Cherohala Skyway

Cherohala Skyway: a beautiful and hidden drive through the mountains

Cherohala Skyway is one of the most scenic drives in the USA. It’s said to be the costliest road in North Carolina.

How long is the Cherohala Skyway?

The road is 43-mile (69 km) long and links Tellico Plains, Tennessee and Robbinsville, in North Carolina. The road winds through forests of hardwoods and evergreens. It’s also known as the Overhill Skyway. The road was completed in the fall of 1996 after 34 years of construction. The road cost over 100 million dollars to construct. It’s totally paved.

Is there snow on the Cherohala Skyway?

The road tops out at 5,400ft (1.600m) above the sea level, on the slopes of Haw Knob near the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, at Santeetlah Overlook. You can be caught in pea soup fog, thick clouds, and bone chilling temperatures even in July. Due its unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. It can be cold and cloudy riding the mountain ridges, so make sure you dress properly, even in the summer months.

Is the Cherohala Skyway dangerous?

The mile-high ride is always a new and unforgettable experience. It is a beautiful and hidden drive through the mountains with lots of scenic overlooks. It's a favorite for motorcycle and sports car drivers with its many twists and turns. It can be desolate at night and extremely dangerous in the winter months.  The name of the road comes from the names of the two National Forests: “Chero” from the Cherokee and “hala” from the Nantahala.

How long does it take to drive the Cherohala Skyway?

The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities here. This is a remarkable road trip. Remember to bring your camera. Cherohala Skyway offers amazing views of mountains, foliage, and waterfalls. It’s a beautiful stretch of road, an easy drive, and right in the middle of some of the most beautiful landscapes in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Make sure you leave enough time to make plenty of stops along the way. You can complete the drive in two to three hours, without stops, but take your time.


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