Bordering the 1.1 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area, one of the Nation’s largest, these rivers are embraced by a cedar forest that carpets the mountains in rich green. While our Lochsa trips are for serious whitewater enthusiasts (and described separately) the lower Selway and Middle Fork of the Clearwater are gentle floats with some class II-III rapids at certain higher water levels and easy class I-II rapids at lower levels. We offer these trips from June until late August and they are perfect for folks of all ages looking for a day of relaxation in nature. By the middle of July, the water temperatures have risen to around 65-70 degrees and are very comfortable for swimming. The water is crystal clear and you can see fish in the deep pools along the way. Along the river we’re likely to see various waterfowl, osprey, bald eagles, deer and perhaps even a playful river otter. ROW also offers fishing trips on the lower Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater for those who want to wet a line. Our Selway trips are raft only, but for our Clearwater float, we offer you the choice of riding in rubber rafts that range from 13’ to 16’ and carry six to eight passengers plus a guide, sit on top kayaks, or inner tubes. Meeting Place: Our trips are based from the River Dance Lodge - Idaho’s Outdoor Adventure Resort, located in the hamlet of Syringa, along the banks of the Clearwater River. Meeting Time: Trips on the lower Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater generally meet at 9:00 AM, but different times can be arranged for large groups. You can leave your car at the River Dance Lodge for the duration of the trip. How to Find Us: Syringa is 90 miles east of Lewiston, Idaho and 129 miles west of Missoula, Montana. River Dance Lodge is located on the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway on U.S.12 in the heart of Nez Perce Territory. This route is the easiest way to trace the Lewis and Clark Expedition trail along the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers. If you plan to fly, the closest major airport is in Missoula, just over two hours away. You can also fly to Spokane and drive four hours to our meeting point or from Boise which is 5 hours.
"The Selway, which meets the Lochsa near the hamlet of Lowell, is a different character. Where the Lochsa is stirred and frenzied, the Selway is more meditative, deeper, moving at a much gentler pace for the most part. It is another one of the places here that reminds me of Alaska, mainly because of the wildlife. While hiking and fishing the Selway, I've seen moose, elk, black bears, every manner of raptor, and have come upon tracks of cougars, the most elusive of Rocky Mountain inhabitants."
- New York Times, "The Last Wilderness" July 1, 2007
The Selway River flows through Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and is considered a premier whitewater floating trip. The free-flowing river has a short season and very limited launches. The Lower Selway is easy/intermediate whitewater in a unique rainforest ecosystem and an area with rich cultural history. Your rafting or kayaking adventure on the Selway begins and ends at River Dance Lodge, Idaho's Outdoor Adventure Resort.
The Selway River is protected by the U.S. Congress under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is one of Idaho's most pristine rivers. This piece of Idaho is unique because it includes a temperate rainforest. Some of the plants found here are also found on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, but nowhere else. ROW's Lower Selway rafting trips float you through a scenic masterpiece.
Just one launch per day is permitted, and a Selway rafting trip carries you through a thick forest of cedar, fir, and larch. The Selway's banks are overgrown with emerald ferns, spongy mosses, huckleberries and mountain flowers. You'll likely see osprey, bald eagles and waterfowl as you paddle your raft or kayak, and if you're lucky, you might even spot a playful river otter.
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Here at ROW Adventures, our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our rafting trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. ROW Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities, and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
- Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
- Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
- Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
What to Bring:
- Sunglasses with retaining head strap - such as "Chums"
- Swimsuit and/or quick-dry top and bottom
- Tennis shoes or sports sandals with straps (No flip-flops)
- Personal water bottle
- Waterproof camera (optional)
- Towel for the end of the day (optional)
- Polypropylene long underwear or non-cotton base layer on cold days.
Terms & Conditions
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