ID – Selway River, Scenic Highway 12 Adventures

Finding trails accessible and hikeable early season can be quite a challenge. The Selway River Trail #4 is one that was recommended. I was looking forward to getting in some miles and figured this would be a good rainy day hike if the forecast held. I found a nice river side camp for the night. Overnight low in my car was 50 vs 27 the previous night. Sure makes it hard to acclimate. 

Unfortunately much of the canyon was burned in 2015. Many areas have not been reopened and erosion damage is quite evident. 

Selway Falls were not what I’d classify as falls. I’m sure they are much more evident when the river isn’t raging. 

Well so much for best laid plans. It rained hard all night and was still raining at 9am. I wasn’t feeling very motivated to hike. So I spent the morning reading and hoping for a heavy rain reprieve. Around noon, a group of boaters landed on my private beach. I took that as a sign to get moving. By the time I arrived at the Race Creek Trailhead, the rain had stopped and it was looking like a gorgeous afternoon, perfect for hiking. 

My first hike in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness.

The river views . . . well all looked somewhat like this. 

What makes me smile besides big views? Wildflowers! This trail had a nice early season collection with shooting stars being the most prolific.

Wild Violet or Viola. 

Delphinium

Clematis

Woodland Star

These are typically blue, but as they die they transition to these pastels. I’ve been told these are Mertensia.

Even the dandelions were pretty. 

The trail came with a big warning. Rattlesnakes! This one scared the bejesus out of me. 

This one gave me plenty of warning.

Thankfully the trail was in great condition, so it was fairly easy to scan for these biters. I found them in a couple areas near rock outcroppings. I called these faux rattlers. 

I’ll take butterflies and skip the rattlesnakes in the future. 

With my late start, I hiked about 6 miles out before turning around. I would have loved to continue on to Moose Creek Ranger Station, but with so much rain in the forecast I wasn’t up for the 25 mile jaunt. There are lots of other trails to be explored with junctions off of the river trail. I met a young guy who was out for two weeks with his uncle. They’d both had successful bear hunts and had just resupplied for their second week

I spent a second night at my beach, watched a bald eagle fish while geese and deer shared a stroll. With the rain, temperatures dropped to 44 in my car. What will tomorrow bring? There’s a week of rain in the forecast.

Date(s) Hiked: April 23, 2017

Spring 2017 Road Trip: Day 56 (out of 78)

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3 thoughts on “ID – Selway River, Scenic Highway 12 Adventures

  1. Thanks for sharing. That Selway trail looks like it’d be perfect for a packrafting trip. Hike up and float back (and fish).

  2. Pingback: ID – Split Creek, Scenic Highway 12 Adventures – Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings

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