Feel like living on the edge? Take a trip down any of these treacherous roads. And it’s not just “the edge” (of a mountain!) that you have to worry about on these scary drives — you might also have to deal with sandstorms, extreme fog, hairpin curves a plenty, and much, much more. Click through to check out some of the world’s most dangerous roads. Have a scary road experience of your own? Share it with us in the comments.
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1. Yungas Road, Bolivia
Affectionately known as the “world’s most dangerous road,” Yungas Road in Bolivia curves along the mountainside, ascending and descending thousands of feet. The widest part? A whopping 10 feet, with at least an 1,800 foot drop at its edge – and yes, it’s a two lane highway. Luckily, much of the road, and vehicle traffic, has been rerouted. The original road, though, still remains, and has become a popular destination for extreme mountain biking.
2. Fairy Meadows Road, Pakistan
Located at the base of the 9th tallest mountain in the world, Fairy Meadows road may only be 6 miles long, but it usually takes about an hour to complete. The gravel road literally carved into the side of a mountain. Watch the video below — if you can stomach it!
3. Pan-American Highway, Costa Rica
Though many parts of the Pan-American Highway, stretching all the way from Alaska to Argentina, aren’t exactly the most leisurely drives, one stretch of road in Costa Rica truly takes the cake. It’s often considered one of the most dangerous drives in the world — and, in my personal experience, I can’t help but agree. The highway, if you can really call it that — it’s more like a 1 1/2 lane road — takes sharp curves up and down a mountain. And that’s not the only thing making this road particularly scary — it’s also in a cloud forest, the fog so thick it’s difficult to see more than a few dozen feet ahead of you. My coach bus was passed by cars several times (around corners! in the dark!), a common cause of accidents.
4. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
Extreme temperature swings, little light, nearly 100 hairpin curves, landslides, and about half the amount of oxygen present at sea level — yep, the Sichuan-Tibet Highway certainly has it covered in terms of scary road conditions.
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5. Trans-Sahara Highway, North and West Africa
No, that’s not the set of some post-apocalyptic thriller — it’s a real road! Though about 85% of the Trans-Saharan highway, crossing through Algeria, Niger and Nigeria, is now paved, there are still several miles of this desert road that are little more than tracks in the sand. With few supplies available along the road, as well as regular sandstorms and extreme heat, the Trans-Saharan Highway is undoubtedly one of the most difficult treks on the planet. The sand can cause other problems, too — sand storms are frequent.
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Image Credit: Albert Backer via Wikimedia Commons