Pine Nut Gathering
Gathering pinyon pine nuts is a wonderful way to experience the fall bounty of Great Basin National Park. The singleaf pinyon, Pinus monophylla, is an abundant tree found in mixed stands with Utah juniper between 6,000 and 9,000 feet. It is the only species of pine on the continent with single needles.
The nuts produced by these pines are delicious and nutritious. They have been important to Native Americans and animals for millenia. The pine nuts commonly purchased in gourmet food stores are typically those of the Colorado pinyon, but the nuts of the singleleaf pinyon are equally tasty.
Gathering pine nuts within Great Basin National Park is allowed in the fall only, and subject to the following regulations. The goal is to ensure that impact to the park is minimized and that plenty of nuts remain for Clark's nutcrackers, pinyon jays, and ground squirrels.
Did You Know?
Many of Great Basin National Park's bristlecone pines were growing at the time the Egyptians were building the pyramids. Not only are the trees themselves old, but the needles alone can be 25-40 yrs old!