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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patches_mcmatt
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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telder4
March 16, 2019
2 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
I was expecting more than this ride can provide. although it has many turns, none of it can be called "technical" The Cherohala Skyway was truly spectacular with some technical turns. The views tremendous. I live on the "Twisted Sisters" in the hill country of TX. If you are looking for technical rides..... don't miss TX 337 from Leakey to Vanderpool...only for seasoned riders!
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papafern
January 16, 2016
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Other
I road the dragon 2 times. The 1st time it was in a group ride for Amerivespa Chattanooga and the 2nd time on my own. The road is definitely not for beginners. There is one turn that the banking is opposite of the turn so if u went into the turn at or near the limit, the angle of the road will make u scrape and possibly go into on coming traffic to avoid laying it down. The downsides, too many people riding or driving past their skills and someone driving really slow in a minivan or something. I suggest u don't go take a look at the tree of shame until u r done riding the dragon. It puts pressure on you, LOL
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