Zojila Pass, Leh-Srinagar Highway
Zojila Pass is the lifeline of Leh and Ladakh region and keeps it connected with the rest of the world. Located at a dizzying height of 11,575 feet; drivers pray while traversing the road as one wrong move or an errant driver can plunge your vehicle down the cliffs or force you to hit the heavy rocky walls on the other side of the narrow road. On top of that, there is an additional fear of landslides, slippery snowy driving conditions, heavy military traffic and endless traffic snarls.
Death Road, Bolivia
The Death Road was once declared the “most dangerous road in the world” by Inter-American Development Bank and it still continues to live up to its name. A single, mountainous track with negligible tarmac and sharp cliffs and turns, especially the stretch that connects La Paz from Coroico which drops steeply, providing a massive adrenaline rush.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Built by Chinese workers using simple hand tools, the Guoliang Tunnel in China’s Henan province is scary mountainous road. This 1.2 kilometre tunnel along the edge of the Taihang Mountains is filled with sudden hairpin turns and scary open edges, earning a nickname meaning, “The road that does not tolerate mistakes”.
Ruta 60, Chile
Route 60 is the main road in the Valparaíso Region of Chile. It extends from Valparaíso to Paso Los Libertadores. The road is filled with frightening hairpin bends, extreme loneliness, and difficult road conditions making it a highly challenging journey. It is an extremely narrow road following the banks of the Mataquito River, with frequent sharp corners and bridges.
Sichuan Tibet Highway, China
Sichuan Tibet Highway offers dramatic setting in which one can travel a distance of 2,142km starting from Chengdu of Sichuan on the east to Lhasa of Tibet on the west. The zig-zag highways encompasses 14 high mountains, dozens of rivers, ancient forest and plenty of dangerous stretch. However, the journey is worth it just to experience the terrific landscape and culture of Tibet.
Karakoram Highway, Pakistan-China
The Karakoram Highway is a joint venture between Pakistan and China to recreate the historic stretch of the ‘Silk Route’. However, regular flash floods, landslides and extreme climate often leads to disappearance of stretches of the highway. However, the journey offers stunning views of spectacular gorges, mountain lakes and glaciers but with an additional risk of losing one’s life.
Canning Stock Route, Australia
Canning Stock Route is a dusty track in the vast, wild outback of Western Australia. This route is now a highly popular 4WD safari route which offers solitude and extreme adventure of Australian outback. Beware! As there is no trace of human civilization and your journey can became a battle of survival due to intense heat, loneliness, dehydration and lack of supplies in a stretch of 1900 kilometres, between Wiluna and Halls Creek.
James Dalton Highway, USA
The James Dalton Highway also referred to as the Dalton Highway or the Alaska Route 11 is one of the most isolated roads in USA. It starts from north of Fairbanks and ends in Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. This highway is renowned for its tough driving conditions, especially during the winter months when the entire stretch of highway is blanketed by thick snow and extreme Alaskan cold winds. Poor light conditions, sudden change in weather and almost zero human population, makes it a difficult journey.
Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia
Trans-Siberian Highway is an important lifeline of Russia’s extreme remote areas but the government doesn’t care much about the maintenance because it’s practically impossible to do so. As a result, driving in this highway is an adventure due to its remoteness, heavy rains, extreme cold temperature and snow. At some places, the highway is just a dirt track with patches of snow or mud slush interspersed throughout.