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Top Five Scariest Drives???

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#1 Wanderlust99

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:54 AM

I've just completed my 2nd year ownership of camping in my 2007 17SD and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I thought it would be nice to stay in my own neighborhood this time (less than 150 miles), and spent 18 days alone (wife still works) enjoyiing the mild October weather in Calistoga (great wine tastings), Clear Lake (bass fishing), Ft. Bragg/Mendocino area ( scenic views of Pacific Ocean), and ending in Bodega Bay (is there a more beautiful fishing village, ocean fish and crabs), and home.

I drove many times in car on Highway 1, from Marin County to Mendocino/Ft. Bragg (150 miles one way) over the past 40 years. Well, this time I towed my EGG, south bound from Ft. Bragg to Stinson Beach, and it was the scariest toll for me ever!!! The narrow and windy road, grades of i+8%, the thousand foot drops into the ocean, etc., many cars backing you up for turnouts, i. e. it was downright dangerous and scary!!! I'll never do it again.

So, I got to thinking: what are the five most scariest rides towing your Casita?? Criteria must be: 'I'll never do it again!!!! (wihite knucles and speed less than 15 MPH!!!

Bsides Highway 1, Calif. coast, my other scariest rides are these, but I did not tow Casita, just tent camping before I bought Egg:

1) Million Dollar Highway, Montrose-Ouray-Silverton-Durango, I plan to drive next summer with wife, is it SAFE??? I was too scare to stop and enjoy the view at certain spots where it was so narrow and steep!!

2) East bound from Leadville to Aspen, CO. Those switchbacks and narrow road was just too much!!

3) Beartooth Pass, east exit from Yellowstone to Red Lodge, MT, the 60 miles was too breathtaking??

4) Tioga Pass, west bound from Hwy 395 to Yosemite.

What are your top 5 "Never Again Scariest roads"????

Hayward, CA
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2004 Toyota 4Runner, V8

#2 TNHausKat

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:19 AM

I've done 1, 2, & 3, but not dragging a Casita. I found those roads to be very scenic and demanding of a great respect for one's speed to be on the slow side. I've never done it yet, but the Tail of the Dragon over in NC is a must-do for me...........almost 400 hairpin turns in 11 miles.......might have to do that one in my Miata.


#3 DesertHawk

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:24 PM

huh.gif The number one Scariest Drive, I have had was:

sad.gif US 14A Wyoming after the split off of US 14 from Ranchchester heading down hill to Lovell, pulling a 1983 20' Komfort Lite Travel Trailer with a '83 Ford F250 4 speed manuel with granny gear. I had to hold granny in gear and ask my wife to manually apply the trailer brakes now and then. They had a sign warning of the steep down grade, I should have taken the fork to Shell/Greybull. Most of the route was neat, all very pretty execpt for the 14 miles with 10% grade and sharp curves which I am sure was also pretty but I was to occupied to really notice the scenery. biggrin.gif

2. New Mexico SR 159 off US 180 might be a bugger with a trailer (I have only done it with a pickup & campershell). It is mainly a one lane road for several miles as one travels to the ghost town of Mogollon. It was a fun drive for me 30 plus years ago. A neat drive one I just may do someday with the Scamp.

3. The drive down from Cloudcroft, NM in a light snow shower in the pickup & campershell combo was a little harry one dark early evening 30 plus years ago, one of my first drives in snow being from South Texas. It was wanting to slip and slide when I would want to slow down. I did this drive many times, you want to have strong breaks, down gear as much as possible. A neat drive, one we did the first year we got the Scamp, the Ranger pulled it very well both up and down. Plan on going again, next year. I had planned on going this fall but never worked out.

4. The drive out of the Eagle Nest, NM area with a tour bus barreling down on US 64 from Taos meeting you on one of the hair pen curves and almost taking off your mirror on the drivers side. Or the drive (from the Silver City, NM area) on New Mexico SR 152 between San Lorenzo and Kingston (on either side of Emory Pass) could prove to be exciting with a trailer or even without.

5. Some might find the drive on US 6/89 down from Thistle to Spanish Fork and US 191 between Vernal to Dutch John in Utah to be white knuckled affairs. (I believe I have the Thistle one right, it was a alpine grade road, the one I am referring to if not someone from Utah correct me please.) I've drive both of these twice, Vernal to Dutch John ('70 pickup and Komfort Lite) and then Dutch John to Vernal (C-class).

dry.gif I believe we have pulled most of your Five Scariest as well. Not Beartooth Pass, east exit from Yellowstone to Red Lodge. I would like to do this one someday, I've heard about it. Make me want to see it myself sometime.

We did it to Aspen to Leadville, CO in a 22' C-class motorhome towing a Geo Metro with a 15' canoe on top of the Metro. I had to pull the mirrors in on that one. A neat drive with a great view above timberline at he pass at the top. Camped at Twin Lakes, I believe it was called.

We have done the Highway 1, Calif. coast both directions pulling the Komfort Lite and in the C-class (with Metro & canoe) and with just the Ranger. Another neat drive with great vistas of the Pacific from the Hwy, want to do it again.

We did Tioga Pass, west bound from Hwy 395 to Yosemite with the Komfort Lite pulled with a Chevy Van (full sized one with canoe on top). Another neat drive with great views, great memories, would love to do it again.

We pulled the Million Dollar Highway, Montrose-Ouray-Silverton-Durango from Durango up and over with the Komfort Lite and 1/2 ton '70 Chevy pickup. Another neat drive with great views, great memories, would love to do it again.

wacko.gif None would I NOT do again with the exception of the US 14A. Maybe with the Scamp, but more than likely not. Perhaps with a heaver tow than the Ranger. I would like to see the Medicine Wheel, it didn't get too bad until after the turn off for the Wheel.

As Don/Memphis said, the key to them is respect for the road and keeping the speed in control, on some having enough power to keep the RV going is also a factor if climbing up. Slow and careful will keep you safe, which is why the US 14 A was such a scary drive. I had a very hard time keeping it slow enough for the curves. I did not count the curves but with the 10% grade it is a challenge.


Edited by DesertHawk, 19 November 2008 - 11:03 PM.


DesertHawk* Las Cruces, New Mexico USA

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#4 Randy Magee

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE (TNHausKat @ Nov 18 2008, 02:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've done 1, 2, & 3, but not dragging a Casita. I found those roads to be very scenic and demanding of a great respect for one's speed to be on the slow side. I've never done it yet, but the Tail of the Dragon over in NC is a must-do for me...........almost 400 hairpin turns in 11 miles.......might have to do that one in my Miata.


If you drive the Dragon, be aware that the speed limit has been changed to 30 MPH and it is very strictly enforced. Anything over 10 MPH over the limit will get you a trip to county jail and your vehicle impounded. There is also a lot of truck traffic there and they frequently take both lanes in the hairpins... not a fun drive anymore. The nearby Cherohala Skyway is more scenic and still a nice drive with no commercial traffic and though patrolled, not nearly as much as the Dragon.

#5 TNHausKat

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:40 PM


Thanks for the heads-up on the Dragon. A business aquaintance of mine was killed on the Dragon about 7 years ago. Too fast on a motorcycle meeting too sharp of a turn. Spooky thing was just two weeks before he was killed, he was standing my doorway at work talking about his cycling skills. I told him that he was going to get killed if he didn't slow down. I think about that dialogue very time I hear the words "Tail of the Dragon" and every time I see a cyclist flaming down the highway. I've seen photos of cars wedged under 18-wheelers on the Dragon. I just may heed your advice to do the Cherohala Skyway instead.


#6 Ken C

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:26 AM

My brother, who is now retired from the US Forest Service took me on some gravel logging roads in the National Forests of the Oregon Mountains. These are not public roads, and with no guard rails, shear drop offs, and the chance of meeting a fully loaded log truck head-on, speeding downhill, around a curve on a 15 foot wide gravel road sure beats any roller coaster ride I ever took!

The road up to the falls in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies was different. The tour buses could not negotiate the hairpin turns on the switchbacks, so they would go forward up one switchback then back up the next and so on to get to the top.
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#7 Don in OKC

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:13 AM


1. Dallas I-635 on game day.

2. Atlanta I-75 on a friday afternoon.


A friend used to work at a mine near Dillon, Colorado. From the mine to the highway was about 3 miles of scenic gravel road with no guardrails. At quitting time there was a daily roadrace down the mountain.......and if you're an unwitting tourist, well........wink.gif


Million Dollar Highway (in summer and daylight) is an all time favorite.........and when you get to Ouray, pull in to the public hot spring fed swimming pool and unwind.....ahhh. biggrin.gif
Don in OKC - (Useta have a) 2000 16' LD, 98 Chrysler T&C

#8 cdsmith

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:40 AM

I thought someone would list the "Road to Hana" on Maui, HI. I have the T-shirt.
Joyce and Charlie Smith, Princess Lily, Rose, and Violet - Grand Prairie, TX
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#9 Bill and Ann C.

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:22 AM

Off the subject, but to add to to Don's stories of the passes & miners in CO:

Bill drove Red Mountain Pass (Million Dollar Highway) for 10 years while working at the mines. He has had snow slides come down in the back of his pick-up. At times he and the other guys car pooling with him would count the corners, due to the amount of snow coming down, so that they made the correct turn into the parking lot at the mine. In the early days the guys would ride a bus up to the mine at the top of the pass. The snow levels would be above the bus windows. The police in Ouray would wait for the miners to speed thru town after quiting time.

Bill loved working at the mines, but as a young mother, I was sort of relieved when he took a job in Connecticut at a Feldspar plant in the flatlands.

Bill and Ann
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#10 Us burros

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:39 AM

Driving the Apache Trail in a 21" motor home.


#11 Jackdog

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 09:36 AM

Since buying my 2007 SD17' I've driven Tioga Pass both east and west in and out of Yosemite Valley. I didn't think it was very hard to drive at all.

I did do Hwy 1 north from the Golden Gate bridge to Fort Bragg with a 8' Jayco tent trailer once and even that was mind numbing. It took forever to get there!

I recently took the egg up to a place called Wildrose Canyon in Death Valley. The road is paved but just barely so you have to go slowly so you don't beat up the trailer. It's also very narrow in some spots so you hope no one is coming in the opposite direction.

There's a primitive campground with pit toilets but boy is it quiet and underused and a great place to star gaze.

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#12 Jerry & Joan

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:38 AM

I have done California Highway 1 from Bodega Bay to the Oregon boarder three different times. The stretch from Jenner to Fort Ross is in my opinion, the scariest part of the entire route. The first time I drove this road it was absolutely white knuckles and sweaty palms all the way! ohmy.gif

By my third trip down this road it was a walk in the park! cool.gif

I just sit back, relax and go as slow as I deem necessary to negotiate the road safely. If a car gets on my XXX...I don't let it bother me. I use turn-outs when available to let cars go by but I never ever get rattled and speed up to appease them...NEVER!


Edited by Jerry & Joan, 20 November 2008 - 10:48 AM.

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#13 CaptGeorge

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:41 AM

I can only think of three off-hand:

Hwy 14 north of Sheridan, WY to Greybull. Year was 1978 in our Van Camper. Steep inclines and road was under construction with no guard rails. We watched the loose gravel/rocks jump from under our tires down the mountain side as we passed the construction areas.

Huey P Long Bridge, New Orleans, LA Year was circa 1985 in our EIGHT FOOT WIDE Class C RV. The Huey P Long bridge is the oldest bridge over the Mississippi river at New Orleans. It carries both rail and road traffic. Road lanes were very narrow. The 18 wheelers were passing me on the bridge with our mirrors missing by only 2 inches! I could have reached out my window and touched them. Meanwhile, the RV step which struck out only 3 inches in retracted position scraped along the curbing as sparks trailed behind.

Colorado National Monument Year was 2006 pulling Casita. Did I mention that my wife has a great fear of heights? Although not a particularly dangerous drive, the trip from east to west puts the passenger side of your TV along the edge of the mesa with no guard rails. All the passenger sees is sky in front and a vertical drop on the side. If we EVER go there again, I'll take the west to east route, so that we're "hugging the mountain" most of the time.

OH just thought of a beautiful drive banned from most RV's and trailers - Generals Highway on east end of Sequoia NP. No vehicles over 22' or trailers recommended. However, since our Casita/TV "bends in the middle" and our Casita tracks our Tundra PU almost perfectly it was an easy drive with minimum traffic. You just need to go slow - 10 mph - in the 130+ hairpin turns! Great scenery.
George & Wendy
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#14 Tawny&Gary

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:00 AM

Never done it with a trailer and only in a car but would never do it again in anything ... The road to Jerome, AZ. That is one scary ride, in my opinion.


Gary & Tawny

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#15 langier

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 01:10 PM

Done all but the Beartooth out of Yellowstone. I've done Tioga a couple of times, Aspen to Leadville over Independence Pass, Million Dollar Highway both directions and at least three times so far, all with the Casita in Tow. Campbird Mine out of Ouray is a bit hairy, but easy. Apache trail was a piece of cake. Even the Huey P. Long bridge west of New Orleans at rush hour and I seem to remember several more named in his "honor" as we traveled west.

Bring them on!

Friends from SF drove the Moki Dugway in Utah a year ago and made it a point that it was one scary road and not to attempt it with the Casita in tow. We sent them the photos we took in 2003 midway down the switch-backs.

This summer, it was down Hole-in-the-Rock out of Escalante and back then up and over the Wasatch Plateau three times in one day.

We used to drive over Nemo Pass with the Casita years ago until the Park Service dropped the max. length to 27 feet. We never had problems pulling the Casita.

Probably one of the steepest trips we took was the "short cut" from the Carrizo Plains over the Tembler Range and into Taft a few years back. Steep, but passable.

But what really takes the cake was last year driving directly east from King City over the Diablo Range into New Idria. No turn outs, deep ruts, 30-40 percent grades down into the old mine. It's a one-way trip with a trailer. No place to turn around until you get there and then it's too late and you are back to the pavement.

That's one place I don't want to do again. Luckily, a month or two after we took the route, BLM closed it down due to the asbestos in the soils kicked-up by the OHVs. Even without pulling the Casita, I would still call that route a white-knuckle trip!
Larry Angier & Carolyn Fox
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