We will meet you at 8:00 pm the evening before the trip begins at the Doubletree Inn in Missoula, Montana (100 Madison St, 406/728-3100). The Doubletree is along the Clark Fork river and has courtesy airport van service. At the pre-trip meeting we will give you your waterproof bags, go over equipment and packing information and answer any last-minute questions.
The trip will begin and end in scenic Missoula, Montana.
FLYING: Alaska/Horizon, United and Delta have service into Missoula. Try to arrange your arrival flights to make the 8:00 pm pre-trip meeting and we rcommend making your departure flight for the day AFTER your trip concludes. Arrival time back in Missoula is usually around 5:00 pm, but could be later; flying out in the morning will give you added peace of mind at the end of the trip.
DRIVING: The Doubletree is in downtown Missoula just across the Madison Street Bridge from the University of Montana. You may leave your vehicle at the Doubletree during the trip.
Oar rafts are 18 feet long, carry all of the overnight gear and up to 3 guests. They are rowed by a guide using oars attached to a metal frame. Guests ride in the front, hang on through the rapids and relax in the calm stretches.
Paddle rafts are 14 feet long and carry between 4 and 6 paddlers who actively paddle through the rapids and down the river. Everyone has a paddle, sits on the outer tube of the raft and follows the commands of the paddle guide who sits in the rear.
Due to the difficulty of the Selway, and the need to carry all of our gear into the canyon, we can only offer one paddle raft per trip at appropriate water levels. If more trip members wish to paddle than there are spaces available, trip members will rotate so that everyone gets a chance to participate.
Fishing: Fishing for cutthroat and rainbow trout is excellent in the Selway and in its tributaries. The fishing is usually best in July, after the high water period. A lightweight fly or spinning outfit works best, and all rods should be protected in a sturdy case. Effective flies include Caddis, Grasshoppers and Irresistables, and spinners such as Mepps and Panther Martins work well. Bring a small assortment. The Selway is a catch and release river so only single, barbless hooks are permitted, and fish caught in the river and tributaries must be released back into the river. To fish, you must have a valid Idaho fishing license, which can be purchased in advance through www.fishandgame.idaho.gov. For more fishing information, see the Selway River Fly-fishing Supplement.
Meals: ARTA meals are well-balanced and consist of quality foods with fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. The guides double as camp chefs and the menu includes a wide variety of dishes. Lunches usually consist of hand-foods and are served picnic-style at riverside stops. Dinners and breakfasts are cooked over an open fire and often include tasty Dutch Oven baked treats. If you have special dietary requirements or are celebrating a special event during the trip, please let us know in advance.
Drinks: ARTA provides water, lemonade and punch during the day and hot coffee, tea and cocoa in the morning. If you would like soda, beer, wine, or liquor with your dinner, please bring your own in unbreakable containers, (beer and soda in cans, wine in bags/boxes or plastic bottles and liquor in plastic bottles). Due to weight and space restrictions, we ask that you limit the amount of canned drinks to a moderate amount (one or two six-packs per person).
Camping: During the course of the trip, everyone is encouraged to participate as much as they desire, whether that be on the river, collecting firewood, or helping out in the kitchen. We have found that the more involved you become with your trip, the more rewarding your trip becomes. Overnight camping will be at riverside beaches or flat benches above the river. All sites afford spectacular views of the river and canyon. There is usually a central kitchen and campfire area, and trip members pick out spots in the surrounding area to pitch their tents or lay out their sleeping bags.
Toilet Facilities: We know it is on your mind, so let's talk about it. We have been doing this for a long time and we have developed some pretty good practices and equipment. The solution is what we affectionately call “The Groover”, a sturdy metal box with a toilet seat that takes care of all our waste. While it isn’t enjoyable to think about, using the Groover is actually surprisingly pleasant; minimal odor, comfortable seat and almost always a beautiful location. We have techniques to safeguard your privacy, so going to the bathroom in the wilderness isn’t something to worry about – you won’t be digging any holes or squatting.
Local Attractions: Within a day's drive of Missoula are Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks, and Sun Valley resort, as well as the Gallitin, Madison and Yellowstone rivers and some of the best fly-fishing in the United States.
Travel Insurance: Because life is full of surprises, we suggest you consider purchasing supplemental travel insurance for your trip. Trip cancellation, evacuation, baggage loss and other coverages are available for between 4% and 11% of your trip cost. You can get more information at www.travelinsure.com; please enter ARTA's Participating Organization Number (215296) at the top of the enrollment form.
Gratuities: We want you to feel like a guest in our home. But if you feel that your guides did an outstanding job, a post-trip gratuity is a flattering way to let them know. Tips should be based on your satisfaction, your financial means and your attitude about tipping. Tips typically range anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the trip cost, (with the occasional recommended book or coveted hat thrown in). It is customary within ARTA to give the tip to the Lead Guide who will distribute it equally amongst all of the staff. And thank you very much.
If there are any questions we haven't answered, please feel free to contact us. We really enjoy talking about our trips, so don't hesitate to call: 800-323-2782.
The Selway River begins its journey high in the Bitterroot Mountains near the Idaho-Montana border. Heading north into the rugged Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area, the river travels through isolated and primitive country before its confluence with the Lochsa River near Lowell. Our trips cover 47 miles between Paradise Guard Station and Selway Falls in the heart of the Wilderness Area, offering a wilderness river experience with few equals.
The Selway is a steep, free-flowing river in a geographically compact drainage basin and has a wide range of flows. Rapids vary from long, technical rock gardens to large, crashing wave trains. The nine mile stretch of nearly continuous rapids below the confluence with Moose Creek earns the river its deserved reputation as one of the best whitewater runs in the United States. Between rapids, the river flows though quiet pools and stretches of crystal clear water over a mosaic of colorful rocks.
Whitewater, however, is only one of the many appealing features of the trip. We will have time to hike, fish, swim, and enjoy the many fascinating natural elements of the canyon. The Selway was one of the original rivers to be protected in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and the Forest Service manages it in a highly primitive condition. Only one group, with a maximum of 16 people, is allowed to launch each day. Few people are able to float this wild and primitive stretch of river, and we come away from each trip with a new appreciation for this wonderful remnant of primitive America.