Karapınar-Gümüşkavak road is the name of the sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a a steep and narrow zig-zag road winding uphill to Kuş Yuvası Pass (Bird's Nest, a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.401m (4,596ft) above the sea level, located in the District of Alanya, in Antalya Province, Turkey. This climb isn't for the faint-hearted. You should be prepared to back up if you meet an oncoming vehicle.
The road is totally extreme, and very dangerous. It’s bordered on one side by cliffs and on the other side by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. The pass is located within the Dim Çayı Milli Parkı natural park. The cliff-side of this extreme, scary and dangerous mountain road snakes up to 700 metres, and has sheer drops on one side, and stone cliffs on the other; very sharp hairpin turns and switchbacks. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers. Drivers must remain cautious as the pass has been known to claim the lives of careless drivers. Known by locals as "a road of death", it is a tough road, where many died in the past and many vehicles ended up at the bottom of cliffs. Some sections of the road are narrower than 1 meter. Because of the snowfalls the road is closed often in winters. The route has a length of 23.8 km. Loose gravel on this road is a hazard; add this to that the fact that the road winds narrowly around cliff edges with no barriers and you have a recipe for trouble. The road winds its way precariously between the cliffs on one side and the wall on the other. The route demands 100% concentration. This road has humbled many egos.
The surface of the road is a bad asphalt and gravel. The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It’s certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. Stay away if you're scared of heights. It is recommended that beginner riders avoid this road. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. According to Turkish authorities, the road is gradually becoming less risky thanks to a series of giant tunnels. Authorities have already built 10 tunnels and 10 more will be finished by 2022. The Bird's Nest now has a total of 8 kilometers of tunnels that take the route farther away from the cliffs.
Pic: ZEKİ KOÇ