What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a GPS unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is leave something for the cache if they take something from the location.

Geocaching Regulations

Terms Defined

  • Geocaching is an adventure game for users of GPS devices whereby individuals and organizations set up geocaches and share the locations of these geocaches on the internet. Other users of GPS devices then use such location coordinates to find the geocaches. Once found, a geocache may provide the finder with a variety of rewards. The finder often is asked to leave something for the geocache.
  • A GPS receiver is an electronic device that can determine approximate locations on the planet using the federal satellite Global Positioning System.

Geocache Permits

  • Placement

    Placement of a geocache on District property must be preceded by the securing of a Special Use Permit. (Recreation Area Geocache Permit, App K.1 (online form only), Manual of Standard Forms (Appendix E)). District property allowing the permitted placement of geocaches includes Park and Recreation Areas, Management Areas, Conservation Corridors and Wildlife Management Areas. Permits may be obtained on-line at papionrd.org.

    Obtain a permit online

  • Valid Information

    The applicant for a permit must provide a valid address, telephone number, e-mail address, vehicle license number, driver’s license number, coordinates of the desired cache location, description of the cache container, and the web site address(es) on which the geocache location will be posted.

  • Permit Length

  • All permits will be in effect for a calendar year. A new permit will need to be applied for and authorized each calendar year. If during the effective period of a permit, a permit holder wants to change the location of a geocache, a new permit must be issued and the effective permit cancelled.
  • After Expiration of a Permit

    Upon the expiration of a permit, the permit holder is responsible for removing the geocache and for deleting the geocache location from all web sites and any other information sources. If the permit holder fails to remove the geocache, it will be removed by District staff and held for ten (10) days after which staff will dispose of the geocache and its contents. Confiscation and disposal by staff will be recorded and filed.

Geocache Containers and Contents

  • Geocache containers must be approved by the District.
  • Geocache containers must be non-breakable, waterproof and have some form of latch or other closing mechanism to prohibit content exposure to wildlife.
  • Geocache containers must be marked “Geocache Container” on the outside of the container.
  • Geocache may not contain inappropriate or dangerous items, such as food, medications, personal/hygiene products, pornography that even includes any written or typed notes containing links to adult websites such as Sex Tube V for example. No weapons of any type. Log books are encouraged in lieu of exchange items.
  • All geocaches are subject to random inspection by District staff, which may immediately remove any item held in a geocache deemed unacceptable.
  • Non-permitted geocaches will be removed by District staff and held for 30 days. An attempt will be made to locate the geocache owner. If the geocache is not claimed in 30 days, staff will dispose of the geocache container and contents.

Geocache Locations

  • The location of a geocache must be pre-approved by NRD Staff.
  • Physical geocaches are prohibited inside, or attached to, any District facility or structure.
  • Geocaches may not be placed in locations that may lead to the creation of spur trails.
  • Geocaches may not be placed in dangerous, inappropriate, or protected areas and habitats, on cliffs, underground or underwater.
  • No digging is permitted. Geocaches cannot be buried, nor may soil, vegetation or stones be disturbed to place a geocache.
  • It’s up to the geocache owner to periodically inspect the cache and the area to ensure that its impact on the area is minimal, if not non-existent.


  • The use of metal detectors in geocache searches is expressly prohibited.
  • If geocaching activities as a whole are found to have negative impact on park resources, or if safety becomes an issue in geocache searches, the General Manager, or NRD Staff may ban geocaching from certain areas of District property.
  • Failure to comply with District guidelines will result in the revocation of effective geocaching permits. Continued failure to comply with these guidelines will prevent the issuance of any further geocaching permits to the non-compliant group or individual.
  • All individuals participating in geocaching must park in designated parking lots. No off road parking is allowed.

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