The most thrilling drive in the Smoky Mountains

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About the Tail of the Dragon

Designated US 129, the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, with no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel. It is considered “the destination” for thousands of motorcycle and sports car fans throughout the spring, summer, and fall.  Can you brave it? It’s best to be cautious as the turns are tight, but the Tail of the Dragon is guaranteed to be the ride of your life!

Highlights of the “Tail of the Dragon”

• The 318 curves are not mountain-climbing switchbacks; these turns, some close to 300-degree pivots, are on a largely flat course.

• Besides being in fine condition in both North Carolina and Tennessee, the asphalt curves are banked, making them easier to handle.

• The Dragon stretch of U.S. 129 is double-lined as No Passing. 

• The posted speed limit is 30 mph.

• Trucks are prohibited.

• The North Carolina approach to the drive (2 miles) is in the Nantahala National Forest; the 11 miles in Tennessee are in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No public roads intersect with the Tail of the Dragon and it is free of driveways. This adds to safety as well as natural beauty.


Smoky Mountain Cabin and Resort RentalsThe Tail of the Dragon is one of the most exhilirating and well known drives in North America, especially popular with motorcycle and car enthusiasts. Many of our cabin rental guests have driven the Tail of Dragon and have absolutely enjoyed it. If you're planning a vacation to the Smoky Mountains, rent a cabin near the Tail of the Dragon so that you can experience it for yourself!