Battle Mountain is a prominent hill in the Hoback River Canyon of Sublette County, Wyoming. It is located at the junction of Granite Creek (draining the Gros Ventre mountains from the north) and the Hoback River.
The name of this hill is a total misnomer - it is based on huge exaggeration of an incident which occurred in the area in 1895. A posse of men from Jackson Hole was attempting to arrest a small group of Bannock tribespeople for violating game laws. There was no battle - it was a roundup and arrest. The details can be found The Sublette County Journal article cited below. Of more interest is the history of the John Jacob Astor land expedition, which passed through this river canyon in 1812 guided by the namesake of the river, trapper John Hoback.
Although this hill is so close, and seemingly almost contiguous with the Gros Ventre Mountains, it seems to be geologically related to the Wyoming range south of the river. It is a known marker to geologists of "... the leading edge, or eastern margin, of the Wyoming overthrust belt." (Lageson and Spearing, 1988). Battle Mountain is said to be composed of Jurassic age Nugget formation sandstone, seen best on its cliffy east face.
I've passed this landmark many times, I didn't seriously consider it until I was visiting the area during a period of major trail closures due to wildfire. It was a good consolation prize, and takes an hour or less to visit the summit from the road.
This hill is obvious - it is directly adjacent to state highway 189 in the Hoback River corridor. From Jackson, Wyoming: go south on state highway 191 for about 12 miles, and turn left (east) on 189. Park at the Shoal Creek trailhead parking area right by the highway.
I recommend following the south ridge along the cliffy east face. Cross the Hoback River and park at the Shoal Creek trailhead. Alternatively, walk here from the Kozy campground (behind the prominent tree in the photo below).
starting point for Battle Mountain hike
Go through the gate and immediately turn left, following the barbed wire fence, which will take you through a patch of deadfall forest to the base of the hill. The Hoback River will be seen in openings on your left (south) as well as the traffic noise from the highway.
follow the barbed wire fence to get through the dense deadfall
The route is straight uphill, as seen in the photo above. A register was found in the small summit cairn signed and evidently placed by a single hiker on 20 June 2014.
the Kozy campground is seen adjacent to the river on left side of photo
go up the sagebrush slope as the fence veers away
nice view of the Gros Ventre range with Battle Mt cliff face
Red TapeThere is no red tape that I know of. This is bear country - take normal precautions.
When to ClimbAs the Battle Mountain route trailhead is immediately adjacent to a paved year-round highway, it should be possible to climb it year round. Note that the Shoal Creek trailhead parking area may be covered in deep snow.
The Kozy campground (US Forest Service, Teton National Forest) is short walk east from Battle Mountain. It is the most convenient place - it took me 55 minutes walking from a campsite there to the summit. There is another USFS campground further down (west) the river canyon, as well as the Granite Creek campground and dispersed camping to the north along Forest Road 30500. Note that camping is limited to developed (fee) campgrounds in much of the Hoback River canyon. This is bear country - follow the food storage rules and precautions.
CITATIONSRoadside Geology of Wyoming 2nd edition (1991) David R. Lageson and Darwin R. Spearing. Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana.
"The Misnaming of Battle Mountain - Hoback Canyon, 1895" by Judy Myers in The Sublette County Journal. Volume 2, number 25, July 17 1998 (I found this article online).