hiking
17 days ago

I hiked the Selway River in July of 2017 from Paradise Guard Station out of Darby, MT, to Race Creek on the Selway River Rd out of Lowell, ID; a distance of about 47 miles. A company out of Darby, MT picked up our truck at the trailhead and shuttled it to the end, a service most commonly used by rafters and kayakers. Beautiful trail, steep in some spots especially for stock, my husband rode and packed a mule during the trip. Although the trail is wilderness you do pass several beautiful ranches in the first 15 miles and at mile 26 hit Moose Creek Ranger Station and airstrip which can be busy with fisherman and rafters. There are many nice camp spots but plan approximate daily mileage ahead so you can hit them; the 9-10 miles of trail directly below Moose Creek lacks good camp spots, after that there are good camps into Race Creek. The hike follows the river the whole way but is not flat, plenty of elevation gains and losses. Bears, elk, deer and rattlesnakes are common, we saw several snakes but they slithered off the trail quickly. I believe they allow one permitted raft to leave Paradise daily during the summer so you don't see a lot of people, the trail is quiet until Moose Creek where you pick up rafters and air traffic and below Moose Creek, day hikers. The roads into Paradise and out of Race Creek are gravel but travelled heavily in the summer and in decent shape. The hike is not hard but is a true back country trail, somewhat isolated and can be hot in the summer as you're frequently without tree cover. There are plenty of side trails and several pack bridges and alternative end points along the route if you don't want to follow the river the entire way.