Selway Bitterroot Adventure Trip

This adventure brings you together with SWS staff, board members, and the 2017 class of Wilderness Fellows.  In addition, it checks three awesome wild adventure boxes: wild and scenic river trip (check), wilderness backpacking (check), and backcountry hotspringing (check and check).  


Thursday, June 22: Arrive at the Powell Ranger Station on the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest, and join SWS staff, board members, and the 2017 class of Wilderness Fellows for dinner and a campfire.  

Friday, June 23: All-day guided rafting trip on the Lochsa Wild & Scenic River with Three Rivers Rafting, dinner at the Lochsa Lodge.

Saturday, June 24:  Drive from the Powell/Lochsa Lodge compound to Wilderness Gateway campground and trailhead.  Hike six miles on trail 211 to Stanley Hot Springs, camp for the night.

Sunday, June 25:  Hike back to Wilderness Gateway, travel home.


All meals will be provided.  Tell us any food preferences, restrictions or allergies when you register.


On Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23, you may stay at either the Powell Campground or the Lochsa Lodge.  The Campground provides pull-through and tent sites with or without electricity.  The Lodge provides beautiful lodge rooms and cabins with all the amenities.  Tell us your lodging preference for Thursday and Friday when you register.  Saturday night will be spent in the backcountry at Stanley Hot Springs.  Bring your own tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and layered clothing.

Getting Here

The Powell Ranger Station is located on Highway 12 in Idaho, approximately 12 miles west of the Montana/Idaho border.  You may fly into Missoula, Montana or Lewiston or Moscow, Idaho.  We will have carpool availability from the Missoula side.  Let us know if you would like to carpool when you register.

Lochsa Wild & Scenic River Trip

Designated Wild & Scenic in 1968, the Lochsa River flows freely, running parallel to Highway 12 through the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  Located in north central Idaho’s Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest, it is one of the premier whitewater rivers in the west. Snow melt in the spring creates one of the wettest rides in the country within this steep granite valley. A green Cedar and Fir Forest with steep slopes and abundant wildlife, the river corridor itself gets exciting during the spring snow run-off. The section of the Lochsa that we raft has a gradient, or drop, of about 40 feet per mile. The rapids contain large standing waves and incredible circulating holes. Our one day trip covers about 22 miles and 40 class III-IV+ rapids. This is big water - you will be expected to paddle.

Wilderness Backpack to Stanley Hot Springs

This hike will take us six miles back to Stanley Hot Springs, gaining 1600 feet of elevation along the way.  This is Chief Joseph and Lewis & Clark country, open meadows bordered by mixed conifer and pine forests, wildflower carpets, and roiling rivers.  We'll follow trail 211 out of Wilderness Gateway, where we'll immediately rise above Boulder Creek with a couple of switchbacks.  The next four miles are gently rolling, through open expanses and forest, with the creek coming along beside us.  For the last two miles we'll drop down and make a water crossing on Boulder Creek, and then push up through the Huckleberry Creek drainage to the hot springs.  The springs themselves are comprised of three pools that range in temperature from 100 to 102 degrees (roughly) and are frequented by local families of moose.  The hike provides incredible views of Lochsa and Catelope peaks, Fish Butte, and the heart of the Selway Bitterroot.

What to Bring

Personal Camping Supplies - tent, backpack, water purification system, headlamp, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, at least 3 liters of water storage capacity, toiletries and towel, and layered clothing.  For clothing, we suggest: a fleece layer (pullover, jacket or vest), down layer (jacket or vest), warm hat, wicking short and long sleeve shirts, two pairs of wool socks, hiking boots, river crossing shoes (crocs and chacos work great), swimwear (for the hot springs, and under your wetsuit while rafting), and flexible pants (one to two pairs).  Instruments encouraged!

We Will Provide

All meals and coffee, backcountry cooking and bear hang gear, first aid supplies, rafting gear provided by Three Rivers (paddles, dry bags, wet suits and helmets), and maps.


Well behaved pets are welcome.  They can camp with you at Powell Campground and Stanley Hot Springs, but are not permitted in the Lochsa Lodge.  They are also not permitted on the raft, so you will need alternate accommodations for them during that time.  Any pets should be restrainable, so please have a leash handy as well as a crate or vehicle they can be settled in if necessary.

Purchase Options

We have priced this trip three different ways to fit your budget.  Options are as follows:

Full trip with Lochsa Lodge Lodging: $535 - this cost covers all meals and the Saturday raft trip with Thursday and Friday nights spent at the Lochsa Lodge.

Full trip with Powell Campground Lodging: $295 - this cost covers all meals and the Saturday raft trip, with Thursday and Friday nights spent at the Powell Campground (bring your own camping equipment).

Thursday Dinner and Raft Trip: $150 - this cost covers dinner on Thursday and the Saturday raft trip. You cover your own lodging and food costs for the rest of the trip.


Register below by clicking on "Selway Bitterroot Adventure".  Contact Heather MacSlarrow with any questions.  

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The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is a non-profit, charitable organization under the 501 (c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code.