The Pine Nut Mountains are covered primarily with Pinyon pine at an elevation of 5000-7000 feet. At these heights, you will also find juniper trees. The lower slopes are covered with sage and juniper.
The Pine Nut Mountains are significant throughout history for various reasons. The Washoe tribe of Native Americans used and continue to use the huge quantities of Pinyon pine for nuts which are a staple in their diet. These nuts are collected, roasted, and stored during the fall during the harvest season and then can be used for the remainder of the winter. When silver and gold was discovered in the area, the Pine Nut Mountains were the source of lumber for the construction of buildings and charcoal for the numerous smelters. This depleted many of the collection areas.
In addition to being used by the Washoe for their traditional purposes, the Pine Nut Mountain Range is a favorite location for hiking, hunting and numerous other outdoor activities.