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Notably, our list is reserved for streets that are drivable by passenger cars and have an official grade, even if the steepest part is only a short section. We’re calling out the three steepest streets in the country below.

Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh

Journalist Ernie Pyle described Pittsburgh in 1937 as looking like “it was laid out by a mountain goat.” As such, there are many vertigo-inducting streets and stairs in the city.

While only 630 feet long, Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was long regarded by PA residents as the steepest street in the world. After all, it has a max gradient of 37% in a certain section. However, even until 2019, when the Guinness Book of World Records presented a plaque to a Welsh street with a 37.45% gradient, Canton Avenue had never been formally dubbed the steepest.

In any case, the cobblestoned road sure is steep. Canton Ave is a particular highlight in the cycling world. Due to the dangers associated with driving downhill, especially during winter weather, vehicle traffic can only go one way: up.

Watch a clip of Canton Avenue embedded below.

Bradford Street in San Francisco

Many would assume that storied Lombard Street would top the list of steepest drivable paths in San Francisco, California. However, its average gradient is a “mere” 18.7%. That doesn’t even come close to Bradford Street.

While Bradford averages a 24% grade, there’s a section above Tompkins Avenue that nearly doubles in steepness – up to a 41% grade. The section is 30 feet long.

After Bradford, Filbert Street in San Fran is known for a section with a 31.5% grade.

An upward view of Rise Street in San Francisco one of the steepest streets in the country
San Francisco, CA | Raquel Rodriguez Gonzalez

Waipio Valley Road in Hawaii

Located in Honokaa, Hawaii, Waipio Valley Road is nothing short of panic-inducing steepness. Some sections clock a nauseating 45% grade.

The road has been paved and is considered regularly maintained. However, only vehicles with all-wheel-drive are permitted to travel it. What’s more, each direction is known to cause damage to cars.

On the way down, brakes are known to overheat and get damaged. On the way up, engines spike and stall. In fact, driving up is so tough on cars and so tricky for drivers that folks going down must yield to anyone heading to the top.

Recognizably, most of the steepest streets in the U.S. are located in California. Of course, there are many roads around the country that locals consider dangerously steep. Would you take a shot at driving any of the above?