Regulations on the Selway River - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-06-2012   #1
 
boulder, Colorado
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Regulations on the Selway River

Hi all,

What are the exact details about requirements for permits on the Selway river? I would like to run the section above the Paradise put in the day before putting on. Is the river permitted in its entirety or just Paradise down? Is there somewhere that I can look up the regulations that govern the permit system?

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Old 02-06-2012   #2
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You are golden above Paradise and below Selway falls.

Contact Information

West Fork Ranger District
Bitterroot National Forest
6735 West Fork Road
Darby MT 59829
Phone: 406-821-3269
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Old 02-06-2012   #3
 
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We ran the few miles above Paradise the evening before we launched in 2010. I don't think that section is restricted in any way. It's pretty desolate, so you won't be runing into many other people out there.
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Old 02-06-2012   #4
 
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That is what I would think, but I had a friend call in and the rangers said that the permit covered the entire river. Is there anyway to look up the actual regulations that the forest service are enforcing?
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Old 02-06-2012   #5
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WOW, not a easy as I thought it would be. Google has failed me.. Its almost like the selway starts at Paradise. But I've been there and ran it. Anyway, I'd call the shuttle companies and ask them as you are getting quotes. I'll bet one of them can point you in the right direction. Now, Selway falls down is listed in AW and other areas as the "non permit" section of the selway. Its been my experience that permited section of Idaho rivers is only controlled from listed put in to take out.

The lower selway in 100% not permitted. I do it all the time, ya, ya...
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Old 02-06-2012   #6
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Cascade Outfitters Whitewater Rafting Equipment: Idaho and the Northern Rockies; Selway River

On this site I found this paragraph???


Other Runs Above and below the run described in this chapter, boaters can float short sections of the Selway without a permit. The upper river is boatable for about a dozen miles above Paradise Launch Site, with rocky, technical rapids and a short season. A road follows the right bank, allowing easy scouting and access. It is more common for boaters to run the lower river from below Selway Falls to the Lochsa River confluence at Lowell. The Lower Selway's 13 ft./mi. gradient produces Class II to easy Class III rapids, though some big waves develop at high flows. The canyon is lush and scenic, much like the end of the main run. This 15-mile lower stretch enjoys a longer season than the main Selway run. USFS Road 223 follows the right bank, providing easy scouting and access. Floating begins as far up as Gedney Creek Campground, a half mile below the falls. Among the intermediate accesses is Boyd Creek Campground, about halfway through the run. For more information, see the Idaho guide books listed below.

But still looking for something more offical
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Old 02-06-2012   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idahofloater View Post
WOW, not a easy as I thought it would be. Google has failed me.. Its almost like the selway starts at Paradise. But I've been there and ran it. Anyway, I'd call the shuttle companies and ask them as you are getting quotes. I'll bet one of them can point you in the right direction. Now, Selway falls down is listed in AW and other areas as the "non permit" section of the selway. Its been my experience that permited section of Idaho rivers is only controlled from listed put in to take out.

The lower selway in 100% not permitted. I do it all the time, ya, ya...
I've never done this section and was thinking about doing it around Memorial Day when I will be on the Lochsa. I'll be in a cat and was wondering if the whole stretch down to Three Rivers was a good run?
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Old 02-06-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I've never done this section and was thinking about doing it around Memorial Day when I will be on the Lochsa. I'll be in a cat and was wondering if the whole stretch down to Three Rivers was a good run?
Not so much. There are a couple drops just below the falls and then real mellow after that. Its a prime late summer fishing float. If ya got the time, I'd think about the SF Clearwater.
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Old 02-06-2012   #9
 
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I know some folks that have run that upper section, but I can't remember if was on launch day or before. The Selway rules are somewhat elusive, nowhere do they say that the permit season applies to being on the river at all. This means you have to be OFF the permitted section before May 15, not just launching before May 15. At least as of 2 years ago when I did a pre-permit trip, this wasn't in writing but people on the trip had encountered this interpretation by the Ranger on another pre-permit trip.

That's so weird, I'd say just go do it. Does the launch day apply specifically to launching from Paradise, so you'd have to run that upper section and go by in the same day? but, it would suck to run into a roadblock before you launched on the main section. I'd post on the Idaho Whitewater group, and probably more likely the Idaho kayaking forum since more kayakers have tended to do that run.
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Old 02-06-2012   #10
 
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I'm pretty sure you could run the stretch above paradise anytime you wanted, but it is a pretty long drive for a 12 mile section.

The one time i ran the selway, we launched above paradise at Raven creek, I believe. At just shy of three feet at paradise, it was easy for self support kayaks. It would have kept rafts on their toes looking for the right channel and avoiding wood. There were a few spots that looked like they would have enormous holes at higher water. It probably added >3 hours to our launch day float.

Selway falls looked horrific at that level, I can't even imagine it at big water.
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