Clear Creek - 4. Lilly to Nemo

Clear Creek, Tennessee, US


4. Lilly to Nemo (Clear Creek Gorge)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 7.5 Miles
Max Gradient 53 fpm

Clear Creek

Clear Creek
Photo by Tom O'Keefe taken 03/05/04 @ 370 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03539778 180 - 2000 cfs II-IV 00h18m 189 cfs (running)

River Description

Logistics: The take-out for Clear Creek is actually on the Emory River at the old Nemo Bridge. From the town of Wartburg (willl find a National Park visitor center here), follow the signs to the Nemo Access from Old Highway 27 and head out the southwest corner of town and continue 6.0 miles down to the river. Ample parking and a nice day-use area with changing area and picnic tables can be found upstream river left of the old Nemo Bridge. This is a great meeting point and place to hangout after your run. To reach the put-in, head back up to Old Highway 27 and go west 1.9 miles and turn up onto Highway 27 and after 3.3 miles turn left onto Highway 62. Follow this road 9.1 miles to the turn for Lilly Access (marked by a sign). The road to this access winds 3.3 miles down to the river. You will find parking downstream river left of the bridge.

Description: The Clear Creek Canyon from Lilly Bridge to the Obed River confluence is only 1.5 miles but the run continues on the Obed and then the Emory River for a full 7.5 mile run. At moderate flows this is a good intermediate run for those who also appreciate the scenery of the undeveloped river canyon. The pools between rapids are a little long in places, but there are several good class III rapids. Just be aware of the undercuts as there are a couple bad ones on this run.

Downstream of Lilly Bridge, the river flows through Jacks Rock, Camel Rock, Wootens Folly, Rock Jumble, and Focus Falls. These are all pool drop class III rapids with long recovery sections in between.

Once you reach the Obed River confluence you will be on a medium volume river. Here you willl encounter four more class III rapids. the last two are Keep Right and Widowmaker. You will find some fun surfing waves in this section.

See Obed River (Obed Junction to Nemo).

For more great photos of Clear Creek see (


Here's the official Obed Wild & Scenic River Map with all the putins and takeouts.



For more information please click on the link below:

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-09-27 14:34:43

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.3Jacks Rock FallsIIIWaterfall Photo Video
0.5Camel RockIIIHazard
0.8Wooten's FolleyIII+Photo Video
1.0Rock JumbleIII
1.3Focus FallsIII
1.5Obed River confluence
2.3Canoe HoleIIIAccess
3.1Keep RightIII
3.5Widow MakerIII
6.0Emory River conflunce
7.5Nemo bridge - Take-out

Rapid Descriptions

Jacks Rock Falls (Class III, Mile 0.3)
Click Here For Video

Jack's Rocks Falls

Jack's Rocks Falls
Photo of James Locke by John Campbell taken 03/15/04 @ 2 ft at Jett Bridge

Easy class III drop of about 8 feet. First five feet drop down a slide then 3-4 ft drop into a hole (easily punched through). This rapid has a conjested approach making boat scouting difficult

Camel Rock (Class III, Mile 0.5)
The Camel is to be run far river right. The middle is to be advoided because there is a nasty undercut formation called the Camel's hump.

Wooten's Folley (Class III+, Mile 0.8)
Click Here For Video

James & Gordon at Whooten's Folley

James & Gordon at Whooten's Folley
Photo of James Locke & Gordon Abney by John Campbell taken 03/15/04 @ 2 ft at Jett Bridge

Obed River confluence
With the Obed and Clear Creek coming together the river usually triples in volume

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