The Selway River
The word "pristine" may have been invented for this alpine river! But the chance to float the Selway does not come easy or cheap. The U.S. Forest Service has restricted the number of floaters to fewer than 1300 each year, making this one of the rarest river trips in the country. With only one boat launch per day during the 78 day season, you'll likely see more bears than rafters on this Wild & Scenic River.
The Selway cuts through Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. For more than 45 miles, the run from Paradise Creek to Selway Falls is virtually untouched by civilization. West slope cutthroat trout abound, as do serious Class IV rapids, like Double Drop, Ladle, and Wolf Creek. Rafters must also contend with logs, icy cold water, and unpredictable weather that can result in rapid fluctuations in water flow.
The three to five day trip is best run at flows below 15,000 cfs at Lowell. The record flow for the Selway is 48,900 cfs, recorded May 29, 1948.
Many boaters have begun running the lower river, from below Selway Falls to the confluence with the Lochsa River. This 15 mile stretch does not require a permit and is a lovely Class II Class III experience.