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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Default America's Scariest Roads?

    A recent article written by Forbes.com's Tim Kiladze was featured on the Yahoo.com travel page earlier today. There's a couple of pithy comments in the article by Megan Edwards and myself. Check it out!

    But the reason I'm posting this thread -- Is I'd like to know your thoughts about your own favorite America's Scariest Roads...

    To get started, here are a couple of messages that have landed in my e-mail in-box today:

    David C. wrote:
    "...Having been on 2 of your 5 "America's Scariest Highways" i have to wonder what planet your from?
    Both I-70 and the overseas are anything but scary. Do you not have anything worthwhile to write about?
    Why in the world does Yahoo publish this worthless blown out of proportion information?
    Ow! I like this one better:

    Joe G. wrote:
    "...Hi, just ran across your site on Yahoo' s web page and thought you missed a few scary roads. In fact, the ones that were listed wouldn't be in my top twenty. I have more than 2 million miles as a truck driver and as such, have encountered many VERY scary roads. In truth, some of these scary rides were due to inclement weather, but even on a sunny day they would rate as formidable.

    I'd like to list a few:
    US 6 west of Denver from exit 205 to exit 216 of I-70. This bypasses the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70. I was forced to use this road whenever I was transporting hazardous material as the tunnel was off limits. Many, many switchbacks with no guardrails and will snow in August up there. Very treacherous but very beautiful also if you allow yourself to take your eyes off the road for 1 or 2 seconds at a time.

    US 160 From I-25 at Walsenburg, CO west to Durango, CO.
    Two high mountain passes greet you on this stretch which meant tire chains on almost any day from November thru April. Two lane road, well maintained, but going thru territory where a road was not intended by Mother Nature. Very scenic but I preferred to drive it at night so as not to see the steep drops at the side of the road. Much more soothing if you can't see where you can die if you blink your eyes

    US 191 south from Rock Springs, WY, to Vernal, UT. This goes past Flaming Gorge Reservoir and right over the dam with the Green River about a thousand feet below you. This is when the fun is just beginning. Climbing up to the pass is exciting enough, but coming down gets close to pure terror if you have a heavy load. I think the first road sign informs you there are 13 switchbacks ahead and after each one tells how many are remaining. It's a pretty steep decline and it just goes on and on and on. I believe that I aged 5 years in that half hour. The next time I had to go to Vernal, I went 100 miles out of my way to avoid that piece of highway.

    There are so many more to list but supper is ready. I'm retired now but I have a lot of pictures in my head to take to the next place.

    If you've read this, thanks for tolerating me.
    So, jump in and share your SCARIEST ROADS!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    7,961

    Default Scary Roads

    I have driven quite a few, but by no means all, of the roads mentioned in the article or by commenters. I find the list interesting, but of course such lists are very personal. I didn't mind Oh My God Road at all, found it rather tame, in fact. My own three top 'scary' roads which, like Mark and Megan's, are scary for different reasons.

    I-95 between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD. Six to eight lanes of bumper to bumper, side by side 80+ mph traffic and everybody jockeying for position.

    Mount Washington Auto Road New Hampshire. Dirt, narrow, steep, sheer drop offs with no guardrails on a mountain where hikers die pretty much every year when they get caught in the weather. At the top, the highest sustained wind ever recorded: 230 mph.

    MT-200 Lewistown to Circle. Miles and miles of nothing. No towns, no service stations, no other traffic. Just badlands and the knowledge that this is Posse Comitatus country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,958

    Default front page coverage

    I saw that article on the Front page of Yahoo - and I've got to say, I thought there were some pretty poor choice.

    I-70 through Colorado wouldn't even be close on my list, and quite frankly Mark, your "hope you make it to the bottom" quote was a bit more than hyperbole! An I-15 in California sees some fast traffic, but again, not what I would call scary. Its been decades, but I really don't remember US-1 over the Keys to be scary either - but I can see how that could make a list.

    I'll have to think about the scariest roads....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    776

    Default Linda says....

    .... hands down:


    Photo: Don Casey

    Shafer Trail in Canyonlands National Park.

  5. #5
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    Default Don't shoot the messenger

    Don't forget I didn't the write the article... I had no editorial control over what was eventually used in the article. As I've mentioned before, none of the listed choices of scariest road would ever have made my top 50 list if the roads were dry and and the weather was warm.

    I have my top 10 -- but the majority of American road trippers will never have a chance to get to them -- since they are mostly off-road jeep trails.

    But let's see your list...

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,556

    Default A quick note before more extensive analysis/reply

    I'd put the access road to the Mauna Kea summit on the Big Island at or close to the top of the list. It's gravel, many switchbacks, few guardrails, and if you go over, it can be +3,000' until you stop. Combine that with the thin air making everybody somewhat light-headed and the "locals" (the scientific community which lives at the facility's residential village at around 9,000') zooming back and forth from the 13,796' summit to their village, it's definitely a white knuckle drive and ride. I don't think my wife exhaled for the whole 2 hours from the village to the summit and back.

    The "Saddle Road" which runs between the wet side and the dry side of the Big Island is somewhere on up there on the list, too. It runs through the 6,500' pass between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. It's paved, but very narrow, very steep, and follows the route originally laid out in the 1940s. Reverse-banked curves, decreasing radius curves, huge potholes, crazy locals shortcutting to and from Hilo to avoid the traffic-choked Ring Road, and throw some armored personnel carriers and M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks on the Kona side for good measure (several thousand acres of military training base around halfway down the Kona side).

    Both the Mauna Kea access and the Saddle Road are public roads and are accessible by most any vehicle. All the visitor needs to do is ignore the numerous declarations on their rental contract which prohibit operating the vehicle on either or both, and he's good to go!

    Foy

  7. #7
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    Default Here's another from my e-mail in-box

    Received this one this morning:

    Russ H. wrote:
    "...This morning I read about the scariest highways in America and I didn't see listed the actual "most frightening, scary, white knuckle highway listed! This highway makes 1-70 seem like a breeze.
    Here it is...From Wikipedia:

    Trail Ridge Road is the name for the stretch of U.S. Highway 34 and is the highest continuous highway in the United States. Also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway. It traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west. It crosses the Continental Divide at Milner Pass (elev. 10,758 ft/3,279 m) and reaches a maximum elevation of 12,183 ft (3,713 m), near Fall River Pass (elev. 11,796 ft/3,595 m). Near the highest point on the road is another pass, Iceberg Pass (elev. 11,827 ft/3,604 m).

    Trail Ridge Road is closed during the winter, and often remains closed until late spring or early summer depending on the snowpack.

    I've driven this in a car, and on a motorcycle. Like the road up to Pike's Peak you just want to get back to flat ground once you've been on it. Add some ice patches and it's a thrill. As you climb in Altitude, you rise above low clouds. The switchbacks are a killer for sure. You are literally climbing over a real mountain. I have a sister in law that drove it once and never again. This is the scariest road in America. But hey, nice website!..."

  8. #8

    Default

    what about highway 375

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Default Here's a field report about the "ET" Highway

    It's not really very scary -- sorta of interesting -- here's a field report...

    But thanks for the suggestion!

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default Keep up Mark !

    It is if you believe in alien abduction !!!! ;-)

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