What are the Highest Tunnels in the World? Top 10

Journeying above 4,000 meters, where the air is thin and temperatures often plummet, the creation of the world's highest vehicular tunnels stands as a testament to human ingenuity and determination.

Highest tunnels in the world

Despite the plethora of misinformation circulating on various websites about the world's loftiest tunnels, this list aims to set the record straight with accurate insights into these marvels of engineering. Before the advent of these tunnels, drivers braved treacherous mountain paths susceptible to avalanches and mudslides. Built under grueling climatic and environmental conditions, these tunnels now offer travelers a safer, faster passage to destinations that once seemed almost inaccessible.

1.Hindutag Pass Tunnel/Kangxiwa Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G580/Hekang Highway
Elevation: 4,929m (16,171ft)
Details: A road under construction that overcomes the historic mountain pass of the inaccessible Kunlun Mountains and links the national roads G315 and G219. In fact, it is an ancient path traversed by adventurers many years ago. According to Chinese media, the newly-traced road and the tunnel will be open to traffic in 2023. Started in 2017, the project's completion was initially estimated for 2020. Once finished, it will become the highest tunnel in the world.

2.Mi La Pass Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G318
Elevation: 4,752m (15,590ft)
Details: Completed and open to traffic since 2019 Mi La Mountain Tunnel is on the renovated Lhasa to Nyingchi road.

3.Kongtang La Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G216
Elevation: 4,750m (15,584ft)
Details: Under construction. In the 2013-2030 works plan, its start was scheduled for 2016, with completion in 2019. However, work began in 2018 and is still ongoing.

4.Xiagong La Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G349/former 583 county road
Elevation: 4,750m (15,584ft)
Details: Recently constructed road, as is the tunnel that crosses the mountain pass. The tunnel's completion is expected in the coming years.

5.Punta Olímpica Tunnel

Country: Peru
Road: AN-107
Elevation: 4,732m (15,525ft)
Details: The highest tunnel in South America and therefore in all of America. Construction dates: 2012-13. Between 2013 and 2019, Punta Olimpica Tunnel held the record as the highest tunnel in the world.

6.Kahuish Tunnel

Country: Peru
Road: AN-110
Elevation: 4,516m (14,816ft)
Details: Construction dates: 1927-41. Tunel de Kahuish was the highest tunnel of the 20th century.

7.Changlashan Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G345/former S309
Elevation: 4,500m (14,764ft)
Details: Construction dates: 2011-15. It was China's highest tunnel, and therefore Asia's, during the second half of the 2010s.

8.Xing La/Xielashan Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G317
Elevation: 4,450m (14,600ft)
Details: Bored and opened to traffic in 2019 with a length of 4,092 meters.

9.Xueshan No. 1 Tunnel

Country: China
Road: G0615/Qinghai-Huajiu Expressway
Elevation: 4,400m (14,436ft)
Details: Completed on September 24, 2016, after 3 years of hard work. It is the world's highest motorway tunnel.

10.Elashan Tunnel

Country: China
Road: Gongyu Expressway
Elevation: 4,400m (14,436ft)
Details: Completed on December 3, 2015.

Pic: By Manuel Roca - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28417844