Land Manager: National Park Service, Eastern Tennessee Climbing Coalition

Native Lands: ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) (from

Area Rep: Audie Smith,


Climbing has a long history at the Obed, even predating the Scenic River designation. It a history of early bold ascents, and more recently of world class sport routes and incredible bouldering. The Obed is owned by the National Park Service and has been working ETCC and local climbers for years to manage the climbing resource. Climbers must follow all rules of the NPS when visiting the Obed.


Google Maps

What to Expect

The confluence of Clear Creek and the Obed River are home of a series of beautiful sandstone cliff bands and some of the best sport climbing in the Southeast. Just bring a rack of draws, a stick clip (high first bolts are commonplace in these parts), and guns (double entendre intended). The rock here is Cumberland Plateau sandstone, and the sedimentary layering of the rock tends to form huge horizontal roofs, jugs, and slopers. The rock is generally bullet hard and provides good friction. Climbing happens year-round; chase the shade or sun depending on the season.

Obed Bouldering: The trail from the parking lot for the overlook (up the hill from Lily bridge) to the Lily boulder field is finished! Please park at the top and walk down rather than parking on the road on the way up, or even worse, in the pull off near the boulders. In order to protect rare plant species, do not clean off the tops of boulders or top out the boulders.

Access notes

  • Stay on established trails
  • Pack out any trash you find
  • Park in designated parking areas only
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle
  • Be courteous of locals
  • Follow any posted closures
  • Do not establish new routes. This is prohibited by NPS rules
  • Do not top out or sling trees or vegetation
  • Do not chip or glue a route
  • Do not leave fixed ropes or slings


The Lilly Pad

Freedom Hills Campground


The Obed