You’d have to live under a rock it you’ve never heard of Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina — 318 curves in 11 miles. It has become so popular, it has its own website. But it’s also overshadowed some other routes in the same area that may not be quite as challenging, but may still provide the same great scenery and sense of accomplishment.

One in particular that our friend, Bill Kniegge of Blue Strada Tours, brought to our attention is the Diamondback Loop just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in a biker-friendly area called Little Switzerland.

At 12 miles, it’s a little longer than the Dragon, but the Diamondback Loop has a good mix of switchbacks, twisties, elevation changes, scenic overlooks, and good food and accommodations. It’s located about halfway between Boone and Asheville and passes through the lush landscape of the Pisgah National Forest.

Something to plan for later this spring!