Put in: Paradise guard station
Take Out: Selway Falls
Shuttle Length: 250 mi.
From Darby, Montana, on U.S. 93, drive south 10 miles to a point where the road crosses the Bitterroot River. Just before the bridge, turn right up the West Fork Road. Follow this road over Nez Perce Pass to Magruder Ranger Station. At magruder, turn right and follow the Selway downstream to the puti-in below Paradise Guard Station.
To reach the take-out, return to U.S. 93, travel north to Lolo and take U.S. 12 over Lolo Pass to Lowell, Idaho. At Lowell, the Selway joins to Lochsa River to form the Clearwater River. Cross the Lochsa and the follow the road up the Selway to the take-out above Selway Falls.
Camping: There are four Forest Service campgrounds between Magruder and the put-in at Paradise. Numerous campgrounds are located near the Selway Falls take-out.
Permits: First, the bad news - your chances of drawing a Selway permit in any given year are one in 32. Next, the good news - ahhh, well, if you get one, you'll have a blast.
In 1988, there were approximately 2,000 applications for 62 launch dates. The permit season is May 15 to July 31. One launch is permitted each day, including 16 commercial trips per season. The Forest Service mailes out application forms in October. They should be returned between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31. Applicants are notified in mid February. To receive an application, contact the West Fork Ranger Station, Darby, MT 59829, (406) 821-3269.
"Vee haf our vays" to beat the system. If the road opens early, you can put in prior to May 15. Also you can fly in to Running Creek Ranch before the permit season (see appendix). Or you could stay in phone contact with the West Fork Ranger Station and hope to pick up a cancellation.
Though the permit season begins May 15, the road over Nez Perce Pass is often blocked by snow until late May. Check with the West Fork ranger for road conditions.
Additional Information: A detailed, waterproof map of the Selway is available from the Forest Service. For a mile-by-mile description of running the Selway, see John Garren's Idaho River Tours.
*for private parties