WARNING! NC DOT just "repaired" cracks on 226A with rubberized pavement, or Tar Snakes. NC DOT is going to fix with repaving of the route within 90 days. Meanwhile, DiamondbackNC.com warns motorcyclists to drive with caution.

The Route

Alternate Routes:

Lake James Route

Diamondback Loop

The Diamondback, NC 226A, is one of the last great stretches of Western North Carolina mountain roads.

The Diamondback is loaded with switchbacks that double back almost 360-degrees, strings of linked S-curves and a steady climb through lush green forest.

The Diamondback has over 190 curves in a 12-mile loop.

The Diamondback is in great shape for riding or driving - smooth pavement, well marked centerlines with reflectors and very little traffic.

The Diamondback features a 10 to 12-degree drop in temperature from the base to the peak.

The Diamondback passes through Pisgah National Forest by way of a curving and mountainous two-lane road.

The Diamondback is entirely within McDowell and Mitchell counties in North Carolina.

The Diamondback parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway along its northern segment.

The Diamondback is the last alternate route in North Carolina.

Click here to read more about the history of the Diamondback route.

Switzerland Inn

The Diamondback Lodge

Camp Lake James
The perfect base for your family adventures hiking forest trails, kayaking Lake James or just relaxing by the pool.
Switzerland Café
Casual mountain atmosphere with an innovative taste in the heart of downtown Little Switzerland, North Carolina.
Bear Den Campground
Family campground & cabin rentals. Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Surrounded by National Forest.
Alpine Inn
A wonderfully unique establishment with breathtaking views. Located on NC 226A, 1 mile west of the Parkway.
Trillium Gallery
A distinctive assortment of American handcrafted jewelry, pottery, blown glass and crafts.
Hearthside Handmades
Local and regional handcrafted works including handmade baskets, pottery and herbal soaps, jams, jellies and pickles.