Ride Information

“US129DragonsTail” – Motorcycle Map

Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Dragons Tail is a legendary stretch of road that draws motorcycle enthusiasts from far and wide. With 318 exhilarating curves in just 11 miles, this iconic route offers riders a thrilling and challenging experience unlike any other.

For those seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure, tackling the Dragons Tail is a rite of passage. The road winds its way through the picturesque landscape of North Carolina and Tennessee, offering breathtaking views of lush forests, towering peaks, and cascading waterfalls. But don’t let the scenic beauty fool you – this is a road that demands respect and skill.

Riders must navigate tight hairpin turns, steep elevation changes, and narrow lanes, all while staying alert to oncoming traffic and wildlife. The road’s reputation for being unforgiving to those who underestimate its twists and turns only adds to the allure for thrill-seekers looking to test their mettle.

But it’s not just the challenging terrain that makes the Dragons Tail a must-ride for motorcycle enthusiasts. The sense of camaraderie among riders, the shared passion for the open road, and the feeling of freedom that comes from exploring new horizons all contribute to the magic of this iconic route.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider looking to push your limits or a newcomer eager to experience the thrill of the open road, the Dragons Tail offers something for everyone. And with nearby amenities, including motorcycle-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and shops, riders can make the most of their journey through this motorcycling mecca.

So rev up your engine, don your gear, and prepare to conquer the Dragons Tail. This legendary ride promises an unforgettable adventure that will leave you craving more – because once you’ve experienced the thrill of the Dragon, no other road will ever quite compare.

So, gear up, hop on your bike, and get ready to embark on an exhilarating journey through some of North Carolina’s most captivating landscapes.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. 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 Dragons Tail 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 Dragons Tail 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.


Turn By Turn Directions

Drive 12 mi, 25 minutes

Ride Start Address:
17556 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771

  • Head south toward US-129 N – 203 ft
  • Turn right toward US-129 N -72 ft
  • Turn right onto US-129 N
  • Entering Tennessee Destination will be on the right – 11.8 mi

Ride End Address:
7406 Calderwood Hwy, Tallassee, TN 37878


Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodging
Deals Gap Motorcycle Lodging

Dragon By Mile

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

“Dragon in the Sky” – Motorcycle Map

The Dragon in the Sky is a combination of two rides in a loop back to Robbinsville, NC which has become a very popular ride for all that Enter the Dragons Lair! The Dragon in the Sky starts at the www.US129DragonsTail.com and continues past the ride along the Chilhowie Lake which turn into the Little Tennessee River on TN US 129. Then take a hard Left turn on to 72 after the convenience store. Follow this until the ride leads to Highway 411 South. Make a left and follow this for a few miles turning Left again on to 360 Unicoi Turnpike. Ride this winding scenic road until you reach Tellico Plains where you make another Left turn on TN 165

The Ride the Cherohala Skyway motorcycle ride is a 43-mile scenic byway from Robbinsville NC to Tellico Plains TN. This 43-mile scenic byway offers a perfect blend of sweeping curves, stunning vistas, and pristine wilderness. As riders ascend the Cherohala Skyway, they are treated to panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest.


Turn By Turn Directions

Drive 124 mi, 3 hours, 6 minutes

Ride Start Address:
5 N Main St, Robbinsville, NC 28771 – 32.8 mi, 53 minutes

  • Head west on Snider Hill toward Circle St – 325 ft
  • Turn right at the 1st cross street onto Circle St – 761 ft
  • Keep left to stay on Circle St – 233 ft
  • Turn left onto Moose Branch Rd – 669 ft
  • Turn right onto Knight St – 0.254 mi
  • Turn left onto US-129 N/Tapoco Rd
    Continue to follow US-129 N Entering Tennessee – 32.2 mi
  • Turn right onto Happy Valley Rd -72 ft
  • 518 Growdon Blvd, Tallassee, TN 37878 – 41.0 mi, 54 minutes
  • Head southwest on Happy Valley Rd toward US-129 N – 72 ft
  • Turn right onto US-129 N – 7.19 mi
  • Turn left onto TN-72 W – 9.01 mi
  • Turn left onto Hwy 411 S – 2.66 mi
  • Turn left onto TN-360 S/Unicoi Tpk – 11.8 mi
  • Turn left onto TN-360 S – 10.3 mi
  • 1350 TN-165, Tellico Plains, TN 37385 – 50.4 mi, 1 hour, 18 minutes
  • Head southwest on TN-360 S toward Cherohala Skyway – 92 ft
  • Turn left onto Cherohala Skyway Entering North Carolina – 47.4 mi
  • Continue straight onto Snowbird Rd – 2.56 mi
  • Turn right onto Junaluska Rd – 0.343 mi
  • Turn left onto S Main St – 604 ft
  • Turn left onto Snider Hill – 95 ft

Ride End Address:
5 N Main St, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA


“Black Bear Trail” – Motorcycle Map

The Great Smoky Mountains Black Bear Trail is 196 miles 5hour ride that runs from Cherokee Casino to Maggie Valley then running along the top side of the national park on Route 321 to Gatlinburg TN to the Sugarlands Visitor Center then taking Fighting Creek Road traveling adjacent to the Little River and across the Great Smoky Mountains to the town of Townsend, TN then continuing along 321 to Walland, TN where you will travel a section of the https://www.FoothillsParkway339.com south along the western portion of the National park and pickup – https://www.US129Dragonstails.com in Chilhowee, TN headed to the Dragon then to Highway 28 – https://www.TheHellbender28.com towards Bryson City, NC then Cherokee, NC back to the Harrah’s Casino.

Turn By Turn Directions

Drive 196 mi, 5 hours, 16 minutes

Ride Start Address:
437 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719 – 78.6 mi, 2 hours, 2 minutes

  • Head southwest on Casino Dr/Harrahs Service Rd – 630 ft
  • Turn left onto Casino Dr – 1,024 ft
  • Turn left onto Paint Town Rd/U.S. Hwy 19 NContinue to follow U.S. Hwy 19 N – 19.0 mi
  • Turn left onto US-276 N – 5.60 mi
  • Continue straight to stay on US-276 N – 0.592 mi
  • Merge onto I-40Entering Tennessee – 20.8 mi
  • Take exit 451 toward Waterville Rd – 912 ft
  • Turn left onto Green Corner Rd/Waterville RdContinue to follow Waterville Rd – 0.304 mi
  • Turn left to stay on Waterville RdPassing through North CarolinaEntering Tennessee – 2.02 mi
  • Turn right onto State Rd 1397Passing through North CarolinaEntering Tennessee – 1.23 mi
  • Continue onto TN-32 N – 11.0 mi
  • Turn left onto US-321 SPass by McDonald’s (on the right in 15.5 mi) – 17.6 mi
  • 105 Roaring Fork Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 – 65.3 mi, 1 hour, 55 minutes
  • Head southwest on East Pkwy/Parkway toward Roaring Fork Rd/Silverbell LnPass by Sleep Inn & Suites near
  • Sports World Blvd (on the right in 0.3 mi) – 0.578 mi
  • Turn left onto Parkway – 807 ft
  • Continue straight onto US-441 S/Parkway – 2.51 mi
  • Turn right onto Fighting Creek Gap Rd/Little River Gorge RdContinue to follow Little River Gorge Rd – 17.4 mi
  • Turn right onto Old State Hwy 73 Scenic – 184 ft
  • Continue onto Townsend Entrance Rd – 0.749 mi
  • Continue onto E Lamar Alexander Pkwy – 1.49 mi
  • Make a U-turn at US-321 – 1.30 mi
  • Turn left onto Stables Dr – 577 ft
  • Turn left toward Stables Dr – 177 ft
  • Slight right onto Stables D – 348 ft
  • Turn right onto E Lamar Alexander Pkwy – 8.79 mi
  • Take the Foothills Parkway exit on the left – 817 ft
  • Turn right onto Foothills Parkway Section 8G/Foothills Pkwy W (signs for Look Rock/US-129)Continue to follow Foothills Pkwy W – 16.8 mi
  • Turn left onto US-129 SEntering North Carolina – 15.0 mi
  • 17548 US-129, Robbinsville, NC 28771 – 52.2 mi, 1 hour, 18 minutes
  • Head south on US-129 S toward NC-28 S – 49 ft – Turn left onto NC-28 S – 29.9 mi
  • Continue straight to stay on NC-28 S – 1.96 mi
  • Turn left onto US-74 E/U.S. Hwy 19 N – 5.19 mi
  • Take exit 64 toward Bryson City/Cherokee -0.257 mi
  • Turn left onto U.S. Hwy 19 N – 1,201 ft
  • Turn right onto Hwy 19 W/U.S. Hwy 19 NPass by Pizza Hut (on the left in 3 mi) – 3.17 mi
  • Turn left onto Hwy 19 W/Main St/U.S. Hwy 19Continue to follow U.S. Hwy 19 – 11.1 mi
  • Turn left onto Casino Dr/Convention Center Dr – 236 ft
    Turn right – 666 ft
  • Slight left onto Casino Dr/Harrahs Service Rd – 627 ft

Ride End Address:
437 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA


Hellbender28.com – Motorcycle Map

When creating the The PineolePython181.com I wanted to crossover a few more close rides by making a loop. This motorcycle ride is called the Python Squeeze which starts off down the mountain like the original Pineola Python 181 but heads west towards Lake James and back up 221 and 19E passing the sister restaurant of Highlanders Pub and Grill; the southern cooking Elk River Depot with a variety of choices, pizza, indoor and outdoor dining. Then heads back on the Heaton curvy river road towards Banner Elk and back up the mountain to Tyncastle where you started. Whether your on the original or the squeeze this rides has the most restaurants, bars, views and curves all wrapped into one great motorcycle ride.

Turn By Turn Directions

Drive 21 mi, 32 minutes

Ride Start Address:
40 Fontana Dam Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771

  • Head east on NC-143 E toward NC-28 N – 26 ft
  • Turn left onto NC-28 N – 20.6 mi

Ride End Address:
17548 US-129, Robbinsville, NC 28771


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