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
1027 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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flrider06
August 17, 2011
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
Deal's Gap is, without a doubt, a great ride, I recommend it to anyone who can make it to the area. With that said, I do think it's a little overrated. The scenery is beautiful, the curves require some skill, and the resort itself is a neat place but, it's only 11 miles. The road is patrolled and the speed limits are strictly enforced. As always, the most challenging part of the road is other riders/drivers. Riding during the week seems to be the best bet, traffic is low. I know several people who think other rides are much more beautiful and challenging. Still, I plan on going back to ride the "Tail" and explore some of the other roads in the area.
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5 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
October 9, 2010
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
WE RODE OVER FROM TEXAS TO RIDE THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON, CHEROHALA SKYWAY, AND BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY. IT IS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY TO RIDE IN. IF YOU RIDE THE DRAGON, YOU HAVE TO RIDE THE CHEROHALA SKYWAY TOO. YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THE VIEWS!! THIS IS NOT A RIDE FOR FRESH BEGINNERS AND SPEED DEMONS. IF YOU WILL SIMPLY USE COMMON SENSE, STAY ALERT, AND OBEY THE SPEED LIMITS, YOU WILL HAVE NO PROBLEMS. WE HOPE TO COME BACK IN THE NEAR FUTURE. RIDE SAFE AND ENJOY YOURSELVES!!!
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5 riders found this road review useful
Hapkido
August 18, 2014
12 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
Have ridden The Dragon twice. It is an awesome ride. But if you don't pay attention, you wont ride it twice. If the sign says 20 mph it doesn't mean 25!
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4 riders found this road review useful