Table of Contents Show
Enjoying the freedom of the open road may be an American tradition, but some roads are scarier than others.
A Sunday afternoon ride on a tree-lined boulevard might be a relaxing excursion, but a Sunday night trip down that same street might be frightful if the road has a reputation for hauntings. Powering over a narrow mountain pass with steep drop-offs might also elicit fear.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the scariest roads in America to help you make detours when needed!
What Makes a Road Scary?
Whether the roads are spooky or challenging to navigate, scary roads can raise your blood pressure and turn a pleasant trip into a fearful adventure.
Some enjoy hunting ghost stories, while others may wish for less drama. Sometimes the roads that have us gripping the steering wheel are ones we can’t avoid.
Whatever your fear factor, we want to put your mind at rest by letting you know which roads you might be curious about and which ones you may wish to dodge.
What Is the Most Dangerous Stretch of Road in America?
The most dangerous road in the US is the interstate I-95. This road stretches from the tip of Florida to Maine. The highway covers 1,908 miles from the southern end of the eastern United States to the northernmost tip.
With 1,215 fatalities, that equates to .635 deaths per mile of roadway, making I-95 one of the scariest roads in America.
Keep Reading: Now that you know the most dangerous road, we want to ask, Have You Driven the Most Dangerous Highway in the US?
What Is the Curviest Road in the US?
If you are looking for a challenging ride on a motorcycle, why not aim for the curviest road in the country? Highway 129 runs over Deals Gap from the western corner of North Carolina into Tennessee.
The highway is 11 miles long, but it has 318 curves, and visitors affectionately know it as the Tail of the Dragon.
So many motorcyclists take on this challenge each year that there’s a motorcycle resort on one end of the road.
What Are the Scariest Roads in America?
Many roads are scary because of their steep grades or drop-offs, making drivers afraid to navigate them.
Others have reputations as haunted locations, giving one pause before venturing too far. We’ve collected a few roads from both sides to forewarn you and possibly tickle your curiosity.
The Million Dollar Highway
Location: From Silverton to Ouray, Colorado, on Highway 550
About: It’s not a drive for the faint of heart, as the Million Dollar Highway travels over 70 miles from Durango to Ouray.
However, the last 23 miles are spectacular. The scenic views on a drive through Uncompahgre Canyon are worth it, even if the drop-offs from the highway give you chills.
What Makes It Scary: Much of the drive from Silverton to Ouray is on a two-lane road that clings to mountainsides, with thousand-foot drop-offs and no guard rails.
The route can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention while driving.
Location: Between Highway 23 and Warwick Turnpike
About: This winding 10-mile road ambles through eerie forests featuring tales of ghost boys throwing coins, disappearing monster trucks, KKK meetings, Mafia dumping grounds, and the elusive Jersey devil. It’s undoubtedly a scary ride!
What Makes It Scary: This is a rural road with abundant vegetation and no homes, and it has a few “dead man’s curves,” making it susceptible to more automobile accidents.
There are no city lights and many ghost stories about this section of road.
Prospector’s Road in Georgetown, California
Location: Georgetown, California
About: This three-mile stretch of hilly road in California’s gold country lies a few miles from Sutter’s Mill, where miners first discovered gold.
It’s not a difficult path to travel, but you’d best beware of ghosts!
What Makes It Scary: Evidently, someone murdered one of the prospectors from the gold rush of ‘49 for his mining claim. People claim to have seen his ghost numerous times, running visitors off with a yell of “Get off my claim!”
There are also reports of items mysteriously disappearing or moving to different locations. This road has earned a spot on America’s list of scariest roads.
The Devil’s Promenade
Location: Hornet, Missouri
About: An orange ball of light bounces above the horizon in a three-state area, but you can see it best from the east near Hornet, Missouri. People have reported it for over 140 years, with its first official sighting in 1881.
What Makes It Scary: Many think the Spook Light is from a Quapaw woman who was not allowed to run away with her chosen lover.
Instead, they joined hands and jumped to their deaths in the nearby Spring River. People have spotted the light racing down the road, above the treeline, coming straight at a car, then passing over it, sometimes splitting into multiple lights.
Location: Haynesville, Maine
About: With the song “A Tombstone Every Mile” written about it, it may be evident that Route 2A is one of the scariest roads in America.
It’s also dangerous to drive when it’s wet or icy. Truck drivers can attest that there have been several accidents along this route. This could be one of the scariest roads in America for that reason alone.
What Makes It Scary: Route 2A travels through Haynesville Woods, and several travelers have reported seeing a woman crying out for drivers to help her husband, who is in their vehicle. Once people stop to assist, the woman disappears.
Many others report seeing a little girl on the side of the road who died years earlier in an accident.
Location: North of Fairbanks, running to Deadhorse, Alaska
About: This 415-mile road consists of pavement, gravel, dirt, and potholes. It’s famous for the ice road truckers who haul at high speeds down Dalton’s dangerous path.
What Makes It Scary: The “Loneliest Road,” Dalton Highway has pavement for only 100 of its 415 miles and goes through three very tiny towns.
There is no cell service, and most vehicles except semi-trucks have difficulty staying on the road. Truck speeds are such that gravel they throw up can smash a windshield, and ruts and mud make traveling a challenge.
Highway 666 – The Devil’s Highway
Location: Running from Gallup, New Mexico to Monticello, Utah
About: The name “666,” a correlation to the number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation, requires a nickname like the Devil’s Highway.
There were also high fatalities in New Mexico along this route. Eventually, the transportation department removed the stigma by renumbering the road US Highway 491.
What Makes It Scary: What used to be a dangerously scary drive has become a typical trip through the New Mexican desert. Highway 666 has experienced many upgrades and improvements since the renaming. It wasn’t cursed after all!
Pikes Peak Highway
Location: Cascade, Colorado
About: This 19-mile trek up a 14,000-foot mountain can scare even the best drivers.
What began as a carriage road in the late 1800s has become a challenge for those visiting the Colorado Springs area. This makes it one of the scariest roads in America.
What Makes It Scary: The fact that there is a brake-check station for downhill drivers will give you an idea of the road grade.
Additionally, there are no guard rails and many switchbacks, so you will be white-knuckling the drive, too!
Location: Pendleton to LaGrande, Oregon
About: The Road to the top of Cabbage Hill is challenging for some, with road grades of 6% and many hairpin turns. It’s part of I-84 in the Blue Mountains of Oregon.
What Makes It Scary: Deadman’s Pass becomes treacherous in poor weather, especially for out-of-state haulers unfamiliar with this steep and winding road.
You will lose 2,000 feet in elevation over six miles. The fear factor is whether your fellow drivers are being careful. The pass requires defensive driving, at best!
Location: Wildwood, Missouri
About: Currently open to only pedestrians and bicyclists, Zombie Road is a trail dating to the 1860s. It gave residents of Wildwood access to the Meramec River.
However, the two-mile paved path has gained notoriety as one of the most haunted roads in the world.
What Makes It Scary: Hikers and bikers affirm hearing screams, seeing ghosts, and feeling a heavy presence in the area.
But the trail has recently been closed at night. This makes it trickier to see these entities and much easier to get a ticket for trespassing!
Are You Brave Enough to Drive the Scariest Roads in America?
Roads that are risky to travel can make a road trip miserable. This can be because the road has poor design or maintenance or a spooky reputation.
However, sometimes drivers must take a challenge to reach their destination.
Now that you know which are the scariest roads in America, do you have the courage to go hunting for ghosts or take on that winding mountain pass?