Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
The “epic” in the name “Osberg Ridgeline Epic” comes from at least three aspects: 1) The epic length of this full-day point-to-point route 2) The epic singletrack winding through the massive mountains and 3) The epic views from the above-treeline ridge! Despite requiring a significant shuttle from downtown Ketchum to reach the trail’s starting point, this route still requires over 3,000 feet of uphill pedaling.
That 3,000 feet of climbing gets you 5,500 feet of descending, along with a sweet 15-mile ridge traverse with the epic views this trail is renowned for! The views from the top feel like they’ll never end as you pedal around one bald corner and then another, with mountain ridges marching off into the distance until they slowly fade from view.
The views wouldn’t be nearly as pervasive without a recent wildfire that decimated the forest throughout this area.
As you pedal through blackened tree trunks, a sea of brilliant wildflowers will keep the atmosphere from being too depressing.
Overall the singletrack around Ketchum is buff and flowy, with technical obstacles few and far between.
That said, the Osberg Ridgeline trail throws one or two steep, techy descents at you.
In fact, Osberg is home to one of the few moderately technical stretches of trail in the greater Sun Valley area… but don’t let that keep you from riding your hardtail, as it will serve you well on 90% of this trail.
Once the singletrack drops off the top of the mountain, it descends quickly into a narrow valley that was protected from the wildfire.
Here, old growth pines tower high above, providing a welcome respite from the sometimes-brutal Sun Valley sun.
A few different options exist to finish the Osberg Epic and return to Ketchum—some more difficult than others.
Depending on how you’re feeling at this point, you can tailor the difficulty of trail to your fitness level, or pop out onto the highway and coast back to town.