Road to Paradise

The road between the Magruder and Paradise guard stations was impassible last year due to nearly 60 avalanches that dropped all sorts of debris on the roadway. Up to four bear hunters are missing after their vehicle flipped into the river near Paradise guard station, according to reports. 

Four people are missing after a Chevrolet Suburban flipped upside down into the fast-moving Selway River in Idaho early Monday, according to Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton.

The accident occurred about 50 miles west of Darby in a remote portion of Idaho County south of Paradise Campground on the Bitterroot National Forest.

Ravalli County deputies responded along with volunteeers for Ravalli County Search and Rescue because the accident was inaccessible to first responders in Idaho due to deep snow.

“Idaho County asked us to help,” Holton said. “There was no way for them to get there.”

Helicopters from Two Bear Air and Lifeflight also responded.

An Idaho County sheriff’s department spokesperson said the people in the vehicle were on their way to check a bear bait when the accident occurred. The people were hunting with a Ravalli County outfitter.

The vehicle rolled on its top into a whitewater rapids, the spokesperson said. Two people were able to get safely to shore, but the other occupants were unaccounted for as of Tuesday morning. 

Two Bear Air used its thermal imaging capabilities in an attempt to find the missing hunters, but was not successful.

Due to high and fast water conditions, authorities said it wasn't safe to attempt to remove the vehicle to check for the other occupants.

Idaho’s Clearwater County Back Country helicopter and Idaho County sheriff’s office and search and rescue volunteers will continue searching for the other occupants.

The names of the missing have not been released pending notification of their families.

Holton said none of the vehicle’s occupants was from Ravalli County.

There is still quite a lot of snow on many backcountry roads, Holton said.

“It’s can be really wet and slick,” he said. “And backcountry driving is best left for another month or two.”