everything you need. I have made the trip from OK to the Dragon twice now and it is well worth it.
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6 riders found this road review useful
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Felon
November 28, 2011
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
It is not hard to find, hell you can't miss it. Take SR 28 from Franklin or US 129 from Robbinsville and it is at the intersection of those two! Everyone should ride it once, so you can know what everyone is talking about. But don't ride for a lot of scenery or you wil be part of the landscape. It is not for rubbernecking, it is technical and can be work (fun work). Hellbender 28 coming from the east is a much more scenic ride if that is what you like.
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5 riders found this road review useful