World’s most dangerous Roads

Canning Stock Route, Australia
Location: Through the vast deserts of Western Australia
Fear factor: Cattlemen 100 years ago pushed this 1,100-mile route through the endless deserts of Down Under, digging more than 50 wells along its length. Recreational four-wheel-drive convoys can now cross the desolation with the aid of fuel drops, forging endless sand and sun-baked earth to traverse one of the least inhabitable places on the planet.

Wilderness Road to Selva Blue Lodge, Bolivia

Location: Between Santa Ana and the Selva Blue wilderness lodge

Fear factor: The route, a 100-mile jungle labyrinth, is a 20-foot-wide gravel track that shrinks to a grassy two-track and crosses log bridges over rushing Amazonia tributaries. The Caravana motorcycle festival chose this often-flooded route through the Amazon Basin of northern Bolivia in 2002.

The Stilwell Road, India and Burma
Location: Jungle route from Ledo, India into Burma

Fear factor: Built during World War II at the cost of thousands of lives, the Stilwell Road (aka The Ledo Road) climbs mountain passes, snakes through the jungle, and crosses more than 100 rivers and streams in its 1,079-mile length. Constructed as a supply route by Western Allies, the road today is returning to jungle, little used and inaccessible for much of its length behind Burma’s totalitarian curtain.

Graciosa Trail, Brazil
Location: In the mountains above Morretes

Fear factor: This old mule route winds through a rainforest and crosses moss-covered bridges. Cobblestone paves parts of its length, slippery and dangerous on the route’s sharp turns, and hydrangea plants push in to line the lush lane with blue flowers.

Halsema Highway, Philippines
Location: Island of Luzon
Fear factor: Like many under-maintained mountain roads, landslides are a hazard on the Halsema Highway, where big stones and debris tumble from peaks. And along with the cloud forests comes mist that can ruin visibility. Tracing a circuitous path, this road crosses the massive Cordillera Central mountain range on the Island of Luzon, and many sections remain unpaved.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Location: China’s Taihang Mountains
Fear factor: Let’s just say its name translates to the “Road that does not tolerate any mistakes.” In 1972, villagers in a remote area of the Taihang Mountains chiseled a 3/4-mile-long tunnel through a mountain for access to the outside world. Today, the route—15 feet high and 12 feet wide—is a tight squeeze for vehicles, twisting past the tunnel’s 30 “windows,” which provide views off the precipice to a tumbling abyss hundreds of feet below.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Location: Between La Paz and the town of Coroico

Fear factor: In running as the most dangerous road on the planet, the North Yungas Road—aka the “Road of Death”—stretches for some 40 mountain-hugging miles, as narrow as 10 feet in spots and with 1,000-foot drops straight to a rainforest below. Guardrails? You only wish.

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