Halloween is right around the corner, and to get in the spirit of the season, we’re counting down the world’s scariest roads, bridges, and tunnels. From steep drops to the most remote stretches of highways, there’s something to frighten even the most confident drivers. So sit forward, pay attention, and prepare to scared!
Yungas Road (Bolivia)
This stretch of road winds through the Cordillera Oriental Mountains to connect La Paz, the highest national capital in the world, and the Yungas region, a much lower-lying rainforest area. It might sound like a scenic route (and it is), but most of the road is less than 12 feet wide with sheer rock on one side and a steep drop (sans guardrails in some areas) of around 2,000 feet on the other. If that isn’t enough to scare you, you’ll most likely have to navigate dense fog, miniature waterfalls, and possible landslides around hairpin turns while dodging cyclists. The route has undergone safety improvements throughout the years, but while Bolivians traditionally drive on the right side of the road, Yungas Road drivers are still required to stay on the left for increased visibility.
According to La Paz Life, for a long period of its history, an estimated 200 to 300 drivers were killed annually while navigating Yungas Road, sadly making its famous “Death Road” nickname well-earned. While thrill-seekers and some locals still use the road today, a much safer alternative route was constructed in 2009.
The Stelvio Pass (Italy)
Zigzagging up and over the Alps in Northern Italy, the Stelvio Pass is considered one of the best driving roads in the world. In fact, it’s a desirable destination for drivers looking to put their skills to the test, but for those who aren’t comfortable behind the wheel, it can be an absolute nightmare! With hairpin corner after hairpin corner (48 of them according to Atlas Obscura) and lots of traffic at peak travel times, there’s not much room for driver error. So unless you’re up for a real challenge, it might be best to steer clear of the Stelvio Pass.
The Million Dollar Highway (Colorado)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful stretch of road than the Million Dollar Highway that runs between Silverton and Ouray. However, when it comes to the breathtaking views on display, you better leave them to the passengers because the Million Dollar Highway can be treacherous if you take your eyes off the road for even a few seconds. Weaving through the mountains of southwest Colorado, it cost a reported one million dollars per mile to build, and while the scenery is stunning (tall peaks, waterfalls, old mines, and more), driving next to such steep drop-offs with zero guardrails is a little intimidating.
Royal Gorge Bridge (Colorado)
For decades, the Royal Gorge Bridge was the highest bridge in the entire world! While it has given up that title, it remains the highest bridge in the United States, allowing you to cross the gorge 956 feet above the Arkansas River. If the height alone isn’t enough to send shivers down your spine, when you go to cross it, you’ll notice that you’re walking/driving over wooden planks. Rest assured, there is a sturdy, steel base under that wood, but when you see nothing but planks between you and a long plummet into the river below, it’s an eerie feeling.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (Louisiana)
There are longer bridges out there, so what makes the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway so scary? It holds the Guinness World Record as the longest bridge to stretch continuously over a body of water. For anyone who is paranoid about driving off a bridge into the water below, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is terrifying. Joining the cities of Mandeville and Metairie, the bridge is just under 24 miles long. In other words, on days with limited visibility, you can drive mile after mile over the water without any land in sight. Spooky!
Highway 50 (Nevada)
In the 1850s, this stretch of highway was referred to as the “Roaring Road,” according to the Highway 50 Association. Flash forward 170 years, and it’s now known as the “Loneliest Road in America.” After reading about tall bridges and roads built into the sides of steep cliffs, a relatively flat stretch of highway, might sound nice. However, on Highway 50, cell phone service is sparse. Gas stations are few and far between. Towns are miles apart. If your car breaks down, you could be waiting a long time before help arrives as you attempt to block out scenes from horror movies you’ve watched in the past.
Captain William Moore Bridge (Alaska)
We’ve already featured a tall bridge and an absurdly long bridge, but what about a bridge built on top of a fault line? That’s right, the Captain William Moore Bridge in Alaska spans the Moore Creek Gorge, which runs through an active earthquake fault. According to dangerousroads.org, “engineers, aware of the potential for disaster, only anchored one end of the bridge securely, so when the ground below shifts, the bridge isn’t torn apart.” If that sentence is a little unsettling, you should know that a new construction project has been ongoing to replace the bridge. Even though this historical piece of engineering won’t be used much longer, future drivers will still have to make peace with the fact they’re driving over unsteady ground.
Dalton Highway (Alaska)
If you’re making a list of daunting driving destinations, you’re practically required to include the highway made famous by the TV series Ice Road Truckers. Dalton Highway is 414 miles long, and it’s a grueling haul. There are very few towns on this route, and the difficulty of driving on gravel/dirt is exacerbated by potentially brutal weather conditions.
The road is primarily used by truckers carrying supplies for oilfield workers, according to Alaska.org, but, with the right rugged vehicle, other drivers can take on the fatigue, isolation, mud, rain, snow, cracked windshields, wildlife, and more, as described by the New York Times. Considering how far away help can be, you don’t want to be stranded on Dalton Highway.
Eurotunnel Shuttle (England & France)
Some people are a little nervous when they have to travel through any tunnel. But what about a tunnel that travels between two countries… under a large body of water? The Eurotunnel Shuttle is a pretty simple concept. You drive your automobile into a train car designed to carry vehicles, and you simply sit back, relax (if you can), and wait for a little over 30 minutes to cross under the English Channel. You don’t have to do the driving yourself on the Eurotunnel Shuttle, but you do have to think about how you have no control while you sit inside your car, inside a train, inside a tunnel that runs 246 feet below sea level at its deepest point. Feeling nervous yet?
Sadly, you don’t always have to seek out scary roads, bridges, and tunnels to end up in a dangerous situation. Every parking lot and city street can be the site of an accident, which is why it’s important to make sure you have the right insurance policy. Visit us online, give us a call, or stop by one of our convenient locations to get covered.