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What Is The Best And Worst Places For Geocaching?


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I will like to start a discussion to determine what is the best and worst places in the USA to live for geocaching. This discussion may be helpful to people who are considering a move to another part of the USA or another part of the world.

 

According to Geocaching.com, it appears that California may be the best state to live in if you are a geocacher. There are over 11,000 geocaches in the state. From some locations in California, there are more than 4,000 caches within a 100-mile radius.

 

On the other hand, if you are a geocacher living in North Dakota, it will be difficult to find many caches. As of today, there are only 115 caches in the entire state of North Dakota. That is fewer caches than the number of caches just within the city limits of many large cities.

 

Therefore, I will nominate California as the best state to live in for geocaching, and North Dakota as the worst state to live in for geocaching. What do other geocachers think about this?

 

Ken Akerman (a.k.a. Highpointer) :lol:

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NJ is pretty good. It has the most caches per square mile of any state in the US and the micro in the Walmart lot bug has yet to bite us, so a lot of the caches are quality placements. And so far, the state and local governments have ignored geocaching, so there are no bans, or silly rules to deal with (knock on wood).

Edited by briansnat
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Colorado is great. The mountains are spectacular and provide endless hiding places. You can spend an entire day just looking for one cache. With so many along the front range you can expect and endless adventures exploring new places.

 

On the opposite end of the scale, I checked out my home state of Michigan and found very little to get excited about. The lower half of the lower peninsula is either city or open flat fields and offers very little geocaching. The rest of the state , that is actually worth looking at, is so unpopulated that caches are far and few between.

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california is also a giant state so it's not surprising that there are a lot of caches. driving from southern california to northern california is a long distance. here in maryland we have 878 caches right now. but a drive north to pennsylvania adds 2265, new jersey 1050, and virginia 1347. so I guess you look more for a cache dense REGION as opposed to state in order to be "fair" to the smaller ones. :lol:

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It really depends on your fetish as far as caching goes.

 

Arizona is home to well over 2,000 caches, while states like Montana or Wyoming struggle to break 400 hides. Still, the places where cache density is extremely low, odds are the cache hides are outstanding by comparison to the abundance of urban micros in heavily populated areas. Plus, if you look at a state like Montana, caches are so spread out that flooding an area with caches is highly unlikely. Those new caches placed, if they aren't near any of the population centers, are likely to be breathtaking in one of several ways.

 

During a vacation trip last summer, I placed a cache at West Rosebud Creek, just a few hundred feet from a very old power plant that required a rather long hole be bored through a mountain to run the water that powers the plant. You can see the pipeline running from the mountain, across the landscape, and watch the water run down West Rosebud Creek when it passes through the plant. There isn't a cache within 20 miles of there if I'm not mistaken. But the opportunities for cache hides are outstanding there.

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During a vacation trip last summer, I placed a cache at West Rosebud Creek, just a few hundred feet from a very old power plant that required a rather long hole be bored through a mountain to run the water that powers the plant.

 

I disagree with prohibition on vacation caches. There are many outstanding areas that are deserving of having many caches, but they don't have caches because there aren't many people living nearby and none of them are active geocachers. Therefore, these areas need the help of visiting geocachers to place quality geocaches.

 

Ken Akerman (a.k.a. Highpointer)

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:( And a chilly voice from north of the border calls down... Try Vancouver Island, BC! With well over 500 'caches within a 30 minute drive, we have lots for everyone. The downtown core has a good variety of micros and small traditionals, the local parks and woodlands have some really good traditionals, and for the more adventurous, there are lots of 4+ terrain caches requiring exteded hikes, and offering amazing views of the local scenery. Toss in temperate climate that permits 365 day-a-year 'caching (if you don't mind getting a little wet in the winter and spring) and it's hard to beat! :D
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I must respectfully disagree with the stated premise of this thread; i.e., that the sheer quantity of geocaches makes an area "better" for geocaching and that a lower cache density makes an area "worse" for geocaching.

 

Just because a city has a micro on every street corner and a tupperware in every neighborhood park doesn't mean that all geocachers would enjoy caching there. Similarly, in a remote mountainous region, one cache every 5 or 10 miles will likely satisfy only the subset of geocachers who enjoy finding one or two caches per day that feature long hikes and lots of scenery, as opposed to tricky hides, history lessons and so forth.

 

I would instead posit that the "best" place for geocaching is one with a reasonable cache density made up of hides of *all* different types. I will enjoy just about any type of cache so long as it is of high quality for caches *of that type.* For an example of what I'm talking about, I always use Erie Pennsylvania and State College Pennsylvania as examples. Both have a healthy mix of caches and active geocaching communities disproportionate to the size of the metropolitan area. In both places, you can find an evil urban micro, get your picture snapped on a high-resolution webcam, discover a suburban park you never knew about, solve a challenging puzzle cache, navigate through an epic themed multicache, and hike miles into the wildnerness -- all within a 30 minute drive of the center of town. And each of those caches are guaranteed to be well-done for caches of their type, and there won't be 50 more just like them on the next block. I would rather live in one of these cities, and enjoy nearly every cache hunt, than live in a cache-saturated area where I might enjoy 60% of my cache hunts. (And I mean no disrespect to the owners of those 60% of the caches.)

 

I also take issue with another statement in this thread from the original poster:

 

I disagree with prohibition on vacation caches. There are many outstanding areas that are deserving of having many caches, but they don't have caches because there aren't many people living nearby and none of them are active geocachers. Therefore, these areas need the help of visiting geocachers to place quality geocaches.

 

One component of a quality geocache is that it be well-maintained. If you can prove your ability to maintain a cache that is placed some distance away from you, then you ought to be able to have it listed. We rely on good people like Tahosa to hide caches appropriately in the Colorado back country. He knows the area and the applicable rules better than a visitor, and he can maintain caches a good distance from his home because that's his "range." If there is a back country area 75 miles from your home that needs a cache, and you visit there regularly, and are able to get there within a few weeks if a problem is reported, then hide a cache!

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Here in Utah is a pretty great place for caching, within a 100 mile radius from my house (in northern davis county, along the Wasatch front) there are almost 1500 caches. There is also a lot of diversity. In an hour I can be either be caching deep in the cool mountain forests (if I go east) or I can be in the middle of the hot desert (if I go west).

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I always use Erie Pennsylvania and State College Pennsylvania as examples. Both have a healthy mix of caches and active geocaching communities disproportionate to the size of the metropolitan area. In both places, you can find an evil urban micro, get your picture snapped on a high-resolution webcam, discover a suburban park you never knew about, solve a challenging puzzle cache, navigate through an epic themed multicache, and hike miles into the wildnerness -- all within a 30 minute drive of the center of town.

 

Where near Erie can you hike miles into the wildnerness? I found most of the caches there to be park and grabs, or short hikes. I'd love a nice long hike the next time I visit.

 

I would instead posit that the "best" place for geocaching is one with a reasonable cache density made up of hides of *all* different types

 

I think this alone would put NJ near the top of the list. We have caches that are 4-5 mile hikes and caches in suburban parks. Ammo boxes, and micros, puzzles and nice multis. Caches in the mountians and in the swamps...and I've yet to run into a Walmart lot cache...although one out of stater did put a micro by a Starbucks.

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I can't believe that nobody mentioned the home of geocaching, Washington State! :( I don't know the cache density, but I would assume it is quite large.

 

I also believe that caching should be rated not just on cache density, but quality. Quality of caches, and the quality of areas the caches are placed. I am very biased, and belive that Washington is the best place in the world. :D There is such a variety of landscape-from the moist west side, to the arid east side, and the Cascade Mountain Range in between. You can't beat the beauty!

 

Come and cache in Washington State! :D

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Massachusetts is a great place to geo-cache. We are still fairly new at this, yet it will take us a long time to cover all the caches even within a 25 mile radius. New caches pop up in this area often, so even once we canvass the whole area, we will have to keep up with the new ones.

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1352 caches in Colorado at the moment. Not bad!

 

We moved to Colorado in 1996 and we absolutely love it here! There are so many other things besides caches that make Colorado a great place to live....but 1352 caches makes living here even better. :( I have only logged 58...I better get to work!

 

My home state of VA isn't doing bad either. 1347 caches right now. :D

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I can't say that I'd nominate Des Moines, IA as THE BEST place to cache, but from reading the forums here, it has some advantages. First being, there are no lame, crappy caches here. I'm convinced that each hider really thought about their hide, and wanted to show something special. I do not speak to the issue of maintenance, ahem, however.

 

If micros are your thing, don't come here. There aren't very many, and I think half of them are mine. I've hidden four micros, and they're all in city parks in the woods, more or less.

 

We also have several new puzzle caches in the metro, and some very interesting multis within a 50 mile radius of here. Des Moines would not be a waste of a weekend, in my so humble opinion.

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Missoula, MT. But Montana in general is Awesome. I've been to California and enjoyed caching there but it has too many micros placed for the sake of placing a cache. Florida was pretty cool, New Mexico has some nice caches, and Wyoming has some great historical caches. South Dakota has come cool locations in the Black hills as well that we have visited. But I have to say that quality over quantity has tipped my opinion to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

And Brian's West Rosebuzz cache is HIGH on my to do list the next time I am near it.

-Jennifer

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