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Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho
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John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho on 04/17/2011 17:19:20 MDT Print View

Well this trip is from last September, but I'm getting all excited for this season, and realized I never posted this trip report.

Me and a friend decided that we needed to get one more quick backpacking trip in before it got too cold here in northern Idaho. Looking at a map, we decided to take a trip down to the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness.

It was about a 5 hour drive from my apartment, mainly because the ~20 mile dirt road to the trailhead was in such bad shape. There was a few times where my truck was in 4-lo and I was still thinking I might not make it.

Along that dirt road, looking towards the crags

We reached the trailhead at about noon, and got on the trail right away.

The views were stunning right from the get go. After about 3-4 miles we came upon a nice looking basin, and on the other side of that basin were some lakes that we were going to fish and camp at that night.

The trail meandered through bushes and grass, the fall colors were really starting to show

We made our way along this ridge

Looking down on a bog

Right after I took that picture of the swamp, we came across some bear hunters who had just got a large bear. We talked to them for awhile, and told them the name of the lake we were going to for the night. They said they had hiked in this area for a long time, and to follow the trail to the right when it split to have a more scenic hike to the lake. Our map said to go left at the fork in the trail, but we decided to trust these guys and see where it led us.

Fall colors


At this point we were pretty sure the bear hunters had led us the wrong way. The trail was making no indication that it was ever going to go towards the direction we wanted to go, so we started hiking off trail towards the main ridge to get our bearings. When we reached the top, it was easy to see where we needed to go, and we got to the lake no problem.
The lake we stayed at

After a cold night, woke up the next morning to some cloudy weather, with small amounts of snow starting to fall.

We then gathered all of our stuff together and headed up to the top of the ridge to make our way back to the trailhead.
selway 13

Views along the way back

It was a great short trip. Right around 14 miles total, and total time of the trip was about 30 hours. Normally I would have liked to covered more miles and explore more areas, but my friend who I hike with isnt exactly UL, and 7 miles in an afternoon was a bit for a non-ULer. Fun time with great colors though, enjoyed it.

Edited by skyzo on 04/17/2011 17:24:50 MDT.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

nice on 04/17/2011 22:52:10 MDT Print View

Looks like a great area. The views are amazing, good job !

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Selway Bitterroot Wilderness on 04/18/2011 16:13:46 MDT Print View

Great photos. I really love the fall colors! Good way to wrap up the season before winter started to set in.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho on 04/18/2011 16:18:39 MDT Print View

Beautiful. Is this the same area sometimes called Selway Crags?

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Crags on 04/18/2011 19:32:28 MDT Print View

David, yep those are the crags. It was a nice loop, and I definitely want to go back there sometime and explore more of the area. Being in northern Idaho, there is all sorts of good backpacking withing a few hours drive