Ride Information

The Dragon’s Tail starts at Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort at the North Carolina end of The Dragon, an 11 mile stretch of US 129–legendary for its more than 300 curves and excellent pavement. The Tail of the Dragon or US Highway 129 is one of the most heavily traveled sport bike and car enthusiast roads with its 318 curves in 11 miles; located in the Robbinsville North Carolina. The popular road crosses the Tennessee/North Carolina state line and is considered by many as one of the world’s most favorite motorcycling and sports car roads.

If you are looking for excitement and are a thrill seeker the Tail of the dragon is definitely for you whether you are riding one of our sport touring rentals or driving a car. People say its a roller coaster for adults. Some of the curves and switchbacks will make you scrape your foot-pegs and challenge your skills as a car driver and motorcycle rider.

Safety is a major issue as the road itself has some very wild curves and is not a scenic highway to be looking around taking your eyes off the road in front of you. A word of caution about the Dragon – don’t let all the hype and excitement get you into trouble or you may end up with broken parts hanging from the “Tree of Shame” or worse. Push hard here and the Dragon will push back. Use the numerous paved pull outs to let faster traffic go by. Keep your cool and the ride will be cool. Lose your head and you might not get it back. NEVER, EVER, cross the double yellow line. Bad things happen in a blink at the Dragon.

The Tail of the Dragon starts in North Carolina by what they call the Fugitive Dam or Cheoh Dam. Harrison Ford jumps off the dam in the movie the “Fugitive”. The dam and old single lane bridge were also in the 1974 movie Two Lane Blacktop. The other end of the Tail of the Dragon finishes 14 miles away in Tennessee at the Tabcat Creek Bridge. Leaving the crowds at Deals Gap Motorcycle resort behind, you’ll pass from North Carolina into Tennessee within the first mile. Go easy at first and get into the rhythm of the road. You’ll find several sections of relatively straight pavement, use them to relax as they lead into tight turns which will catch you off guard if you get too eager with the throttle. Look for the skid marks of those who did not heed this advice and paid the price. Enjoy the ride then pause to savor it with others at the Calderwood Dam overlook.

There are still a couple miles of curves before you emerge from the gap to cruise along the shoreline of several Tennessee Valley Authority dam created lakes. Watch your speed here, it’s often patrolled and the excitement from riding the Dragon may still have your adrenaline pumping.

Once US 129 leaves the shoreline, you’ll bear left on TN 72 to head north to Vonore. It’s a decent ride through mostly unremarkable countryside with a few good curves thrown in.


Mile 0 – Begin the Dragon
Mile .2 – Crud Corner
Mile 0.5 – Cooper “Radar Straight”
Mile 1.1 – First Dip
Mile 1.3 – Second Dip
Mile 1.4 – The Wall
Mile 2.2 – Sunset Corner
Mile 2.3 – Chicanes
Mile 2.8 – Mini Hump
Mile 2.9 – Gravity Cavity
Mile 3.0 – Toll Booth
Mile 3.1 – Dalton Esses
Mile 3.5 – Catch All
Mile 3.6 – Thunder Road Bend
Mile 4.0 – Parsons Curve
Mile 4.2 – Swift Corner
Mile 4.3 – Busa Bash
Mile 4.8 – Killboy Corner
Mile 4.9 – Carosel Corner
Mile 5.3 – Brake or Bust Bend
Mile 5.8 – Copperhead Corner
Mile 6.3 – Shaw Grave Gap
Mile 6.4 – Mud Corner
Mile 6.8 – Graces Esses
Mile 7.1 – Picnic Table
Mile 7.2 – Guard Rail Cliff
Mile 7.3 – Little Whip
Mile 7.5 – Hog Pen Bend
Mile 7.8 – Dragon’s Run
Mile 8.1 – Triple Apex Corner
Mile 8.4 – Cat Tail Straight
Mile 8.8 – Dragon Overlook
Mile 9.5 – Pearly Gates
Mile 9.7 – Rockslide Corner
Mile 10.0 – Big Whip
Mile 10.2 – Rocket Corner
Mile 10.4 – Revenuer’s Straight
Mile 10.7 – Beginner’s End
Mile 11.1 – Tabcat Bridge