I was watching the Discovery channel the other day, and “Highway Through Hell” was on. It’s about the lives of road crews who maintain British Columbia’s Coquihalla Highway, a 100 kilometre stretch of road running through the Cascade Mountains. The Coq, as it is known, is not for the faint of heart: avalanches, mud slides, and white-outs are commonplace, especially during the months of winter and spring.
Being Canadian and living in the so called “snowbelt” of Ontario, I’m a fairly seasoned winter driver. Snow that bring other cities around the world to a screeching halt is just business as usual where I come from. This got me curious about road travel around the world, and what constituted dangerous travel (aside from driving through a war zone.)
A quick internet search revealed a hands down winner for the most dangerous highway in the world: Yungas Road, Bolivia.
Yungas Road is a 61-kilometre highway from La Paz to Coroico, connecting the Amazon region of Northern Boliva to its capital. Although used a dual-lane road, it is only 10 feet at its widest, and local rules dictate that downhill drivers must pass on the outside, where they are virtually inches away from an 1800+ foot drop.
To make matters worse, the weather in these parts is often rainy and foggy, reducing visibility to almost nothing. And, get this: the Yungas is a favourite venue for downhill biking.
All of that makes this look rather tame: