Home > Road Bike The Smokies > Steepest Paved Road in North Carolina!

Steepest Paved Road in North Carolina!

This morning Diane, co-owner of   Bryson City Bicycles, and I took on the steepest paved road in North Carolina.  The ride is known by locals as ‘Yellow Creek’ and is one of the most difficult rides listed in Road Bike the Smokies; an excellent but out of print guidebook by Jim Parham.  This is one of the most scenic rides in our area and features a view of Fontana Dam.  This is the tallest dam east of the Rockies and at the time of its construction (early 1940s) it was the fourth tallest dam in the world (thank you wikipedia).  You’ll also ride past Cheoah Lake and Dam, Deals Gap (the entrance to the infamous Tail of the Dragon), and some spectacular and remote countryside.

This ride is a bit over 38 miles and is easy to moderate in difficulty until you hit an insanely steep section of Yellow Creek road.  I curse the North Carolina Department of Transportation for not tunneling through this killer of a mountain, but my hat is off to the road pavers who must have been clinging for dear life to the near vertical face of this cliff-like monster.  I dismounted and started pushing when my front tire lifted off the ground.  Then got back on and rode a short distance till my legs, cramped with exhaustion, refused to pedal another stroke.  And so it went on and off the bike until I reached Diane, patiently waiting for me at the top.  The ride off the backside is slightly steeper and brakes only hinted at slowing me down to a sub-fatal crash speed.  Do not do this ride in wet weather.  Parham does not recommend this ride for beginners, and I agree, but if you are in the area and looking for a beautiful and challenging ride, this is it.

Thanks for reading, Jack

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Categories: Road Bike The Smokies
  1. June 24, 2014 at 6:03 am

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  1. January 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm

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