Obed - 4. Obed Junction to Nemo

Obed, Tennessee, US


4. Obed Junction to Nemo

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 9.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 30 fpm


Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 03/05/04

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03540500 1000 - 8000 cfs II-IV 01h21m 2990 cfs (running)

River Description

Logistics: To reach the take-out from the town of Wartburg (where there is a National Park visitor center), follow the signs to the Nemo Access from Old Highway 27. Head out the southwest corner of town and continue 6.0 miles to the river. A day-use area with ample parking, changing area, and picnic tables can be found upstream river left of the old Nemo Bridge. This makes a great meeting point, and place to hangout after your run.

You have options for put-ins depending on how long a trip and what type of run you're looking for:
A) Drive directly to Obed Junction (listed put-in for this run).
B) Run Daddy's Creek from Devils Breakfast Table (if the wildlife gate is not closed for the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area) to the Obed confluence.
C) Run Clear Creek to the Obed confluence.
D) Run beginning further upstream on the Obed.

From Obed Junction (which is at the confluence with Daddy's Creek), the river contains class II/III rock gardens until you reach a one mile class III/IV section containing 'Ninety Right-Ninety Left', 'OmyGod!', 'Rockgarden' (be aware of the dangerous spot that exists on the right in this rapid!), and 'Submarine Falls'.

Soon after these drops, Clear Creek enters from the left. You will encounter four more class III rapids (separated by calm stretches of river), the last two of which are known as 'Keep Right' and 'Widowmaker'.

After the confluence with the Emory River its just a mile downstream to the take-out at the old Nemo Bridge.

Here's the official Obed Wild & Scenic River Map with all the put-ins and take-outs.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-03-23 05:00:13


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Drainage area: ~332 sq.mi.N/A
0.1Class II-III rock gardensN/A
3.2Nintey Right-Ninety LeftIII
3.3Oh My GodIII+Photo
3.7RockgardenIVHazard Photo
3.9Submarine fallsII+
4.5Confluence: Clear CreekN/A
5.1Canoe Hole RapidsN/A
6.1Keep RightN/A
6.5Widow MakerN/A
8.9Confluence: Emory RiverN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Drainage area: ~332 sq.mi. (Class N/A)

At the listed put-in drainage area is ~332 square miles (as calculated by USGS StreamStats 4.2.0 software).

After 4.6 miles (after confluence with Clear Creek), the combined drainage becomes ~514 square miles.

After another 4.3 miles at the confluence with the Emory, drainage becomes ~613 square miles for the final mile to the listed take-out.

Class II-III rock gardens (Class N/A, Mile 0.1)

Randomly strewn throughout the first three miles you will find numerous brief class II-III rock-garden rapids.

Nintey Right-Ninety Left (Class III, Mile 3.2)

Enter from the left and execute two 90 degree turns the last being on the lip of the main drop.

Oh My God (Class III+, Mile 3.3)

Larry Cable @ Oh My God!

Larry Cable @ Oh My God!
Photo of Larry Cable by rbone taken 04/01/05 @ med-high

This rapid lies in a gentle left-hand bend. It's rocky at the top, pitches over a ledge at the bottom, then heads directly for Oh My God Rock which juts upstream from the river-right shore.
(Unknown if the rock is undercut or not. There is a good sized pillow on the rock where the current slams into it, and a turbulent eddy on the upstream side, against the river-right bank, implying that water is not going under it. Still, if I was swimming, I'd swim like he!! away from it.)

Rockgarden (Class IV, Mile 3.7)

Boofin' Rockgarden

Boofin' Rockgarden
Photo of Ted by Stu Thompson taken 03/20/03 @ 900 cfs

Scout this rapid on river right. At lower flows the water tends to push you towards the right where some of the rocks are undercut. Over 3,000 cfs the rocks are better covered.

Submarine falls (Class II+, Mile 3.9)

Just above the confluence with Clear Creek, this is a short drop through a narrow spot between two boulders. (Class II+ at low-to-moderate flows, Class III at higher flows.)

Confluence: Clear Creek (Class N/A, Mile 4.5)

Clear Creek enters from river-left.

Confluence: Emory River (Class N/A, Mile 8.9)

From here it is just about a mile (of largely flat flowing water) to the take-out.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
March 5 2017 (647 days ago)
Jonathan RyanDetails
I ran from Obed Junction (OBJ) to Nemo on 2017-03-04 The river gauge listed for this run, Emory
River at Oakdale, is 9 miles _downstream_ from the takeout at Nemo. The proper gauge for this run
is Obed at Lancing,
https://waterdata.usgs.gov/tn/nwis/uv/?site_no=03539800&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060. You paddle right
past this gauge on river left about 1.3 miles above the confluence with the Emory--look for a
galvanized culvert-like column on the left bank and a cable crossing just downstream. If you want
to know the flow in the section above the confluence with Clear Creek, add the flow from Clear
Creek at Lilly from the Obed gauge.
May 10 2013 (2042 days ago)
Sandra DavidDetails
Rock Garden - The scout from river left is easy, and more importantly, in my opinion you get a
better view of the entire rapid. There's a good line on the far left side, but it's advisable to
check this line for wood, which may not be visible from the river right scout.
May 15 2009 (3498 days ago)
x (1)
May I suggest that the 2002 whitewater clinic pictures do not show enough of the Obed to be useful?

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