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4 Adrenaline-Inducing Roads to Drive in the U.S.

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Some people have bucket lists for places they’d like to see in their lifetime. Others have bucket lists for routes they’d like to drive sometime before they pass on from this world. If you fall into the latter group, here are just four harrowing roads in the States worth adding to your list.

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Kahekili Highway

If you’re craving a thrilling drive in Hawaii, take Highway 340 that spans 20 miles from Kapalua to Wailuku on Maui’s North Shore. The road itself is just a bit wider than a single lane as it curves and weaves around cliffs and over bridges. If you’re up for the task, the stunning views of ocean and rainforest will reward you for braving this route. The best times to drive this highway are from April to May or from September to November. 

Million Dollar Highway

This daunting Colorado road got its name from an early traveler who said she’d drive the route again only if someone paid her $1K. The highway winds through steep cliffs and hairpin curves without the added assurance of guardrails. It also includes three 10,000-foot mountain passes to further try your nerves. Though the panoramic vistas of the San Juan Mountains you’ll experience along the way are an incentive to pursue this path. Drive this route sometime in May through September, for the best road conditions. 

James W. Dalton Highway

One of the nation’s northernmost roads, the Dalton Highway connects central Alaska to Prudhoe Bay. The safest time to traverse this highway is mid-May to mid-September, when the weather is at its mildest. The 400-mile road cuts through tundras and forests, while also crossing over the Yukon River. The most arduous part of the route, however, is a 240-mile stretch that lacks hotels, restaurants, and gas stations. Steep inclines and avalanche warning signs also characterize this path. 

Highway 17

For an adrenaline-inducing drive, hit Highway 17 in South Carolina. Skyscanner named it the fourth most dangerous road in the U.S. — and for good reason. While not as remote or treacherous as the Dalton Highway or Million Dollar Highway, this one has enough blind curves and narrow lanes to intimidate even experienced motorists. Deer and mountain lions frequently cross the route, presenting another potential challenge along the route. 

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News Sources: CNN Travel, Insider, SkyScanner