Tag Archives: harvesting pinyon nuts

Harvest Your Own Pine Nuts in Southern Utah!

We are all about adventure here at Zion Adventure Company, and what could be more adventurous than finding your own food? If you know me, I love to complement strenuous Zion activities like mountain biking, canyoneering, and rock climbing with good eating and cooking. And yes, even the desert gives a bountiful harvest this time of year. Autumn marks the Pinyon Pine harvest all over the Southwest U.S. (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico), and we have our very own Pinyons here in Zion. The Zion region is home to the world’s only single-needled pine, pinus monophylla, or simply the Single-leaf Pinyon. It grows from elevations of 4,000 feet to almost 9,000 feet and is found in the dominant Pinyon-Juniper “pygmy” forests in the mesas surrounding Zion. So how do you harvest pine nuts? Well, it definitely takes time and work, but I think it’s a very fun way to explore the forest. First, find an area with more pinyon pines than juniper trees. Pinyons tend to like higher elevations than junipers and often grow in groups. Pinyons start to “cone” in September and October, so you can harvest anytime in those months and sometimes even later in the year. The … Continue reading

Posted in Autumn, Food, Natural History, Plants, Seasonal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments