Not – So Great Wall of the Pine Nuts


Just south of our airpark in Dayton, Nevada, we have a small north-south range of mountains known as the Pine Nuts. Topping out in the neighborhood of 9,000′ msl, they rise about four to five thousand feet above the surrounding terrain. Filled with old mining roads and the debris of lost gold mines, they have been known to white men for well over a century and a half – and used as a refuge and source of food for Native Americans long before that.

Not So Great Wall

I routinely fly over the Pine Nuts on the way to a nearby airpark where we currently have a Dream Tundra project we’re finishing up. Crossing the spine of the mountains, I have noticed a strange unnatural line along the ridge – closer examination shows it to be a rock wall, a mile or two long, interrupted in spots by breaks and rough terrain. Talking to a few old-timers, the only response I have gotten as to why it is there or who built it is “those sheepherders had a lot of time on their hands!” I guess that might be the best explanation, because it certainly wouldn’t keep the Mongol hordes from invading the Carson Valley. Still – that’s an awful lot of work to build something that even a sheep could walk around.

Amazing some of the things you see from the air – and that most humans have no idea are there.

Previous articleBD-Micro – Helping People Perfect the BD-5
Next articleSmoke and Haze
Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


    • This post was from a while ago – we since learned that the wall was actually built by the CCC as a way to separate grazing lands. My thought is still that the CCC had a big gang of guys and no specific project, so they just told them to start piling rocks on the ridge….

      Would love to see a link to the hiking and herding group comments!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.