This road has a lot of potential, plenty of technical turns, a healthy elevation change, and good scenery.
You can stop at the NC/TN border near Clingman's Dome and get some good pictures.
Unfortunately, the road surface on the TN side is in bad condition.
Imagine all the things you don't like to encounter while riding, all in one place, on a twisty mountain road.
There are potholes, uneven patches, seams, grooves, tar snakes, and probably even some other things I forgot to mention.
You can do it, but take it a little slow and if it's wet, take it even slower.
The tradeoff is that on the north end as you approach Gatlinburg.
The road does get better and the scenery is amazing.
Just be careful on the TN side.
- Dustin from New Bern, NC (5/11/12)
Rode this one at night on the wifeís new trike, the bugs were outrageous but ride was great!
The traffic was minimal but it is a well traveled highway during the weekends and holidays.
I did not find it too twisty but as usual pay very close attention.
- Anonymous (6/22/11)
This is not a road for the weak of heart.
There are lots of drop offs and no protection on the curves.
When they say 15 miles per hour they mean 10 MPH.
With a touring bike and a passenger this is one scary ride.
There is no margin for error on this one.
Had I known what it was like I would never have taken it.
Smaller bikes and no passengers this might not be to bad.
Scenery, when you have a split second to look, is spectacular.
As the rider you donít have time to look at anything but the road.
This one is strictly for the passenger.
- Jim Paleks (2/14/11)
With new asphalt on the NC side, this road is now my favorite.
Lots of traffic during summer and weekends, but a blast at night.
I run this road about 2 nights a week, best time is after midnight.
- Anonymous (8/14/07)
There is good reason this road is colored RED!
I took this road from Gatlinburg to #19 just south of Cherokee.
It was around 7am and the road was not busy at all and the ride was fantastic.
You know it will be fun if the signs are labelled 15mph for the next 5 bends.
Way more twisty on the TN side of the hill.
Wonderful views and many very tight corners, what more could you ask for?
- 'The Two Wheeled Trucker' (7/23/07)