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Road Opening

Normally the forest service will open the road over nez perce pass on memorial day weekend or possibly before. Unlike the MFS there are funds allocated for opening the road. There will have been plenty of hunters that have been in early season as well. From what I've heard there isn't a whole lot of snow up on the pass right now, so you should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any possibility of it being open pre-permit, so May 14th? What determines when the FS opens the road, is it snow pack, the date, both, etc.

Has the road ever been open pre-permit?
 

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Actually there is money allocated to plow the road into the Middle Fork at Boundary. The ranger told me he chose not to use those funds ( for that purpose anyway) to let the upper camps "rest" some more.

That was three years ago. I was so mad I could spit.
 

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Any possibility of it being open pre-permit, so May 14th? What determines when the FS opens the road, is it snow pack, the date, both, etc.

Has the road ever been open pre-permit?
I think it could definitely be open early, but it depends on weather. April could be really wet all of a sudden you just never know. The road probably has been opened pre-permit before in the past, you could probably call the ranger station and see what they say. But the selway normally is in full on spring flood basically at those times, mid may to beginning of june. I certainly would consider going pre-season if it was looking like it wasnt' going to go up to 6ft anytime soon or 4ft for that matter. There have definitely been plenty of people stuck above Moose Creek wondering if the river will fall in a couple days. At high flows moose juice is better reserved for class v kayakers and extreme water cat boaters. It isn't the lochsa with a road next to it when the shit hits the fan.
 

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I've been preseason about 10 years ago. The road opened the before we launched (9th?) and the flow was about 3.5'. It does happen. I've also been on at flows of 6, and 7+. The latter is the real deal for rafts and cats. 6' was about as big as I want to see it again, and only with an experienced group.


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I plan on jeeping around in that area the end of march. I'll report back. I was thinking about a pre permit trip as well but we are doing lodore instead. I'm guessing its going to be high water in early april.
 

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Paradise Shuttle

There is a group in the Darby area that will shuttle you into Paradise with large 4 wheel drive vehicles. My brother has used them to get in before the road was open. The local shuttle folks would be able to give you contact information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been in there with some decent water so I know what to expect. I also have the monster truck set up to get a group in. The monster trucks are expensive so that's why I was wondering about the road. Sounds like there is no easy measuring stick like the MF.

Thanks for the information, the more the better so keep it coming.

Idaho snowpack is dropping scary fast :(
 

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My guess is that the road will be open this year by May 14. However, it is also worth noting that as per regulations, you can't be on the river at all on May 15th, start of permit season. So if you were to launch on May 14th you would essentially have to float out. But given all this hot weather and lack of snow we could very well be a full month off of normal. May is the new June.
 

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Bad news from the FS...

"Greetings!
Last week’s update: It’s time to start sending a newsletter about the Magruder Corridor because I am getting calls.
April 1st marks the official day that 4 wheeled vehicles are allowed on the corridor. From Dec 1st to March 31st only snowmobiles are allowed.
The road still has snow in the higher elevations and the places that stay shaded most of the day. At present, there is approximately 2 to 3 feet of snow at the Nez Perce pass.
Presently, the Magruder Corridor is closed for repairs. Travel is impossible due to a “Big Hole” the road crew dug to repair extensive washouts from last year. Construction is anticipated to continue with varying delays and closures up to May 15, 2015.
Please call the West Fork Office for the latest information on the road conditions at 406 821-3269 or visit us on our websites:
www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot; www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.
I will try to keep you updated with closure information."

I will try to contact the FS tomorrow to see how far from Paradise the "big hole" is.
 

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Any possibility of it being open pre-permit, so May 14th? What determines when the FS opens the road, is it snow pack, the date, both, etc.

Has the road ever been open pre-permit?
I have done three pre-permit season trips Once on the 14th when you only had to launch before permit season. Twice we launched around May 10th when they changed it to you had to be off the river by May 15th. Flows were 3.7, 5.0 and 5.5.
I remember enough rocks on the road the one trip that we had three or four flats driving in. Blew up a trailer one year too. Didn't have to deal with snow on top at all that I can remember. Snow on the side of the road but not on the road.
I would have to look up the years one was around '92 and again in '94 and another in 2002 or so.

Be prepared and do it. Such a great river. The Moose Juice is big but the upper stretch just keeps coming at you. Not much drinking on the water on those trips.
 
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