SC-390 is the name of the sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a a steep and narrow zig-zag road in Serra do Rio do Rastro, a mountain range located in Lauro Müller, in the southeast of the state of Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil. It’s one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. This ludicrously zigzagged route tumbles past waterfalls, through canyons and past spectacular scenery from start to finish.
The road climbs up at an elevation of 1,460 metres (4,790 feet) above the sea level.In the highest areas of this place, the Atlantic Ocean, located about 100 km (62 mi) away, can be spotted on clear days. This is just one of the characteristics that makes this place special and unique, since there are lakes, falls, cascades, native wildlife and stunning nature, which cause this region to be one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. The climate in this region is temperate due to its altitude of about 1,500m and its proximity to the sea, resulting in an annual average temperature of 12° C. Avalanches and heavy snowfalls can sometimes block some sections of the road and can be extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice.The road has remarkable landscapes and deep crags. It's a ludicrously zigzagged route that tumbles past waterfalls, through canyons and past spectacular scenery from start to finish.
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. Summer (December 'till March) is the prefered time of the year to visit, because in the winter there's too much fog. That's not to say there is not fog in the summer, but only when a front cold comes from the south. The coldest town in Brazil is Sao Joaquim da Serra, about 20 miles far from the Serra do Rio do Rastro. Temperature drops to below zero and snow falls in the winter. The journey of the Sierra do Rio do Rastro goes from 4,790 feet to sea level in only eight miles, with an average gradient of 9.2%. But if you think this is going to be some leisurely afternoon putt-putt, think again: there are 250 corners.
This road (also called Rodovia Daniel Brüning) is very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns. Serra do Rio do Rastro (Tracks River Sierra) is located in the state of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil. Santa Catarina state was colonized by Germans and Italians and its culture is very European. You will notice that the houses are built German style, people are very fair skinned.
The experience of using this road is very impressive. The road has a length of 8 miles long and has a total of 250 corners, and you go from 4500 feet to sea level in minutes... Starting from Santa Catarina, the ascent is 7 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 646meters. The average percentage is 9.2%. Lighting is provided to the whole road by huge windmills. There's little traffic in this road built in 1903. This stretch of road should not be attempted by novice drivers.
With such a high summit altitude the road can be closed anytime due to snowfalls. The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions.
There is little room for error on this road. It's normal for your palms to sweat looking at those photos, imagine what it must have been like before the barriers. It’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. It’s a mind numbing vertical drop of hundreds of meters so you might want to give it a miss on a windy day.