Tail of the Dragon
Tail of the Dragon
4.5
Speciality & Gift ShopsOff-Road & ATV Trails
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Designated US 129, and known as the Tail of the Dragon, the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest with no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel. It is considered “the destination” for thousands of motorcycle and sports car fans throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Tail of the Dragon Tshirt Shack is located in North Carolina at the intersection of US129 and Hwy 28 (known as Moonshiner28).
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  • Lauren G
    Brantford, Canada91 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Bucket list road
    A bucket list road as a motorcyclist or car enthusiast. We were lucky enough to ride the road on a Monday, when the weather was overcast which made for a lot less traffic on the road. I would recommend going throughout the week as it is a very challenging road with sharp turns which would be hard to navigate if it were very busy. It had beautiful scenery and offered a fun ride.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 3, 2023
  • Regajohn
    Little Rock, Arkansas6,547 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Road resurfacing scheduled for May >> mid June 2024
    As a FYI ... According to killboy at killboy.com (the original photographer on Tail of the Dragon), the road is scheduled to be resurfaced commencing in early May, should be finished by mid-June 2024. Work is supposed to happen Monday through Thursday ... expect delays and lane closures.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 17, 2024
  • jerry f
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun Place to see and go.
    I don't live far from here. I can get there in about 45min's, so I make the trip at least once every year. The two stores are great and all the cars and motercycles are fun to see. Its like a moving car show changing every minute. If you have never been put it on your list even if you don't ride a bike. Locals call it Deal Gap and it's there shourt cut to Knoxvill. Enjoy it at least once in your life, you've heird about it so why not drop by for a look. Spring - Summer - and Fall are the best times to go even if its a bit crouded.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 5, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,253 reviews
Excellent
932
Very good
226
Average
74
Poor
10
Terrible
11

phat_dawg_21
Alpharetta, GA15,215 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
This is considered one of the top roads for driving enthusiasts in the Southeast. People come from all over the world to drive it, and most want to drive it fast.

Be safe, be courteous - use the turn outs to let faster traffic pass, and don’t end up leaving anything hanging on the tree of shame.

We found little traffic before 9:00 am, and after 4:00 pm, when we visited mid week.
Written September 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

elindoo
Stuart, FL2,205 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
I've heard about this for many years and this year my wife and I decided to take the Jag on a road trip. We started on the east end and ended on the west. It was a great drive, great day to put the top down and we hit it just right as far as leaves turning, right at mid-October.
Written October 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin A
Charleston, SC113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Short of being on an actual racetrack, you couldn't ask for a better driving opportunity. It was the most fun I have ever had driving my personal car. There are no homes or businesses once you are on the Tail. You don't have to worry about people pulling out into the street as you are coming around a corner. Of course, the people coming from the other direction need to stay in their lane. The drive is gorgeous, but you are so caught up in the driving experience, it is hard to catch much of what is going on around you other than the adrenalin rush of your own car. I'll definitely do it again. And again.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica Burgio
Cheraw, SC248 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
An incredible place for those who like to make curves with cars and motorcycles, there are 318 in 11 miles. At various points there are photographers recording these moments and then you can buy these photos on their website. Along the way you can also find souvenir shops and support for motorcyclists and drivers. The landscape is enchanting. Remember that there is no shoulder on the highway. It is very worth knowing!
Written September 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

orleykathleenm
Ramat Gan93 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
We reached 129 Tail of the Dragon without knowing what it was... and then as we started winding our way upwards sports cars and motorcycles zipped us by at enormous speeds, taking the curves with great nerve (and impressive performances).

It was a little stressful trying to get out of the daredevils' way, but exciting to watch.
When we were there, only one driver smashed into a tree, but I assume it happens often.

People with carsickness should avoid this road...

Photographers are tucked at different corners, taking videos that can be purchased online... We then visited the Dragon's Tail store to buy mementos
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5mattis
Kuopio, Finland2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles: America's number one motorcycle and sports car road in middle on green forest. Beautiful in summer and fall. When the weather is good it is quite congested of traffic. Enjoyable anyway!
Written April 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren G
Brantford, Canada91 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
A bucket list road as a motorcyclist or car enthusiast. We were lucky enough to ride the road on a Monday, when the weather was overcast which made for a lot less traffic on the road. I would recommend going throughout the week as it is a very challenging road with sharp turns which would be hard to navigate if it were very busy. It had beautiful scenery and offered a fun ride.
Written September 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CountryChick94
Velpen, IN10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Couples
Hubby and I rode the Dragon on our bikes. He has a lot more riding experience than I do, so we went during a weekday morning. I survived, and I'm glad I did it. But in retrospect I should have waited to get some more experience under my belt. Will I do it again? ¡Absolutamente! But not this year... Here are some hepful tips that were passed on to me by other riders, plus a few I'm adding from my own experience:

1. Wait until you've had your motorcycle endorsement for at least a Year. And if you don't ride much during that year wait longer.

2. If this is your first time to ride the tail of the dragon, go during the week before 11 a.m. or after 5 PM.

3. Ride at your skill level!!! The speed limit is 30 miles per hour on this road and many curves are only rated for fifteen to twenty miles per hour. Do not let other drivers push you around, but expect that some of them may pass you even though they're not supposed to.

4. If someone wants to go faster than you, be courteous and use the pull offs to let them around. There are plenty of pull-offs on the Dragon's tail as well as on most of the mountain roads in the Smokies. If you are a slow driver like me, use them!!!

5. If you are riding it alone have a plan to check in with a friend or family member at designated times. Why? Because one guy who wrecked there laid on the mountainside for a few days with no cell receptimon.

6. If you're not used to riding mountain roads, spend a couple of days cruising some of the main roads in the Smokies before you try this stretch of 129. I'm used to curvy two-lane hills and hollers, but Indiana roads are much different than the mountains. I definitely honed my engine-braking skills in the Smokies!

7. If you haven't been to the motorcycle resort in Deal's Gap before, plan to drop some money! You can get gas, food, drinks, souvenirs, and even a room for the night. We didn't eat there, but the food smelled good. Gas is expensive there, but their other prices were reasonable. And you will want to commemorate your ride with some shirts and decals!

Be safe and have fun!
Written June 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David C
Embrun, Canada134 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
I had see this road in two different car shows and really wanted to go on it.. I went on a very quiet day, so I only saw about 6 or 7 other cars. This is an amazing road. The constant hairpins and elevation changes make this road very technical. You really have to be sharp all of the time. But it is a drive of a lifetime I'll never forget. Make sure your car is in good condition before you go because there's no room for mistakes.
Written January 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RDH2017
Tennessee256 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Glad to have marked this off my Bucket List as I don’t plan on ever driving it again. Eleven miles; 300 twists and turns. It’s not really a scenic tour as the views are mostly trees. The driver must really concentrate on keeping the vehicle between the mustard and the mayonnaise. People try to see how fast they can make it from one end to the other. Good luck if you’re not riding a motorcycle or driving a sports car. I was “flipped off” and yelled at more times than I can count. Apparently the protocol is to move over to allow faster vehicles to go around which is easier said than done when there’s not always a place to move over. I was a nervous wreck the entire time. We stopped at the Deals Gap store to get the obligatory t-shirt/magnet and got stared at evidently because we were in a 4-door sedan. Maybe it was just an unusually bad day for us, but if you’re not on a motorcycle or in a sports car, don’t bother.
Written June 30, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Tail of the Dragon - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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