The Cherahala Skyway crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests thus the name "Chero...hala". The Skyway is becoming well known in motorcycling and sportscar circles for it's long, sweeping corners and scenic views. The Cherohala is 36 miles long. The Cherohala Skyway is 21 miles long on the Tennessee side. It follows the Tellico River (elevation about 900 feet) for a few miles before beginning its climb to the state line at over 4,000 feet. The Cherohala Skyway is only 15 miles long in North Carolina but the road reaches its highest point at the Santeetlah Overlook. The elevation change is much more pronounced rising from 2,660 feet to 5,390 feet in just over 10 miles. The Cherohala, with its sweeping curves, will tempt you to ride fast and one of the occassional tighter curves can surprise you. There are more deaths on the Cherohala than on the Dragon.
Crossing Deals Gap at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line is the Tail of the Dragon. It is considered by many as one of the world's foremost motorcycling and sports car roads. Anyone looking for an exciting highway will enjoy this 11-mile stretch of US129. It is not a road to sightsee on. The attraction is the road itself, not the scenery. No need to look at the wooded roadside when the curves are coming at rapid fire. And that is what you should be concerned with.
The pictures here are from my trip in August 2012 and in June 2013. The majority of the pictures here are from the Cherahala Skyway. There is nowhere to stop anywhere on the Dragon's Tail, however there are some areas just as you get through the Dragon's Tail proper.