The Obed Wild and Scenic River, located about an hour outside of Knoxville, is a picturesque area of meandering rivers, dense forests, and stunning vistas that has been a popular destination for climbers for more than three decades. While originally a traditional climbing spot, the introduction of sport climbing in the early 90s transformed the Obed into one of the top sport climbing areas in the United States. Its claim to fame is the largest collection of horizontal roofs anywhere in North America. The rock at the Obed is a smooth and well-featured version of Cumberland Sandstone, which many climbers consider to be nearly perfect. Del’s Lilly Pad, one of the most welcoming and laid-back climber campgrounds, is conveniently located minutes away from several crags, making it a must-visit spot for traveling climbers.
“The Obed: A Climber’s Guide to the Wild and Scenic” is the exclusive and comprehensive guide to climbing at the Obed, including a lifetime’s worth of routes found at six different crags, namely The Obed, Y-12, Lilly Bluff, North Clear Creek, and South Clear Creek. The book also provides a complete guide to the largest and most popular bouldering area in Northeastern Tennessee, the Lilly Boulders. The guide is written by Kelly Brown, a long-time Knoxville resident and one of the primary route developers at the Obed. Having spent much of his life at the Obed, Kelly shares not only his love for the area but also over 20 years of history that only he knows.