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Road to Highlands Steep?

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Florida
posts: 7
reviews: 1
Road to Highlands Steep?

We were planning on visiting Highlands, and were wondering whether the road is steep compared to someplace like Bryson City, North Carolina? Thanks for any help! We are a little terrified of insanely steep roads, Bryson City is our limit;p

12 replies to this topic
Mississippi
posts: 13,000
reviews: 9
1. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

Are you walking or driving. I have been to Highlands a few times and I don't remember any problems driving there. Enjoy your visit.

Florida
posts: 7
reviews: 1
2. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

We will be driving God-willing. That's great, I just wanted to make sure its not too curvy or steep since that's a no-no:) Thanks so much for the help and take care!

Asheville, North...
Destination Expert
for Asheville
posts: 701
reviews: 40
3. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

I am assuming your prior experience with Bryson City did not include infamous HWY 129, the Tail of the Dragon, that winds from Swain County to Graham County and over the mountains to Maryville , Tennessee.

The roads into Highlands from all directions are more steep and curvy than the roads in and around Bryson City except for sections of US Hwy 441 going through GSMNP. This is necessarily true because Highlands is at 5000 feet elevation .

Coming from the south and west, the portion of US Hwy 64 through the Cullasaja Gorge between Franklin and Highlands is the worst because there are stretches that are very twisty and narrow with no shoulder and sheer rock walls on one side: a large van or pickup truck doesnt want to meet a delivery van coming the opposite direction in some of those stretches. On the other hand, the views of the Cullasaja River and waterfalls from the pullovers are magnificent and you can even pull over and park and walk behind Bridal Veil Falls.

Coming from the east , Hwy 64 from Brevard through Cashiers or from the north and east, Hwy 107 from Cullowhee through Cashiers , are still somewhat twisty but not nearly as exciting.

Wisconsin
posts: 3,419
reviews: 130
4. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

Amirza, LOVE your picture, I just can't tell which Fox Trot cartoon it is, you've got to give me the caption. We're coming down from WI next month and will be taking those roads. We figure that first day we're coming in at the end of the day so we'll take 441 south from Franklin. The next day we'll hit those scenic routes. We're actually staying at Scaly Mountain and will be driving from there to Highlands and hopefully Brevard if we have the time. I'm looking forward to some beautiful scenery, hiking and waterfalls.

Illinois
posts: 57
reviews: 1
5. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

I have visited 4 previous times and have to agree with mangonboat. The roads are very curvy and steep, particular coming from or going to Franklin.

I had no issues but my wife would never drive them.

On the other hand the beauty is breathtaking.

We are probably going again at the end April to do more waterfall and wildflower photography.My wife is addicted to the gem mining around Franklin also.

BTW my user photo that you see in Cullasaja falls on the road to Highlands.

Be safe.

keith

Wisconsin
posts: 3,419
reviews: 130
6. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

Oh gem mining, I've read about that, I think I'll start a thread with some questions. Thanks for the idea.

Wisconsin
posts: 3,419
reviews: 130
7. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

Well, we drove it yesterday. Going from Highlands to Franklin wasn't that bad in our opinion, we'd say 7 on a 10 scale. DH was driving, but he agreed we've been on worse, coming back heading south was a bit trickier. The roads had more blind curves, there was one spot where we both uttered a naughty word. Challenging? Yes, if you've never driven on this type of road you'll be uncomfortable, but we think other roads where you notice the sheer drop off are much worse.

Here, there's a lot of brush, trees and generally the gorge isn't too far below you (or not that you can tell). Actually, we thought the other road, 441/23 had some tricky spots from Dillard back up towards Highlands. This road though consistently is more curvy, but there are guardrails the whole way. The drive from Dillard to Highlands, is similar, but has many more straight sections.

Bedoin, France
posts: 4,913
reviews: 10
8. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

This is so helpful as I've not visited the area yet and have an ENORMOUS fear of driving on these curvy, steep drop, no guardrail, blind curve roads.

Would love to see the areas, but would likely have heart failure before I ever got there. It's good to know routes I will, sadly, have to avoid.

Wisconsin
posts: 3,419
reviews: 130
9. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

I hope that you may be able to find a way (maybe someone else driving??) to come here. You do get used to it and there are enough tourists that it's not unusual to find someone going a bit under the speed limit. But generally, the road signs slow you down to an appropriate, safe speed. After only three days, we're getting used to it. It IS incredibly beautiful.

Florida
posts: 7
reviews: 1
10. Re: Road to Highlands Steep?

Thanks for the great comments everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I did visit Highlands and I personally did not find the road scary at all. The roads aren't as steep as they are curvy and, to be honest, I have began to love roads like the ones they have in Highlands. They aren't angled the same way they are in Virginia, but they are slower speed turns and - if you are not driving too fast - I doubt anyone would be too scared. Since then, we have gotten to see much more steep roads and - I think - you become a little used to them. I won't lie though, I still hold my breath sometimes;)

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