Basque and French shepherds in California’s White Mountains built dry stone shelters that persist today. Despite French names carved on logs associated with a few of these structures, the typical pattern for these shelters is Basque: they closely resemble the cabañas pastoriles (shepherd’s huts) of Bizkaia. A square floor plan with walls about one meter high enclose a single chamber. The stone work is carefully laid to make one wall face. A narrow doorway, often in a corner, faces downhill in any direction except west and can be flanked by low stone “spurs”. A fireplace is usually built into the south wall. Boulders too large to move are usually in the western wall or northwest corner. Metal, glass, wood, bone or leather artifacts are present. Typically Basque arborglyphs (carvings in aspen trees) are found nearby at lower elevations. It is unclear whether the White Mountains shelters originally had roofs.
Wing, Michael R.; Wing, Elizabeth H.; and Al-Jamal, Amin M.
"The Distinctively Basque Stone Shelters of California’s White Mountains,"
BOGA: Basque Studies Consortium Journal: Vol. 9
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/boga/vol9/iss1/4