Obed & Clear Creek Emergency Exit Routes
*Always exit river left on both the Obed and Clear Creek, the only exception being on the Obed below Widowmaker. See special note on this.
1. Obed Junction to 90 Right 90 Left.
Exit river left. Hike away from the river to the top of the bank or base of the cliff, turn left (upstream) and go up on the 4WD road at Obed Junction. It is a quarter mile to the top where there are houses. If you are coming down Daddy’s Creek, Obed Junction is just below the confluence on river left. (1.5 hours)
2. 90 Right 90 Left to Ohmigod!
Exit river left. Go to the base of the cliff and turn right (downstream). Follow the base of the cliff until there is a very apparent break in the cliff (about 100 feet wide). Go up there. At the top of the ridge follow the old rim road downstream approximately ½ mi. Turn left on The Point Trail, which is signed, to Lilly Bluff parking area. (1 hour)
Exit river left, go 200 feet downstream, and go the base of the cliff. Turn left and follow the trail to the top. This is a very tricky place to find the break, which is about 100 feet downstream of Ohimgod! and is obstructed by trees. The break is about 100 feet wide and very close to the rapid, so if you don’t find it in a couple hundred feet, then turn around and go the other way. Upon reaching the canyon rim, head downstream, following the old rim road approximately ½ mile to The Point Trail. Turn left to Lilly Bluff parking area (1 hour).
Exit river left. Go to the base of the cliff. Follow the trail to the left (upstream) until you reach the canyon rim. From this point the exit route is the same as in (2) above. (45 minutes)
5. Submarine Falls
Exit river left. Go the base of the cliff. Follow the climbers trail along the base of the cliff (downstream) until you come to a crevice in the rock. Follow trail up through the rocks to the rim. On top, turn left on The Point Trail, to Lilly Bluff parking area. (45 minutes)
6. Submarine Falls to Clear Creek Confluence
Exit river left. Go to the base of the cliff. Turn right (downstream). The trail will shortly turn left up the steep narrow crevice. At the rim, backtrack (upstream) on The Point Trail to Lilly Bluff parking area. (1 hour)
7. Near Clear Creek Confluence
If you are below the end of the cliff but not yet to Clear Creek Confluence, find the campsite on river left just above the confluence. From the campsite go back in the woods and slightly upstream to find a steep, narrow trail ascending the ridge. This “fisherman’s trail” leads to The Point Trial. Follow upstream to Lilly Bluff parking area. (45 minutes)
8. Barnett to Jett:
For the first half mile, travel by land upstream to Barnett Access. After that, go downstream on the river to Jett Bridge.
9. Jett to Lilly
Paddle downstream to Lilly. Turn right on Ridge Road to the houses at the top of the hill. (20 minutes)
10. Lilly Bridge to Jack’s Rock
Exit river left. Take the trail next to the water upstream to Lilly. Follow road as in (9) above.
*Keep this sheet and a Park Service brochure (pick up at Wild & Scenic Office in Wartburg) in your drybag. Mandatory for trip leaders. The Park brochure’s map will give you road names to tell rescue personnel where you are when you call them, as they won’t know names of rapids.
*Send someone for help who knows the river and will be able to describe the accident location or lead rescue personnel to it.
*If you are the one sent for help, remember that the first priority in river rescue is the safety of the rescuer (you). Land dangers may include ice on the trails, icicles falling from ledges above, and taking a fall off the canyon rim. If you are boating for help (Barnett to Jett or Jett to Lilly), paddle very carefully – don’t be part of the problem!
*More than likely you will encounter climbers who will know how to get help. Most of them know the trails very well.
*Hike these trails. Devote one day to the Obed side and one day to the Clear Creek side. Both hikes are rewarding in themselves and offer spectacular views.
*If you have a cell phone with you, you can use it at the rim. Use 911, or call the Park Service directly at 423-346-6294. Someone is there 8 – 4:30, 7 days a week.
Produced and funded by Chota Canoe Club, P.O. Box 51194, Knoxville, TN 37950-1194. First edition by Ron Crass and Philip Young with assistance from Bob Olszewski and ranger Rob Turan, January 1996. Second edition revised by Rob Turan, August 2001.