Ive done the Dragon a couple times when I go down tjo see my son in the Marines in N.C. It's cool to do just to say you did it. I enjoyed many of the roads down there. Cheohala is beautiful and not as much work. I love going through the Smokeys. I remember riding in the 70's in the afternoon and being at a higher point around dusk and seeing patches of snow. Thought is was cool. Have a great ride.
JMO, but...Ride the "dragon" once to say you did it, and spend the rest of the time riding all the other, more enjoyable roads in the area. I have been going up there for years and each year the "dragon" becomes more and more of a PITA. Now, when I go to the mountains, if everyone I'm riding with has already been to the "gap", we don't even go over there. We only go there for virgins.
Many years of riding, many years of motorcycles
I found it better than most any other riding place. Week days better than weekends. Stay away from the holidays.
Here's a picture taken on a scenic overlook on the Dragon. It's a must stop place. Most of the Dragon isn't this scenic, just lots of curves.
If one makes an effort to go to the area, see as much of the Blue Ridge Parkway as possible. Cherohala Skyway just to the southeast of the Dragon doesn't suck!
Time permitting, I would recommend running all the way from Skyline Drive in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, hopping across the Smokey Mountain Nat'l Park, Foothills Parkway, then the Dragon and on down to the Cherohala Skyway. Not a bad piece of riding in that 600+ miles!
'09 K 1300 GT
'09 K 1300 GT
My Poem about riding the Dragon
The Dragon's Realm
"A man isn't totally drunk if he can lie on the floor without hanging on!" Joe Louis; comedian
"I'll make a deal with you, I won't bore with my Science if you don't bore me with your Politics!" Lionel Barrymore from the 1929 film "The Mysterious Island"
I found that I like other roads within 100 miles of the Dragon better. They had less traffic, less cops. But I did get the t-shirt!
We stay in Maggie Valley and did the loop down the dragon and back up the Cherohala parkway. In July. They were in the middle of a drought and it rained the whole day but was still a great ride. Is was about 240 miles. Maggie Valley nice. Good food and drink. Stay away from Cherokee its a real tourist trap.