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Best states to geocache in and why


bobcatw98
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I'm curious and want to know what states geocachers consinder the best geocaching states and their reasons for that choice. Of course, we will exclude the fact that it is the state they live in. In other words, tell me where you found the best caches and what made them so interesting.....please.

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I can't say I have an all time favorite state for caching. California is fun except that time of year when the entire states catches on fire. Hawaii is great for year round caching. You just have to look out for the California grass, mud, and mosquitoes. Washington has been fun so far but it is getting cold however I am looking forward to caching in the snow.

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Overall Best for me is Wyoming. The wide variety of terrain and foliage types makes it Interesting and challenging to get around. Makes for Interesting hides around every corner. Also the rural nature of state lends well to the kind of caches I perfer.

 

Close 2nd is Utah for same reasons. I also like many caches in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

 

For the widest possible varity of cache types and terrain types see this list across 3 states including Wyoming see: List

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Well most of our finds are in Washington so we will clearly state that Washington is a great state for caching. Montana has also proven to be a fine local as has Hawaii. Although a lot of travel bugs and coins seem to go missing in Hawaii. :D

 

The more we think about it, every state we have cached in has offered positives. Except for the State of Confusion the The Jester seems to find so appealing. Of course we are also experienced in international caching as well having found a cache in British Columbia, Canada. This lends much more credibility and credence to our opinion, right? :D

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From my own personal experience having cached in roughly 50% of the US states, California takes the prize for interesting locations and varied terrain followed by Nevada, North Carolina and West Virginia.

 

For actual caches (size, swag, creativity) it's Texas, NEVADA, New Mexico, and Arizona. (If you haven't cached in the vacinity of Las Vegas in a radius of about 150 miles, you are cheating yourself of an awesome cachin' experience. Most of my fondest cachin' adventures have occurred within that radius.)

 

For enthusiastic, dedicated cachin' communities that will go wayyy outta their way to see that visitors have a good time in their area it's Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, California, and Tennessee.

 

This is just based on my own personal experience. Your mileage may vary.

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I have cached in 36 states plus the District of Columbia. Some of my favorites outside my home area:

 

1. Washington State, for the variety of terrain and caches (hikes through primeval rain forests and ferns, breathtaking mountain vistas, evil urban puzzles and micros, wide open desert terrain)

 

2. Nevada, because of the creative things you can do with a cache out in the desert, or in a wacky city like Las Vegas.

 

3. Maine, for the combination of beautiful scenery and nice cache placements.

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I think the best state to cache in is: Confusion. It makes the hunt so much more interesting...

 

Ahh, you beat me to this quip. Mind you, I was going to say "a state of excited anticipation driven by an enthusiastic hope of cool views, good hikes and a easy to find cache"

 

I've only cached in one American state - Washington. It was cool. Point Roberts - a little spit of land that y'all have to drive through Canada to get too. If we ever invade y'all, this is the first domino to fall :D

Edited by doingitoldschool
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Alaska... I have to say my home state of Alaska offers an exquisitely wide variety of caches. Very high density of caches within the Anchorage area (shoot - there's still over 500 on my 'to find' list within 20 miles of my house - but I've had to work too much to cache very often in the last 12 months) and an awesome number of those caches feature superb scenery coupled with delightful hikes on well-maintained trails. No poisonous bugs, no snakes, local cachers who'll actually take time off to cache with you (even if they've already found the caches you're after), a high percentage of winter-friendly hides (doh!), and a goodly number of summit-hike caches. Did I mention the scenery? Mountains, ocean, rainforest , dunes and lots & lots of superb parks and trails - and that's just within Anchorage city limits. A reasonably good shot at seeing a moose (OK - I'd about guarantee it in Anchorage - highest population density in the state thanks to suburban habitat) and a very very good to guaranteed chance of seeing bear sign in certain urban Anchorage locations outside of hibernation time (great for that primeval chill up the spine 'I am not alone in the woods' effect... ). Lots of caches within a couple of minutes' stroll of an espresso shop - so typical of Northwest Urban Caching. A nice mix of micros to ammocans across the entire city too - something for everyone (even the puzzle fanatics...).

 

All that being said, I've found every state I've traveled since I started caching had hides with real 'wow' power in the scenic and crazy modes. From NYC's Central Park and the NJ Highlands (much wilder than I expected!) through New Orleans to the canyons of the southwest and the forests of the Northwest there are places where cachers have shown me the best their states have to offer. And yup - I agree with Snoogans about Las Vegas too!

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I have cached in two states so far.I am a bmx racer, so when i go on my next race ill take the gpsr and check it out.I have cached in Boise/Eagle Idaho,Ely Nevada, and Las Vegas Nevada(where I live).we are actually going to mt.charleston this weekend and ill re-respond after then if it is better.but so far it would have to be ely,nevada.Ely has so much nature to it.on a little twenty minute walk i think i saw three snakes(harmless)and one lizard.there was a bridge that heads over this little stream.it was like a geocachers paradise.it was the funnest cache of all time.

 

If u have a national park nearby i would check that out because there is always nature in those areas.This is the wetlands near my house.the water is a little gross but when you live in vegas water is sacred.

212912b7-29d3-4341-bd7a-3638d661c11.jpg

 

Have fun caching.

 

Bmxer11

Edited by Bmxer11
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It all depends on what you are looking for in a cache. Some states are great for numbers runs, some for scenery, some for urban caching.

 

If one is into old style geocaching, meaning a place where the LPC hide is still rare enough to fool most locals and regular sized caches that bring you to interesting and/or scenic spots make up the majority of the caches, northern NJ is a great place to geocache.

 

First there is the history. The state was settled in the 1600's and early on was known for its iron mining industry, and was a key battleground in the Revolutionary War. The vestiges of this earlier time are everywhere in the form of old foundations seemingly in the middle of nowhere, abandoned mines and old estates now reclaimed by nature, as well as numerous official historic sites.

 

Next is the scenery. When most out of staters think of NJ they picture the NJ Turnpike corridor with its refineries, dumps and factories. Once you get away from that it's actually quite scenic. The NJ highlands offer numerous scenic areas with outstanding hikes. The terrain can be pretty rugged too. While the mountains aren't very high (some people wouldn't even call them mountains), they can be steep and thanks to the last glacier that left behind every rock and boulder it dragged south, rocky and rugged. If you are looking for challenging terrain, you can find it here. And for those who climbing rocky hills isn't their idea of fun, the last glacier left behind several large lakes that have become huge swamps over a few thousand years, so the terrain here is quite varied.

 

Finally there are the cache hiders. For some reason we've been blessed with dozens of outstanding cache hiders who seek out these kinds of places for their caches, rather that sticking keyholders to every guardrail and a film canister under every lamp post skirt.

 

If you want numbers runs, go someplace else, but if you are looking for geocaching the way it was in the early days (well except there are a lot more of the things), northern NJ is an outstanding place for geocaching.

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All states have great areas for numbers runs, some for scenery, some for urban caching.

 

The warm southeastern and southwestern states in the winter - somewhere else in the summer. :laughing:

 

California is so huge that, naturally it has the most varied terrain. If you transfer its outline to the east coast, it covers southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and NE Florida. It's gotta have some good stuff in there somewhere :D

 

And then there's Texas > even bigger and finally Alaska > hugomongous. It's all good.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

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Alaska... I have to say my home state of Alaska offers an exquisitely wide variety of caches. Very high density of caches within the Anchorage area (shoot - there's still over 500 on my 'to find' list within 20 miles of my house .....[snip]

 

Our daughter and her family live in Alaska. Our son-in-law is stationed at Elmendorf AFB. My wife and I haven't been back up for a visit since we started GeoCaching. I'd love to go back and do more sightseeing by way of GeoCaching. Our ten year old grandson wants to go Geocaching with us. Hopefully with the price of oil going down airline tickets will soon follow. I'd love to tackle some of those 500 caches you referred to :laughing:

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All states have great areas for numbers runs, some for scenery, some for urban caching.

 

The warm southeastern and southwestern states in the winter - somewhere else in the summer.

 

We've been all over and pretty much agree with this.....Idaho, the Black Hills,Montanna, Nevada and one of our favorites, the Brevard, N.C. area. In the winter, though, it would be hard to beat the southeast.....no ice and snow and everything stays green ( in the summer down here the caching is great but there's plenty heat and humidity and you better have insect spray )

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If you want quality caches, I would have to recomment the UP of Michigan.

 

I'll second that choice! :laughing:

 

Really, we would have to say....All of them! All states have cool, interesting out of the way places that caching will take you to wether it be mountain streams, big rocks, waterfall, canyons...whatever floats your boat, every state has something cool!

 

Different areas have slightly different cache hide techniques...pile of rocks, pile of sticks, in a tree trunk, in the middle of a cactus pile, lots of micros, not many micros, lots of puzzles, not so many puzzles...all states should be visited!!

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I am going to add Virginia to the list as we have found so many different types and locations of caches...urban micro's galore, Blue Ridge Mountain hikes, Civil and Revolutionary War historical caches, both real and virtual, and more city and county parks with caches than I could possibly count. Oh did I mention some of the best Earth caches around too? I kow, I am biased but come take a look and see if I am wrong.

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The trouble with trying to answer this type of question in that often people will look for different types of caches when they're traveling -- some people will omit puzzles or multis or long-hike caches when they're far from home. There's a great cache in MA that everyone who has done it raves about, and yet I can't imagine that many (if any) out-of-staters would ever attempt it, due to the amount of local work involved: Bad Parking (currently disabled, unfortunately). And I'm sure I have missed out some excellent caches in other states because I wouldn't have been able to do something like this cache while traveling, even if I were on a caching vacation week.

 

That said, I'm voting for Massachusetts. Even though I've never caches in states like Nevada and Washington :laughing:

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There isn't any one great state, I'm sure there are great caches in all 50 states. That's why I always check with the locals and their forums when I am planning a trip, so I won't miss the high points.

 

I have found fantastic caches in every one of the 30 states I have found caches in so far. Perhaps one of the best was in a small town in NH under the front steps of the CO's home! :laughing: And a mere mile away I found a neat Earthcache and then the oldest cache in the state on an old school hike into the woods. Now that's some diversity.

Edited by wimseyguy
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California is so huge that, naturally it has the most varied terrain. If you transfer its outline to the east coast, it covers southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and NE Florida. It's gotta have some good stuff in there somewhere :laughing:

Your claim that California has the most varied terrain simply because of it's land area isn't correct. I can see how you may think that is true but it isn't. Take a look at this terrain region map.

 

The bottom map shows California has 4 regions; Pacific Boarder, Cascade-Sierra Mountains, Lower Californian, and Basin and Range. While southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and NE Florida have 6 regions; Appalachian Plateaus, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Continental Shelf.

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If one is into old style geocaching, meaning a place where the LPC hide is still rare enough to fool most locals and regular sized caches that bring you to interesting and/or scenic spots make up the majority of the caches, northern NJ is a great place to geocache.

Most of the State of West Virginia also matches the description in Briansnat's post about northern New Jersey. Go to the mountains and it's a flashback to the way geocaching "used to be" in 2001-2003. Long hikes with scenic views and an ammo box at the end. Caches separated by miles, not by feet. There's only 2,175 active geocaches in the entire state.

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California is so huge that, naturally it has the most varied terrain. If you transfer its outline to the east coast, it covers southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and NE Florida. It's gotta have some good stuff in there somewhere :laughing:

Your claim that California has the most varied terrain simply because of it's land area isn't correct. I can see how you may think that is true but it isn't. Take a look at this terrain region map.

 

The bottom map shows California has 4 regions; Pacific Boarder, Cascade-Sierra Mountains, Lower Californian, and Basin and Range. While southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and NE Florida have 6 regions; Appalachian Plateaus, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Continental Shelf.

 

Having lived in California for 40 years I'm a bit perplexed at how they only came up with 4 regions. Having I've seen the range of terrain between the coast (which is significantly different from North to South), coastal range of mountains, the urban centers, the redwood forests in the north, the great central valley, the Sierra Nevada foothills and the mountain range (comparing the Blue Ridge and the Sierra Nevada as mountains is a whole 'nother issue), the Mohave desert, and the eastern slope. I've also seen many parts of all of the other States listed and can't imagine how they could be characterized as a more varied terrain.

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Reading all the responses makes me rethink how travel. I only considered way stashing out of state once and realized that I wouldn't enjoy it when I'm rushing to get someplace, set up and understand the stage angles, so geocaching never crossed my mind. Maybe I should plan a trip to Canadoi or take time away from the next GOTJ I attend.

 

may gas stay low so we can cache more.

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Not surprisingly it would seem the answer to the OP is, the best state in the US in which to cache would be the one where any given cacher is at any particular moment in time. :D And I would suppose the answer would be similar for any cacher anywhere. I am here. Where is the cache. This is the (current) best place to cache. :)

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I think it is hard to give an answer to this because I think more cachers than not have only been to a few states. Our first two caches were in NC, then a virtual in VA and DC respectively on the drive home, then most have been in NY or PA with a couple in NJ and CT respectively.

 

This said, what I have seen on maps and descriptions, I agree with briansnat's assessment that for a mostly "urban/suburban" area, northern NJ (and even to some degree the rest of the NY metro area) there is more "traditional" caches and less "micro spew" than you would expect (except perhaps in very urban parts of the 5 boros where a micro/nano is the only reasonable type of hide....though we've tried to minimize the amount of micros/nanos in our own hides).

 

So I would think the best caching (for "variety" at least) would be areas that have a great mix of mountains, seacoast, and cities. This would certainly put California (which has desert terrain nearby as well) very high on the list (a place I've been to many times, but all pre-caching), and after that, perhaps the Pacific Northwest and nearby Canadian parts (where it all began! Never been there) and then the Northeast "Megalopolis" (particularly the stretch inclusive of and between the NY City and Boston areas.....why couldn't this have been invented 10 years ago when I made many trips to Boston, Maine, etc.).

 

That's my 2 cents

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So I would think the best caching (for "variety" at least) would be areas that have a great mix of mountains, seacoast, and cities.

A big reason why we moved to NC 15 years ago was for the terrain variety, and the ability to visit mountains and coast in an easy 3 hour drive. I've cached in every state east of the Mississippi except for WI, and half of the western ones. I think that the variety here rivals that of anywhere I have been, but for sheer beauty and vistas nothing matches the two areas outside Seattle that I've been-an hour east in the Snoqualmine Pass area, and Whidby Island. But that may simply be because it was so different that what I am used to seeing.

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Not surprisingly it would seem the answer to the OP is, the best state in the US in which to cache would be the one where any given cacher is at any particular moment in time. :laughing: And I would suppose the answer would be similar for any cacher anywhere. I am here. Where is the cache. This is the (current) best place to cache. :laughing:

That is insight.

Glad you are able to recognize my brilliance. :P

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I like thinking more globly. My favorites are Belgium and Germany. Many of the caches have alot of thought and are not just thrown anywhere, not to many park and grabs. As far as city cahes go I would have to say London is my favorite. It is very easy to get around either by foot or tube.

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I enjoy caching in lots of different areas. Being from the notheast where the states are small, we're fortunate to have a huge variety of cache types and terrain available with just a short drive.

 

Southern Maine offers the beauty of a rugged coastline (I know, a cliche), with waves pounding against the rocks. New Hampshire offers true wilderness and great mountain hikes along with scenic mountain lakes. Vermont has lots of quaint, covered bridges and rolling hills with scenic back roads and cozy little towns.

 

In Massachusetts is Boston, which is a great city to explore with a family because it has a TON of history. If you like the ocean, Rhode Island is perhaps the prettiest place to visit in New England with it's lighthouses and sailboats.

 

Heading the other direction you have the largest US city, New York, which is just amazing to visit. A little further south brings you to northern New Jersey with it's hills and scenic beauty. Towards the coast of NJ, you have scenic beach towns on narrow strips of land that are surrounded by water. Not far away is the "amusement" side of New Jersey. New Jersey is a lot more than people think. A lot of people only see the urban New Jersey Turnpike, but it's actually a beautiful state.

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There are states with far more varied terrain, but in NJ it will take you a little over hour to drive from this cache

But it's still NJ! :D

 

Only joking, unfortunately I haven't been there since I've started caching. I used to spend every summer as a kid in the vicinity of Cherry Hill (grandparents lived there). I loved it out there, other than the ticks, you can keep your ticks!

I am surprised at how many people voted Nevada. I've only cached the western US and yes, I'm partial to Nevada and Northern California (and our relatively low bug population :)), but I would love to do some east coast caching. I miss the "cool old ruins" out in the middle of the woods. We don't have that here. Most of our cool old ruins are in the middle of the desert that everybody can see and unfortunately vandalize.

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Tennessee. Why? Because that's where I live. Any other state requires lots of driving or flying, duh. :D

What about Mississippi, Jason?

True, I like caching around parts of MS better than around Chattanooga. Plus I have more time to cache when I'm visiting family because I can hand the kid to memaw and papaw and leave for a day (my wife doesn't let me do that at home for some reason). So.... for 2 weeks out of the year I prefer caching in MS, the rest of the time I prefer TN.

 

Bad jokes aside, MS does have tons of awesome puzzle and multi caches while urban areas in TN tend to run long on the parking lot park-n-grab style of micro-spew. But caches in the mountains of eastern TN are just awesome.

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