Nevada recreation at its best
To many people it may come as a surprise to learn the area around Battle Mountain offers a wide variety of Nevada recreation opportunities. Travelers on Interstate 80, looking at the mountains surrounding Battle Mountain, have a difficult time imagining any opportunity for Nevada Recreation. But this area is actually one of the best kept secrets for Nevada Recreation.
As the gateway to unparalleled Nevada Recreation, Battle Mountain is an adrenaline addicts dream. Theres year-round access to vast public lands where adventurers can hike, mountain bike, camp, explore, hunt and fish without ever seeing another soul. The abundance of wildlife is incredible, and theres plenty of rough terrain to challenge the toughest of extreme sports enthusiasts. This is wide-open Nevada Recreation that welcomes all serious outdoorsmen with its unspoiled terrain and natural beauty.
For travelers looking for new country to explore, or outdoorsmen and extreme sportsmen needing to fill their thirst for Nevada Recreation, Battle Mountain is a great destination. The natural beauty and abundance of wildlife is incredible. Backpacking, hiking, camping and mountain biking are a few of the many things Nevada Recreation enthusiasts can enjoy. The only question we have for you is, "Are you tough enough?"
Copper Basin Mountain Bike Trail [ photos ]
The Copper Basin Mountain Bike Trail is located west of Highway 305 about 2.75 miles south of the town of Battle Mountain and Interstate 80. The trail system is marked with brown signs and offers a variety of technical and aerobic challenges on a combination of single and double track trails. Steep climbs and fast, technical descents wind through historic mining areas, sagebrush covered canyons and rocky ridge tops in the northern Battle Mountain Range.
A Copper Basin Mountain Bike Trail brochure is available at the Bureau of Land Management, Battle Mountain Field Office located at 50 Bastian Road or click here. The brochure contains a detailed map with complete descriptions of each of the three trails including length, skill level, elevation gain, technical level and trail type distances.
Pony Express Mountain Bike Loop
Near Austin, beginning riders can cut their teeth on the Pony Express Loop, a 10 mile track that follows a section of the Pony Express Trail through Emigrant Pass. A few of the climbs may challenge beginners a bit, but overall the course is accessible by all riders.
Advanced riders may want to try their skills by biking the Crest Cut-Off trail near Austin. The trail is a challenge, and there are many steep technical sections that may have even experienced riders walking the bike a few sections. The trail crests at 8,934 feet, then begins the decent through Dry Canyon and along the return trail to Austin.
It's impossible to mention all the fantastic mountain biking opportunities in Lander County. Just look up and around you- almost any desert hillside will have trails ready for your wheels.
Willow Creek Ponds [ photos ]
About 22 miles Southwest of Battle Mountain lies a little of what makes the outdoors great. Like most Northern Nevada treasures you have to get back into a canyon to find it but it's worth it a look.
The area, known as Willow Creek Ponds, has been providing fishing and recreation for locals for many years. The two existing man-made ponds are the direct result of Nevada's rich mining history. Three original ponds were created for use in a dredge gold mining operation that ran in the 1950s. The workers of this mine packed off more gold than the mine could get to market so the property could not turn a profit and was sold. This property would eventually evolve into the Battle Mountain Gold Company.
The two smaller ponds were washed out over the years but the mine maintained the remaining pond and it turned out to be a great little fishing hole. Battle Mountain Gold added a new dam in the mid-eighties to provide water for a placer gold project they were testing out. The project didn't last long but the effort provided Battle Mountain residents with yet another nearby recreational body of water. The new pond is not really big enough for boats unless they're small enough to carry in, but it's great for float tubes and the fish love it.
To get to Willow Creek head South on State Route 305 from Battle Mountain. Turn right at the Copper Canyon/Buffalo Valley turnoff. When the road forks take another right and head toward the Independence Mine. At the next turn, continue on toward Independence. Just stay on the main gravel road from there and your all set. When you see a picnic area on your right you've made it to the old pond. Continue down the road a little farther to check out the Battle Mountain Gold Addition.
Mill Creek Canyon [ photos ]
Mill Creek Canyon contains an established campground with picnic areas complete with tables and barbecues. There are restrooms and a nice parking area to round out the list of practical amenities. Mill Creek Canyon has interesting history. The site of the present BLM monitored campground was originally a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps workstation campground. Though the creek still runs, the locals can remember when there used to be a swimming hole.
The road up the canyon was built in the 1950s as a haul road for the Greystone Barite Mine, which is still in operation further up the hill. Those who travel farther up this road will find a few interesting sights along the way. There is a hiking trail that heads down the mountain and crosses the creek. Area Shoshone Indians used this trail, which may have even more ancient origin.
Mill Creek Canyon is full of surprises and is rich in history. Interested travelers can stop by the Battle Mountain Chamber of Commerce, 625 S. Broad St., for more information about the early days of Mill Creek Canyon.
Ghost town of Galena [ photos ]
Scattered among the collapsed buildings, new and old, graveyard and the years of history stood the old mining town once rich with life and opportunities.
In 1863 the original silver, gold, and lead discoveries were made and the first camp was formed three years later. One hundred residents lived in Galena by 1868 and two years later the town was platted. The streets were soon crowded with stores, saloons, a town hall and a town watering system. Galena by this time had a greater population than it's neighboring Battle Mountain. With a population of several hundred Galena was in serious competition with Winnemucca for the Humboldt County seat, but when the Galena range area was ceded to Lander County in 1874, seat dreams were shelved, because it was in the same county as Austin, an even richer and larger town.
In1871 Galena opened its first post office, which was run by B.F. Blossom for 12 years. With population rise of 250 people, 100 being miners, the town now supported two hotels, four mercantile stores and two stage lines, Tuller and Cluggade and the Flippini which cost $3 each way, running from Galena to Battle Mountain.
During the early and mid-1870s mining increased, but by the early 1880s mining activities slowed dramatically. The 1881 census showed 348 residents, despite the reduction of activity, in the town of galena. After a huge fire burned the mill and assay lab in September of 1889, Galena's mining activity ended until World War I. The post office remained opened till Nov. 15, 1907, until the town faded too much to warrant it.
Three mining companies worked Galena canyon beginning in the 1910s and running through 1920s. Since then there have been only two resurrections, one shortly before World War II and the other in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The last residents of Galena Canyon sold their land to a local mining company and moved out in the late 1990s.
Today Galena is a quiet ghost town with remains of its prosperous past scattered throughout the canyon. For anyone wanting to visit and take pictures of an old mining town, Galena Canyon can be located 10 miles south of Battle Mountain on State Highway 305, turn right following the dirt road for three miles to Galena Canyon.
Lewis Canyon [ photos ]
Among Northern Nevada's greatest assets are its beautiful, rugged mountain ranges. Explorers who have taken an interest in their beauty have often been treated to little secrets that lie hidden in those deep canyons. From the town of Battle Mountain, most people would never suspect that within 25 minutes they could be walking under a canopy of trees and watching their footing on moss covered rocks.
In the spirit of a true desert oasis, Lewis Canyon lies hidden only 13 miles south of town. A small outcropping of tree marks the mouth of the canyon and a well-maintained gravel road lends testament to the canyon's importance to the locals. Battle Mountain residents have been escaping to Lewis Canyon since before there was a Battle Mountain to be a resident of.
The current road is a good enough to allow access to anyone, although it is narrow enough that oncoming traffic is a concern. In the bottom half of the canyon there are picnic areas and trees to allow visitors to enjoy the stream that flows throw the area.
The change in surroundings is guaranteed to take 10 degrees off the ambient temperature of a hot summer day.
Unless you are in the mood and prepared for some four-wheeling it is recommended that you not go past the third big outcropping of trees. If, however, you are an adventurer the road continues and there are a couple of places to end up while staying firmly on the beaten path. While it's not exactly breaking new ground, the beaten path in most Lander County areas can be full of more than enough heart-stopping thrills to accommodate even the bravest of adventurers.
If you explore to the left you can end up in Hilltop Canyon (Crumb Canyon) just below "Tubing Hill." Tubing Hill is a favorite winter destination of many Battle Mountain residents. A more direct approach may be a better idea in snowy tubing weather but in the summer, this is much more fun.
Whichever route you choose be sure to watch for critters. The cool mountain terrain is home to many forms of wild life, and in this case some not so wild life as well. It is not uncommon to run into cattle and even sheep in your travels. Other animals that can be seen include mule deer, jack rabbits, ground squirrels, coyotes, mountains lions, rock chucks and snakes to name a few. Fortunately, most of these little critters keep to themselves. They're elusive to say the least in most cases and it takes an alert eye to pick them out.
To get to Lewis Canyon you need to get pointed south on the State Route 305 overpass in Battle Mountain. Take a left at the bottom of the overpass. Follow that road out until you pass a little ranch on your right. The road forks just past the ranch. Take a left and keep going until you get to trees. From there, just go where the road takes you and enjoy one of Lander County's best canyons.
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Entertainment & Outdoor Nevada Recreation
Mountain View Golf Course
One mile south on Highway 305
Nine-hole course and club house.
Copper Basin Mountain Bike Trail
Highway 305 (2.75 miles south)
Battle Mountain Swimming Pool
560 Altenburg Ave.
75’ x 45’ 9’ deep outdoor pool, separate children's wading pool –approximately 20 x 10, dressing rooms and showers.
Battle Mountain Rodeo Grounds
Arena, covered grandstands, concession stand, restrooms and fifty open stalls.
561 Altenburg Ave.
Covered areas, picnic tables, barbecues, volleyball and playground.
North Reese Street
Covered area, picnic tables, barbecues, horseshoes and playground.
Spring Canyon Park
E. Antelope & Bryson
Covered area, picnic tables, barbecues and playground.
Covered area, picnic tables, barbecues, volleyball, basketball and playground.
Mill Creek Camp Ground
25 Miles South on State Route 305
Camping, hiking, fishing, picnic, restrooms and fire pits.
Willow Creek Fishing Ponds
About twenty miles south of Battle Mountain
Thirteen miles south of Battle Mountain
Battle Mountain Sports Complex
2-tennis courts-lighted, skate park, baseball fields-lighted, restrooms and concession stand, (plans for 04-05, 2-200 x 300’ soccer fields-lighted, and a fastpitch ballfield).
RCA flying field-Sage Trimmers
Remote control airplane flying field) bleachers, suncovers on pit area.
Gun Range-Lander Gun Club
Pistol and rifle range out to 300 yards, three trap layouts.
ATV/Moto Cross Track
Airport Frontage Road
Battle Mountain Race Track
IMCA sanctioned Circle Track. Dirt track, lighted, grandstands, restrooms and concession stands.