Geocaching while Hiking

If you’re looking for a fun activity to add to your hikes, geocaching might be the perfect choice. Many local parks and hiking trails around Vancouver and throughout the region have geocaches hidden along the trails, offering a sort of treasure hunt as you are out exploring. It’s a popular activity for all ages.

What Is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game that uses GPS technology to locate hidden “caches” or containers filled with trinkets and treasures. Participants use smartphone apps to navigate to specific coordinates where they will find hidden caches containing logbooks, trinkets, coins, or other small items. Once found, participants sign the logbook as proof of their discovery and mark it as “found” on their app before hiding the cache back in its original spot.  

It’s a great way to explore nature, learn about your local surroundings, and have a little bit of friendly competition with your family.

Are There Geocaches around Vancouver?

Yes, there are lots! Geocaches are hidden throughout the city, in urban areas, in parks, and even along many local hiking trails.

Geocache Locations in the Mount Seymour area.

There are rules to where Geocaches can be hidden, so you should not expect any to be hidden on private property and you should not be searching on someone’s property. Geocaches are not hidden indoors either as GPS technology does not work inside buildings.

In addition to being fun, geocaching can also be educational and take you to places you would not normally visit. With so many parks and trails in Vancouver, there are plenty of opportunities for geocachers of all ages to get out and explore!

How To Get Started With Geocaching

The first step to finding caches near you is to download the App from The app allows users to search for caches by location or difficulty level and gives alerts when you get close to a geocache as well as helpful clues. You will need to ensure that you have your phone’s GPS and location services enabled for the Geocaching App in order for it to help you find the caches. Once you’ve found a Geocache, you can mark it as found in the app, keeping track of your progress.

Many of Vancouver’s hiking trails do not have cell phone access, so the Geocaching App has a feature where you can Save cache locations offline. It’s best to create a List, so if you’re planning a hike, say to Dog Mountain, you can create a “Dog Mountain” List and save all of the caches nearby into that List. Then when you do your hike, you’ll be able to navigated to the geocache and see the descriptions, hints, and logs.

Make sure to put the geocache back where you found it so the next person looking for the cache can enjoy finding it too.

Free vs Paid Account

The geocaching app is free but some of the geocaches will be “greyed out” on the map, meaning you will need to sign up for the Premium Paid account to see the locations and hints for these caches. As of 2024, the Paid Account is about $40 US per year or $7 US per month, which is fairly reasonable if you enjoy the activity.

If there’s a time when you plan to be outside with the family often or maybe on a road trip, it might be worth subscribing to the Premium version for that period of time. You’ll be surprised that many “rest stops” and tourist attractions have caches hidden nearby, which can often be a fun incentive to break up the long drives on road trips. On a road trip through the Rocky Mountains, we discovered many geocaches at very cool points of interest, which were spots we may not have stopped at had there not been a geocache.

Geocaches at Norvan Falls
An example of Premium Geocaches. These are located near Norvan Falls.

All in all, geocaching is a fun way for families to explore nature together while learning about their environment at the same time. With so many different levels of difficulty available there’s something for everyone from beginner level hikers all the way up experienced adventurers! So why not give it a try?

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