Battle Mountain derives its economy from mining, ranching and tourism. It offers year round access to vast public lands where
you can hike, camp, hunt, and fish without ever seeing another soul.
To many people it may come as a surprise to learn that the area around Battle Mountain offers a wide variety of hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities. Passers by looking from Interstate 80 at the mountains surrounding Battle Mountain have a difficult time imagining healthy populations
of wildlife existing there. These mountains appear barren from the freeway buit are actually just the opposite once a person
enters the canyons. Most of these canyons have perennial streams or springs. A wide variety of wildlife species utilize this water.
The Native Americans: Here the territories of three separate tribes converged - to the west, the Northern Paiute, to the east, the Western Shoshone, and to the north, the fearsome Bannock.
Fur trappers and explorers: Peter Skeen Ogden and John Work of the Hudson’s Bay Co.; Joseph Walker; and John C. Fremont, all came this way, following the Humboldt River west.
The Early Emigrants: Between 1841 and the discovery of gold in 1848, over 2700 people traveled to California along the Humboldt River; the most notable being the Bartelson-Bidwell Party, the first party of emigrants to make this fearsome trip, with 18-year-old Nancy Kelsey, pregnant and carrying her 6 month old daughter; and the ill fated Donner Party, heading for their date with destiny on the snow-covered Sierra.
The 49ers: Over 200,000 people came through here on their way to California and the gold fields of the Sierra. Stony Point, just north of town, was a famous (notorious) landmark on the trail, and the site of three attacks in 1857 that are the basis for the town’s name.
The Transcontinental Railroad: In 1868 the Central Pacific Railroad, the western half of the Transcontinental railroad that connected Sacramento with Omaha and points east, arrived in Battle Mountain, on the way to meeting the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory Point. For years, the two story, fifty room Capital Hotel in downtown Battle Mountain was a meal stop for the trains, famous for its fine cuisine; and the site of the very first women’s suffrage meeting ever held in Nevada, on July 4, 1870.
Early Aviation: Battle Mountain was a stop on the very first transcontinental air race, held in 1919, one leg of which was won by a flyer from Battle Mountain. In 1929 the first airmail beacons were installed along the Humboldt River and Battle Mountain became an emergency field. In 1931 Amelia Earhart landed here in her Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogyro en route to California just after setting a new world’s altitude record; and during WWII Battle Mountain was a reserve field for the bomber base at Wendover, where the crews trained to drop the atomic bomb.