top of page

Tail Of The Dragon vs Cherohala Skyway

The post notes differences between the two famous roads and also gives you a good perspective of them individually

Tail Of The Dragon

Cherohala Skyway

Road No.

US Route 129

NC Hwy 143 & TN State Route 165

Road Type

Twisties & Switchbacks

Sweepers & Switchbacks


11 miles

51 miles


1962 feet

5390 feet


Both start a few miles apart

Both start a few miles apart


One primary overlook

Several overlooks


Atleast two different photographers at atleast four different locations

Use your cell phone, ask friends, use a drone - so many options :-)


Highly commercialized. Much more traffic at any given day/time than Cherohala

Much less traffic at any given day/time than TOD


Too many options - Google is your friend

Too many options - Google is your friend


a. Ride on some amazing twisties

b. See all kinds of cars and bikes

c. Get an awesome picture of you while riding

a. Enjoy the sweepers

b. Beautiful scenery and overlooks

c. Amazing elevations


Twisties are good but if you have a slower (than you) car or bike in front, then there is only as much of the twistie you can enjoy

Its 51 miles from start to end so needs more time. Plus you dont get an awesome/professional riding picture

Summary - Both the roads are awesome and if you havent been on them, they are highly recommended atleast once in your lifetime. Make your own judgement/decision on which one you prefer over the other. My personal recommendation is to do a circular route where you wrap up one and then the other. They both connect at Tapoca Road on the East in NC and on the Western side you can use 360 & 72.

While these two are absolutely famous, there are several roads around these that are equally good if not better.

Stay safe and enjoy!



bottom of page