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Is there a “Highway to Hell”?

Posted by on July 25, 2020 in Travel and Entertainment with 0 Comments

Sure it might be one of AC/DC's most popular songs and one of the most well-known songs in rock and roll history but did you know there is another meaning to “Highway to Hell”? If you are a motorcyclist, then you should know this other meaning. The alternate meaning to “Highway to Hell”, especially for motorcyclists, is an extremely dangerous route that is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. In this article, we'll go over some of these most dangerous highway for motorcycles and how you can prepare for these “highways to hell”.

1. Karakoram Highway (Pakistan and China)

As one of the longest highway systems in the world, you will need to be on a constant lookout when you pass through this 800 mile stretch of road. This highway is notorious for its combination of natural disasters including avalanches, flooding, heavy snow, and landslides depending on which time in the year you drive through it. Even though it is known to many as the “eighth wonder of the world”, it has still been the cause of several fatalities every year as a result of rockslides. In addition to natural obstacles that make this a “highway to hell” other issues like pedestrian traffic and larger vehicles like trucks and buses can also prove to be major problems on the road. In fact, in October of 2019, 17 people were killed when a bus took a sharp turn and tumbled into a gorge while in September of the same year, a woman was killed when a landslide hit her van. It is an extremely risky road to drive on or ride your motorcycle on precisely due to these natural and man-made issues.

2. Dalton Highway

Dalton Highway in Alaska makes this list simply due to the frozen weather conditions that often rise up multiple times throughout the year. Motorcycle riders are even responsible for their own safety and medical gear as there are no medical facilities along the nearly 415 mile stretch of road that cuts through Alaska. Even more noticeable is the fact that there are no gas stations, restaurants, or hotels for 240 miles. What makes this location dangerous is not the conventional peril that folks would typically think of when thinking of a “dangerous” road but the hellish endurance necessary to complete the task of getting to the next rest stop when the 240 mile stretch of road ends. Additionally, much of the road is unpaved and gravely, making it tough for even four-wheeled vehicles to get through in good weather conditions much less icy ones that are so common during the year.

3. North Gunguas Road (Bolivia)

Also known as “Death Road” or “The Road of Death”, this road claims approximately 200-300 lives each year. At a mere 12 feet in width coupled with the natural fog and rain that obstructs the view for motorcycle riders are what makes this such a perilous journey. The road carves a narrow stretch into the Cordillera Oriental Mountain in Bolivia which is home to many rainforest locations. As a result, there is quite a bit of obstruction from rain and other elements while the psychological element of being high up on the side of a mountain can result in some mistakes to be made. A single wrong turn can take a driver off the edge of the roadway and lead them to plummet anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 feet. Additionally, because of the lack of government funding into the roads, several portions of the highway are unpaved and lack guardrails while the narrow nature of the road can result in the risk of vehicles colliding with one another. This can cause riders to quickly shift their direction at the last moment and plummet off the roadway.

4. Fairy Meadows Road (Pakistan)

Known as the second deadliest road in the world, Fairy Meadows Road is accessible only during the summer. If that doesn't tell you anything about the danger of this location, we don't know what will. As a result of the instability, narrowness, and high altitude of the road, it is quite dangerous for motorcycle riders. Additionally, Fairy Meadows Road is quite steep and curves wildly up 8,000 feet. If all this didn't sound too bad, then get this: Fairy Meadows Road is wildly bumpy and rocky. Only intrepid motorcycle riders should hop on board for an adventure through this gravely and unstable road where “one wrong move” can send you plummeting thousands of feet off the side of the Karakoram Mountain Range. For riders that can handle their nerves and are true “mountain levels” pictures won't do it justice as it is well-regarded as one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.

5. Guoliang Tunnel Road (China)

Our last stop on the “Highways to Hell” takes up to Guoliang Tunnel Road in China. Also known as the “road to death”, the Guoliang Tunnel Road was hand-carved by villagers in the early 1970s and runs through the Taihang Mountains. During the completion of the road, several of these villagers lost their lives before it opened to mainstream riders in the latter part of the decade. As the road is the result of more than 4,000 hammers carving through the stone that was originally designed to be steps, the road still has portions of its original design intact. This means that the road is extremely bumpy and difficult to navigate and is another such highway where no mistakes can be tolerated.

While these “highways to hell” are extremely dangerous, they are also home to some of the most gorgeous natural landmarks all over the world. Only the most intrepid and experienced motorcyclists should give them a shot.

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