3 days in Ketchum - recommendations on best way to spend it- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    3 days in Ketchum - recommendations on best way to spend it

    The beginning of Aug a small group of my buddies and I will be coming to the Sun Valley/Ketchum area for 3 full days of riding. This is our first time mountain biking here, so we are looking for the best way to spend it.

    All of us are upper intermediate to advanced riders and prefer XC/trail style riding (as opposed to only gravity flow and jumps). A couple of the guys are coming from sea level, so any sort of shuttle or lift assist could be helpful in maintaining the fun factor. We would also be up for a dedicated lift day as well.

    So with that info, what would our three best days of riding look like? We won't venture to Stanley...we plan to stay in the Ketchum area. What are the must hit trails or loops?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    There are a lot of great rides in the area. The beginning of August can get hot and dry, so an early start is helpful. The only lift serve is Bald mountain. Sturtevants has a shuttle service for various rides. They'd be a great source for current trail conditions and suggestions as well. My choice for having work done is Idaho Cycles. Mark Carnes is the owner and mechanic. He is very passionate and a great mechanic. He has rentals as well.

    Since you aren't interested in the Stanley area, I would at least venture off to Galena lodge for a full day of riding. You could honestly ride 3 days there and have a blast. There is a lodge with beer and food and a variety of trails. Very laid back and casual. You can take it easy on Senate meadows, Cemetary Loop, lodge loop, and/or get on some longer trails. Psycho Ridge is fun. Don't be scared by the name, it's not hard. Spring Creek Downhill is a blast. Rip and Tear will satisfy your Berm needs. You could ride a variety of loops in a day, break at the lodge, and head back out for more trails. Galena is a 25-minute drive from Ketchum. Well worth the drive.

    Many people love the Osberg trail. You can shuttle to make it easier but it is still a lot of elevation gain and a big day. The views are insane. Very remote.

    Adams Gulch is close to town and offers a variety of loops. Forbidden Fruit gives you both XC and some flow. Nothing extreme. Shadyside to Citizens is a lot of fun.

    If you want a quick warm-up ride, Corral Creek is fun and very close to Sun Valley. It could be a good evening ride on arrival day.

    Heading south, Greenhorn Gulch is a fun trailhead. Greenhorn to Imperial Gulch is a classic. Lodgepole trail is also very fun. I'd avoid the mid-section of Mahoney and just do Lodgepole as an out-back.

    Further south in Hailey are the Croy Creek trails. These trails don't get the attention they deserve. They are a sage desert ride, so hot that time of year but fun. If you ride there, I would suggest parking at the main trailhead, take the Bullion Connector trail to Bullion Gulch road (If you want an easier climb, ride up the road to Bullion Gulch and up that to the trail) head up about 1/2 mile take a right on Bulldog, climb about 2 miles then downhill, right onto Centerline, Right onto Wilsons and then keep right to get back to the trailhead. About a 1.5 hour ride on smooth, fast singletrack.

    So many of the trails here can be linked into epics with a lot of elevation if that is what you are after. I'm more of the 6-12 miles at a time type of rider. I haven't done it, but an e-bike adventure could be amazing here. Feel free to ask specifics if you need more info on the area. Have fun. Trailforks works well for me to navigate.

    Here is a site to check out most of the local trails.

    https://summertrailink.bcrd.org/
    Last edited by Idawho; 06-18-2020 at 01:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    dang Idawho, that's a super solid list of recommendations. Thanks for taking the time to type that up. I was actually interested in learning a little bit more about the Galena lodge area. I know it's there and I've heard it's fun but that's it. Maybe we will do a day trip there...that could be cool. As far as the rest of your recommendations, I'll take some time and do some research on all of those and hit you up with any questions. Thank you.

  4. #4
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    I wanted to update a little for you. It looks like many of the Bald Mountain trails are closed this summer and I'm not sure if the lift is running. You may want to call them if that is on your list.

    If you go out Croy, I said take Bulldog. That is an old name. It still says it in Trailforks, but many others will say Two Dog. I also said take a right on Centerline. That is really fun but so is continuing straight on Two Dog then up a short hill to Wilsons. They are all fun and you can link them up to suit your needs.

    I recently went on a great ride. Out lower Oregon gulch, left onto Fox Connector, Left onto Chocolate Gulch, and left onto saddle trail which takes you back to Trailhead. The climb was hard and steep in many sections. There are definitely sections of extended bike-pushing (more than I'd like) but the adventure and downhill were worth it for me. 2500ft gain, 12 miles, singletrack, about 2.5 hours.

    In general, if you are into the x-country adventure vibe, Sun Valley will be a lot of fun. There are so many rides here that I haven't explored. Hopefully, others will give you some advice that I can also use. The bike shops will be helpful as well. One word of caution though....Many of the locals are deceptively fit regardless of age. Their "not too bad" can be an epic ride for my cardio. YMMV

    Please repost here after your trip. I'd be interested in what rides you did and what you thought of them.

  5. #5
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    3 days in Ketchum - recommendations on best way to spend it

    Based on recommendations in the sticky at the top that I posted this same question in, here's what we did with our 3 1/2 days in Ketchum:

    Wednesday PM: A couple little warm up rides while waiting for my buddy to arrive and the rains to clear, then
    Up and back Eve's Gulch with Serpent and Forbidden Fruit added in on the descent. long climb in good tree cover. Super fun descent.
    ThursdayAM: Green Horn to Imperial Gulch: More exposed climbing but still nicely graded and rocking fun descent
    Thursday PM: Oregon Gulch (shuttled up East fork baker creek road after dropping my buddy's car at the bottom) Wow. three inches of newly fallen hail made it extra crazy.
    Friday AM: Flat tire on the truck so dropped it at Ed Schwabb's in Hailey then did Croy Creek. Nicely built trails. Some xc stuff, some flow trail stuff. I wouldn't have chosen it but I'd do it again.'
    Friday PM: Shuttled Curly's. Wahoo! Short but steep 3 miles and 2400' of descent.
    Saturday AM: Pioneer Cabin/Johnstone/Bear/Parker. Big ride but some beautiful country and ripping fun descents.
    Saturday PM: Shuttled Osberg Ridge to Alden Gulch. Think backcountry raw flow trail. Really enjoyed this.

    Great trip. Looking forward to going again.
    Last edited by KRob; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:30 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Hey guys, the trip is still ago. I appreciate the new feedback and info. I was actually passing through Sun Valley a couple weeks ago and stopped in a bike shop to get the latest info. Sounds like you are right and the lifts will be closed all summer. That changes at least one day of plans, so we modified the trip a little bit. Now we will stay two nights in Ketchum and two nights at a yurt in Galena Lodge. So here this week, I plan on pulling out a map and kind of making sense of all the recommendations based on where we are staying which nights. We will only have one vehicle, so we may rely on a shuttle day or two through one of the shops in town. Can't wait!

  7. #7
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    If we shuttle Osberg Ridge from a shop in town, what's the best way to get back to town? Would we want to descend Curly's and have a car waiting for us. Or split off at Adam's Gulch and take that back?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoy View Post
    If we shuttle Osberg Ridge from a shop in town, what's the best way to get back to town? Would we want to descend Curly's and have a car waiting for us. Or split off at Adam's Gulch and take that back?
    The ride back into town would be a little more doable if you do Curly's, but I think I would drop a car with whichever one you choose. Both good descents. There's about 1.5 miles of up and down on Osberg's Ridge to get to the start of Alden Gulch and the Alden Gulch trail is longer and more of a raw flow trail (berms, table jumps etc) where as Curly's is more typical back country steep and fun descending.

    We liked them both.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  9. #9
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    The classic Osberg shuttle is Osberg to Adams. From Adams Gulch TH, it's a short ride on low traffic neighborhood road and then about 1.5 miles on a paved bike path back to Ketchum.

    Osberg to Oregon Gulch is very good riding as well. You can link into the fox trails to Adams Or pop out at Oregon TH or take Harriman back to East Fork

    I might be wrong but I think people that are doing Osberg to Curlys are typically riding back to Baker Creek to make it a loop.

    I think if you are paying for a shuttle to East Fork, you'd want the best bang for your buck and ride all the way back into town via Adam's Gulch. (Osberg, Adam's Rib, Harpers, Adams Lake Cr. Connector) Ask the shuttle company what they suggest, perhaps there's a better variation.

  10. #10
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    Last summer I rode Osberg Ridge from town and came back down Adams which made for an easy ride back into town; fun day in the saddle. Loved the ride it is a great trail and definitely out there so even if you shuttle be prepared as it's a backcountry ride. Didn't see anyone else out there on the trail until we got closer to Ketchum. Have fun!

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