Obed, Tennessee (TN)


Obed, Tennessee
United States
36° 4' 45.12" N, 84° 45' 54.72" W

An excerpt from OBED: A Climbers Guide to the Wild and the Scenic

"The Obed Wild and Scenic River is a magical landscape of meandering rivers, dense forests, breath-taking vistas, and for the climber – miles upon miles of sandstone cliffs. Located in Northeastern Tennessee, about an hour outside of Knoxville, the Obed has been a secluded and peaceful climber hangout for more than 30 years. Originally a traditional only climbing area, the early 90’s sport climbing revolution transformed the Obed into one of the finest sport climbing areas in the United States. Known for its unrelenting steepness, the Obed is host to the largest collection of horizontal roofs (equipped for your climbing pleasure) anywhere in North America. The rock at the Obed is a very smoothly textured, but well featured version of beautiful Cumberland Sandstone that many climbers describe as nearly perfect. Combine these amazing attributes with one of the friendliest and easy going climber campgrounds to be found – Del’s Lilly Pad – located mere minutes from an assortment of crags, and you have a playground that should be a mandatory visit for all traveling climbers."

There are several different areas available to climb at Obed and each section is as good as the last.

Climbing Routes


  • Jones Buttress- 5.9 (Sport)
  • Flip- 5.9

Tieranny Wall- 5.10a-5.13c (Sport) This is a HUGE section of tough climbs, definitely for the experienced climber.

  • Action Indirecte- 5.11c
  • Body Count- 5.12c
  • Body Count Direct- 5.13d
  • Canyon Man- 5.12d
  • Circus Boy- 5.13c
  • Dead Air- 5.11d
  • Dutch Boy- 5.10b
  • Final Frontier- 5.12b
  • Harder Than He Is- 5.10c
  • Huecool Junior- 5.10a
  • Huecool Senior- 5.13a
  • Jungle Jane- 5.12a
  • Lifestyles- 5.11b
  • Longer Than She Is- 5.10b
  • My babe's- 5.12b
  • Pick Pocket- 5.12b
  • Plasma Alliance- 5.12d
  • Pocketeer- 5.11b
  • Project beside body- 5.14a
  • Purple People Eater- 5.13b
  • Rockafeller- 5.11b
  • Ronnie Ray Gun- 5.12d
  • Rover B. Dog- 5.10a
  • Tales of the Sperm- 5.11c
  • Tang- 5.12a
  • The Bird- 5.12b
  • The Probe- 5.12d
  • Tieranny- 5.12a
  • Whatserface- 5.13a

Clear Creek- Clear Creek climbing area is just above the confluence of Clear Creek and The Obed River. From Point Buttress you can catch an incredible view of the rivers. If looking at the River from Point Buttress, everything to your right is North Clear, Everything to your left is South Clear, and everything under you is Middle Clear.

Broomwall-Rasputin Ledge- 5.10a-5.13b (Sport)

  • Altered states- 5.12a
  • Rasputin- 5.13b
  • Scalded Dog- 5.12b
  • Warm Up- 5.10a

Y12- Long routes with great views. 5.12c-5.13a (Sport)

  • Barbed Wire- 5.12b
  • Born on the 4th- 5.13a
  • Druelin' Banjos- 5.12c
  • Little Duke- 5.12b
  • Spooky Moon- 5.12c
  • Tapeworm- 5.12d

Image Wall- Super Sunny routes! 5.7-5.12b (Sport)

  • Backlash- 5.10a
  • Coco Puffs- 5.7
  • Comic relief direct- 5.8
  • Comic relief left- 5.9
  • Deathblow- 5.11b
  • Pit- 5.11b
  • Prophet- 5.11b
  • Shadowhawk- 5.9
  • Spawn- 5.10a
  • Superfinal- 5.12b
  • Violator- 5.11b

Little Clear- 5.5-5.13a (Bolted, open shuts)

  • 1554- 5.12c
  • 32 feet per second- 5.5
  • All buisness- 5.12b
  • Centerstone- 5.13a
  • Cornerstone- 5.12c
  • Distance man- 5.12a
  • Fit by fall- 5.12b
  • Industry standard- 5.12b
  • Rules of Engagement- 5.12d
  • Solitary Movement- 5.13a
  • St. of Aushwitz- 5.11c
  • Standard issue- 5.11d
  • Trick photography- 5.12c
  • unknown- 5.11c
  • unknown- 5.8
  • unknown- 5.7
  • unknown- 5.10a
  • unknown- 5.11a
  • unknown- 5.11d
  • unknown- 5.12b
  • unknown- 5.10c
  • unknown- 5.11a
  • unknown- 5.10a
  • unknown- 5.11a

The Balcony- 5.8-5.11b (Sport)

  • Alchemy- 5.11a
  • Best Seat- 5.9
  • Cheap Seats- 5.10a
  • Double Feature- 5.10c
  • Fat Lady Sings- 5.9
  • General Admission- 5.11a
  • Nose Bleed Section- 5.10a
  • Pale Face- 5.11a
  • Sky Hook- 5.8
  • Stagefright- 5.11b
  • Tickets- 5.8

Middle Clear Creek- 5.11a-5.13b (Sport)

  • Deliverance- 5.11a
  • Homeboy- 5.12a
  • Scary Fingers- 5.11b
  • Shroom- 5.11b
  • The Natural- 5.13a

Stephen King Library- 5.7-5.13a (Sport)

  • Brothers in Arms- 5.10a
  • Christine- 5.10a
  • Gunslinger- 5.11d
  • Heavy Fuel- 5.11c
  • It- 5.10a
  • Maximum Overdrive- 5.13a
  • Maximum Overdrive..- 5.12b
  • Misery- 5.13b
  • Pet Semetary- 5.11a
  • Rage- 5.12c
  • Salems Lot- 5.11c
  • Squeeze job- 5.12a
  • The Dark Half- 5.13a
  • The Shining- 5.12b
  • The Stand- 5.12d
  • Thinner- 5.7

Scorpion Wall- 5.10a-5.10d (Sport)

  • Arachnophobia- 5.10d
  • Warm up- 5.10a

South Clear- 5.7-5.13c (Sport)

  • 40oz. to Freedom- 5.12c
  • Addiction- 5.12d
  • Alchemy- 5.11a
  • Best Seat- 5.9
  • Boo Yaa- 5.12c
  • Brothers in arms- 5.10b
  • Cheap Seats- 5.10a
  • Coco Puffs- 5.7
  • Deathblow- 5.11b
  • Double Feature- 5.10c
  • Equinox- 5.12b
  • Heavy Fuel- 5.11c
  • Mad Cow- 5.12b
  • Rage- 5.12c
  • Revenge of the..- 5.12d
  • Solstice- 5.12a
  • Tool- 5.11c
  • Undertow- 5.12a
  • Valentine- 5.13c
  • Violator- 5.11a

Solstice Cave- 5.6-5.13c (Sport)

  • Dude Climb- 5.6
  • Inner child- 5.9
  • Pump- 5.10b
  • Roughin- 5.13c
  • Solstice- 5.12a
  • Super Ego- 5.9
  • Twilight- 5.13c

The Inner Circle- 5.10a-5.12c (Sport)

  • The World- 5.12a
  • Keeper- 5.12a
  • Double Trouble- 5.10a
  • Good to the last- 5.12c
  • Indecent Exposure- 5.11b
  • Inner circle- 5.12a
  • The Rail- 5.11d
  • Tonys Crack- 5.11c

Pocket Wall- 5.11b-5.12b (sport)

  • Lifestyles- 5.11b
  • Pick Pocket- 5.12b
  • The Pocketeer- 5.11b

Lily Bluff-5.39-5.13a Lily Bluffs are a summer escape for Knoxville climbers. Several routes can be climbed in the rain, and the juggy, overhanging sandstone is friendly on the fingers.

  • Alien- 5.10d
  • Baccer Spit- 5.11d
  • Bladeloafer- 5.10c
  • Blasphemy- 5.13a
  • Body Hammer- 5.12b
  • Borderline- 5.11d
  • Clyde the Megadude- 5.11b
  • Dinosaur Jr.- 5.10b
  • Dirty Deeds- 5.10a
  • Done Dirt Cheap- 5.10a
  • Egyptian- 5.11d
  • Electric Chair- 5.10c
  • Electric Sky- 5.12a
  • Evil Weed- 5.11c
  • First Laugh- 5.10c
  • Gangsta- 5.12a
  • Heresy- 5.11c
  • Hieroglyphics- 5.11c
  • Ivy League- 5.11a
  • La Familia- 5.12c
  • Last Laugh- 5.10c
  • Lounge Lizard- 5.11b
  • Motion Sickness- 5.10b
  • Organized Crime- 5.12a
  • Osiris- 5.11c
  • Paraphanalia- 5.10b
  • Poison Ivy- 5.11b
  • Rocking Chair- 5.9
  • Tarantella- 5.10a
  • Temporary Insanity- 5.12b
  • Ticks are for Kids- 5.10a
  • Wheatward Bound- 5.12b
  • Whippersnapper- 5.11a
  • Yakuza- 5.12b

Lily Boulders
Anvil- V2-V9

  • James Litz Problem- V9
  • The Blacksmith- V2

Backdoor Wall- V4-V5

  • Backdoor Direct- V5
  • Backdoor Man- V4

Beavis Boulder- V2

  • Beavis Arete
  • Beavis Loop- V2

Bering Strait- V4-6

  • Bering Strait- V6
  • Roof Arete- V4

Chimney Rock/Bat Attack- V6-V7

  • Bat Attack- V7
  • Chimney Rock- V6
  • Fat Boy BBQ- 5.12C
  • Fat Boy BBQ- 5.12c
  • Nomad- 5.12c

Hemlock Boulder- V3-V8

  • Hemlock Arete- V4
  • Now or Later- V7
  • Oil Change- V7
  • Pocket Rocket- V6
  • Popeye- V3
  • Sick boy- V8
  • Slam Dunk- V5
  • Slap Jack- V7

Hooker Boulder- V3-V8

  • Cheap trick- V4
  • Hooker- V4
  • Lady of the night- V3
  • Mojo- V8
  • The Anvil- V6
  • Vice Squad- V3

Junior- V5-V9

  • Fly trap- V7
  • Invisible Man- V5
  • Junior Traverse - V7
  • Junior's Traverse - V9
  • OPP- V7
  • Traveling Freak- V5
  • Woodies Thing- V5

Junior’s Corner- V5-V7

  • o. p. p.- V7
  • Invisible man- V5

Key Block- V0-V5

  • Eco Terror- V1
  • Honker- V2
  • k.b. problem- V4
  • K.B. Traverse- V5
  • Key Blocks Arete- V2
  • Slapper- V3
  • Tippy Toes- V0

Maze- V1-V8

  • Ameliation- V3
  • Aretes of Fun- V1
  • Flexorcise- V7
  • Flexorcise- V8
  • Mari Hana Traverse- V1
  • Tension Arete- V5
  • The Kelly Brown- V5
  • Traverse- V5

Muscle Boulder- V2-V7

  • Flexorsizer- V7
  • Muscle Traverse- V7
  • Pocket Problem- V3
  • Ranger Rob- V6
  • The Muscle Boulder- V2
  • The Roof Rail- V2

Piano Boulder- V3-V8

  • Behind the Trees- V4
  • Black Keys- V4
  • Boogie Woogie- V3
  • Lower Traverse- V8
  • Maestro Madness- V3
  • Piano Arete- V6
  • Play it Again Sam- V3

Turansformer Boulder- V1-V7

  • Horse Tooth Arete- V1
  • Lay-Back- V3
  • Pocket problem- V5
  • Power Ranger- V7
  • The Right Arete- V2
  • Turan Traverse- V7

Warm-up Wall- V3-V5

  • Babylon 2- V2
  • Babylon 3- V3
  • Bubble Blast- V4
  • Budda's Belly- V4
  • Cow Killer- V3
  • Crimp Creole- V3
  • Obediah- V5
  • TN Jed- V5

The Cellar- 5.10d-5.13d

  • 10+- 5.10d
  • 11+- 5.11d
  • 12+- 5.12d
  • Geometric Harmony- 5.13d
  • The Shocker- 5.13c

The Rock Creek Campground, located adjacent to the Nemo area of the Obed Wild and Scenic River, offers 11 spots for campers on a first come/first served basis. A $7 per night fee is charged. The campground has grills and primitive toilet facilities, but no running water.

Take Hwy. 27 North out of Wartburg. At the end of a long hill, take a HARD left to continue downhill. Follow the curvy road for several miles. About two miles after the railroad tracks, look for a brown gov't sign reading "Obed," and take a left onto a small country road. When the road makes a hard right after a big cow pasture and begins to head downhill, look for Doc Howard road on the left. Take your first right off of Doc Howard into a dirt parking lot. If you end up at Lily Bridge, you missed Doc Howard road.

THIS PARKING LOT IS PRIVATE PROPERTY! NO CAMPING, AND MAKE A DONATION! Follow the trail at the far end of the parking lot for about 20 minutes, until it takes you down a very steep hill and puts you at the bottom of the cliffs. If you head right (west) here, you will end up at Blue Crystal and the Inner Circle. Heading left (east) will take you to Stephen King's Library, the Balcony, and the rest of South Clear.

Latitude: 36.0792
Longitude: -84.7652