You say “dangerous”, I say “fun”. Maybe it was the good fortune of spending my formative driving and riding years strafing the canyons around Boulder, Colorado, but I can’t help getting worked up over mountain roads with plenty of switchbacks, blind corners and decreasing radius turns. I may prefer asphalt to dirt, but I’m no stranger to Jeep trails in the Rockies, either. I’ve learned the hard way why you never wash the mud from a rental Toyota 4Runner that you used to explore the Switzerland Trail (unless you really really like trying to buff out brush pinstriping).
This ARTICLE, posted on Waze, gives their take on the 19 most complex and dangerous roads in the world. Some are just interchanges; complex, but not particularly worthy as a vacation destination. Others may offer drama or sheer terror, but at such low speeds that it’s not worth the effort to get to them. Here’s my take on the best six and how I’d like to enjoy them:
Col de Turini, France – featured in Top Gear series 10 as one of the most exciting roads on the planet, Col de Turini is part of the WRC Monte Carlo Rally. My choice for the best way to enjoy it? I’ll take a KTM 990 Supermoto R, please.
Stelvio Pass, Italy – located in the Eastern Alps just below the Austrian border, the pass is the second highest paved road in the Alps. The amazing views make this a popular destination for motorcycle tours and magazine shoots. My ride for this one? An Ariel Atom, please.
Trollstigen, Norway – narrow and steep, this road (translated as “Troll’s Ladder) winds though one of Norway’s many fjords. Given the road’s popularity with tourists, I’d like a bike on this on. My old BMW R1100S will do nicely, thank you.
Los Caracoles Pass, Chile to Argentina – despite its steep inclines, annual snowfall, switchback corners and heavy commercial vehicle traffic, this road has a good safety record. To be on the safe side, I’d like something with AWD and lots of power for this one. Not too big, not too small, either. Make it a Ford RS200 Evolution.
Iroha-zaka, Japan – connecting Nikko and Oku-Nikko, the Iroha-zaka actually consists of two routes; one is used for descending, the other for ascending. Like most things Japanese, the road is steeeped in tradition; to honor this, make my ride a Skyline GT-R. Surprise me on the vintage.
Lysebotn Road, Norway – billed as “the most fun you can have on four wheels”, Lysebotn Road is also considered one of the most scenic spots in all of Europe. Since I opted for a bike on my last Norwegian pass, I’ll take a car this time – make it a BMW 135.
If you can’t afford the airfare and rental fees for these six, let’s not forget that there can be some spectacular drives closer to home. Let’s hear about your favorites.