Deals Gap - Cherohala Skyway - Short Loop


This route takes you from the Kickstand Lodge up Hwy 28 to the junction with US 129, commonly known as Deal's Gap or The Dragon. Following US 129, you pick up Hwy 72 over to US 411. After a short jaunt down US 411, you pick up Hwy 360 over to Tellico Plains, TN, where you turn onto Hwy 165, which is also known as the Cherohala Skyway. As the Cherohala Skyway crosses into NC, it changes from Hwy 165 to Hwy 143, which will take you into Robbinsville, NC. Coming through Robbinsville, you continue on Hwy 143 which will return you to the Kickstand Lodge.

Total length - 141 miles

Places of interest:
  • Fontana Dam (The largest dam east of the Mississippi.)
  • Crossroads of Time (this the the gas/food/lodging stop at the entrance of Deal's Gap. It's a MUST SEE stop)
  • The overlook on Deal's Gap (everyone on bikes MUST stop here, at least on their first time through)
  • Cherohala Market (this is a biker-friendly place. To get there, at the junction of Hwy 360 and Hwy 165 in Tellico Plains, turn right and go about 1/2 mile. Out back there's covered parking and picnic tables to relax around. I can't count the number of times I've put on or took off my raingear at these tables. They have a website.
    Check it out:
  • Scenic Overlooks on the Cherohala Skyway (lots of overlooks available)
Best twisties:
  • Deal's Gap (I don't think I need to say anything about this road.)
  • Cherohala Skyway (Once again, I don't need to comment about this road.)
  • Hwy 28 (You first encounter some great sweepers and then, as you get closer to Deal's Gap, there's a sharp increase in hairpin twisties.)
Gas Recommendations:

It's always wise to top-off at the Crossroads of Time and then again at the Cherohala Market. Later, gas is available in Robbinsville.


If you've never ridden through Deal's Gap or the Cherohala Skyway, you should spend some time on this website:

Deal's Gap and the Cherohala Skyway are unique roads, appealing to bikers of all types. They each present different types of challenges which most riders don't encounter much, if at all, in their normal riding. The number of biker accidents, injuries and deaths that occur on these two roads each year are testimony to the challenges that await. I cannot stress these points enough....don't overestimate your sensible....ride at your own pace....keep a sharp lookout for other bikers, especially sportbikes coming up behind your mirrors. If you don't, you'll end up as one of the frequent "stastistics".

Additional Recommendations:
  • Always bring raingear. The weather in this part of the country can go from "absolutely beautiful" to "monsoon" in a matter of minutes.
  • If you're riding the Cherohala Skyway, bring some additional clothing. At the highest parts of the Skyway, the temperature can sometimes be as much as 30 degrees cooler than at lower elevations.

You can download a GPX file to add this ride to your GPS by right-clicking on the
link and clicking "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Firefox)

Deals Gap Cherohala Skyway GPX

Kickstand Lodge Home Page