Trip 116 - August 13, 2016 (Saturday)

Battleship Mountain Trail Hike

Near Hudson's Hope BC


Trailhead Location:
Northeastern British Columbia, approximately 55 km West of Hudson's Hope.

Liked: Shade in the forest, almost no bugs (except at the peak), several good mountain and lake views.

Of note: Access road has few potholes but lots of loose and slippery gravel (watch out when cornering); there are several long steep stretches - hiking boots and poles are highly recommended; the final ascent to the peak is very steep and is for experienced hikers only - hiking poles and boots would be essential; the trail is slightly overgrown with stinging plants in some places - long pants are recommended; there are signs of logging activity along the access road.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Battleship Mountain Coordinates: Page 65 (Hudson's Hope) D6. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Other trips in Hudson's Hope Area: Bullhead Mountain Trail Hike, W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visit, Butler Ridge Hiking Trail.



The directions to Battleship Mountain trail are as follows: get to the town of Hudson's Hope on BC Highway 29 between Chetwynd and Fort St. John. Follow signs to WAC Bennett dam, which means driving on Canyon Drive for 20 kilometers. Go past the dam Security gate (guards will record your vehicle's license plate and your driver's license information). Go past the turnoff to the dam visitor center and then make two consecutive right turns to get to the dam. Cross the dam. Four kilometers past the dam Security gate starts Utah Road. Six and a half kilometers later keep straight at the intersection (the road is now called Table Rd). Just under two and a half kilometers later, make a sharp right turn onto Johnson Road. Drive 23.4 kilometers on Johnson Road to the trailhead, which will be 1.3 km past Carbon Lake recreation site. Or, according to a brochure provided by Hudson's Hope visitor centre, you can take Johnson Road from Highway 29 and arrive to the trailhead 64 kilometers later, but we did not test that route. 

***Somehow, our trip to the trailhead from the beginning of Utah Rd took 32.3 km, while return trip took only 29.8 km. To complicate the matters, the hiking trails brochure from the Hudson's Hope Visitor Centre states that it takes 28 km upon turning onto Johnson Road to reach the trailhead, which would make the total distance from the dam road almost 37 km. However, as long as you remember to keep straight when Utah Rd becomes Table Rd, and make a sharp right turn when Table Rd meets Johnson Rd, you will find the trailhead.

1. We start with the turnoff to Utah Rd from the road which took us across the WAC Bennett dam. The sign by the turnoff indicates that this is the way to Carbon Lake and Battleship Mountain. The photo below is taken from the same point as photo #25 in WAC Bennett dam trip report. Please, see that trip report for directions up to this point.

2. Now we are on Utah Road.


Utah Road near Hudson's Hope BC Canada

3. Keep going straight at the split at 6.5 km mark, seen below. You would be driving on Table Road after the split.


Utah Road at Table Road near Hudson's Hope British Columbia

4. Make a sharp right turn onto Johnson Road 2.4 kilometers later.


Table Road at Johnson Road near Hudson's Hope BC Canada

5. Drive for over 20 km on Johnson Road, and you would reach Carbon Lake Recreation Site.


Johnson Road at Carbon Lake Recreation Site near Hudson's Hope British Columbia

6. There is a short steep road to the recreation site, which is very small, but has a good lake view.


Carbon Lake near Hudson's Hope British Columbia

7. Now this is for certain: 1.3 km after Carbon Lake Recreation Site is Battleship Mountain trailhead, with parking space available by the sign. Coordinates: N 55'57'308 W 122'35'893. Elevation: 925 meters.


Johnson Road at Battleship Mountain trailhead

8. Off we go.


Battleship Mountain trail near Hudson's Hope BC Canada

9. Lots of shade in the forest, which was good on this warm day.


Battleship Mountain trail

10. The trail is a bit overgrown in some parts, however, with stinging plants waiting to hurt those who did not put their long pants on.


Overgrown Battleship Mountain trail

11. Having survived stinging plants, more than an hour into the hike you get to see this view of one of the Williston Lake arms.


Williston Lake arm seen from Battleship Mountain trail

12. The trail continues.


Battleship Mountain trail in Northeastern British Columbia Canada

13. Half an hour later arrives the first lake. The hiking brochure states that the trail leads to Little Carbon Lake, but there is another lake further on, so we couldn't quite tell which lake was called what, though it is likely that Little Carbon Lake is the second lake.


Lake by Battleship Mountain trail

14. Hike a bit further...


Battleship Mountain trail

15. ...and here is the second lake, with Battleship Mountain now visible too.


Battleship Mountain seen from the second lake by the trail

16. This trail gains altitude quite steadily, with some rather steep stretches. However, along the lakes the trail is mostly flat, giving a welcome break before you emerge out of the woods to this view of the second lake on your left. Coordinates at this important point (because flagging becomes sporadic after this) are N 55'59'159 W 122'36'026. Elevation: 1,522 meters.


Second lake seen from Battleship Mountain trail

17. Now we are looking to the right. The first part of the ridge hike is not too hard.


Battleship Mountain British Columbia Canada

18. There are neat views every now and then.


View from Battleship Mountain trail

19. But, soon, the easy stuff is over, and the real grunt is about to begin. The trouble is that there was no flagging and no obvious way up, as, despite the appearance on the photo below, the mountain is too steep to tackle it head on, so we zig-zagged our way mostly on the right side, but you would need to figure things out as you go. As mentioned above, the final ascent is for experienced, well-equipped hikers only. That's not yet the peak, by the way.


Battleship Mountain near Hudson's Hope British Columbia Canada

20. Found this neat stone in the alpine.


Stone on Battleship Mountain

21. And now the peak is near.


Battleship Mountain

22. Here it is. Coordinates: N 55'59'721 W 122'36'128. Elevation: 1,846 meters. There were hundreds of overly friendly flies at the peak, but, otherwise, the trail was pleasantly almost bug-free.


The peak of Battleship Mountain

23. The views from the peak of Battleship Mountain are hardly spectacular, but not bad either.


View from the peak of Battleship Mountain in Northeastern British Columbia Canada

24. One more.


View from the peak of Battleship Mountain near Hudson's Hope BC Canada

25. And the view of the second lake.


Second lake seen from the top of Battleship Mountain

It took us about 4 hours to get to the top, and close to 2.5 hours to return. While not the greatest hike in the Peace region, Battleship Mountain has some good views, and certainly qualifies as a serious workout.


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