Friday, October 8, 2010

Geocaching in Edmonton

"The Migrant" at City Hall with Rabbit
I love hiking in the river valley or visiting Edmonton ravines and geocaching at the same time; it's a great way to explore the natural beauty of Edmonton. However, those aren't the only type of geocaches that capture our attention. There are tons of great geocaches in Edmonton, and we have barely scratched the surface ourselves, but I wanted to list a few to provide a sense of what geocaching can be.

Lil' Mama's City Hall Sculpture Tour (GC14J93) a cache by Bonkerstheclown. This is a multi-cache which means that you must visit more than one location before seeking the final, physical, cache container. As the title suggests, this is a tour of the sculptures around city hall. At each you have to find the date, collect numbers, and do a small bit of easy math to figure out the final coordinates of the cache container. Who knew there were so many sculptures!

Star Blanket Sudoku (GCRWX1) a cache by Team Scratch. This is a mystery/puzzle cache. On the geocaching map, it looks like it is located downtown, however, you must solve the sudoku puzzle to find the real coordinates. I won't say where this is located, the fun is in the solving. I will say that the cache container is a regular size ammo can and contained lots of good swag for children when we found it. It's always fun to find these larger containers with great swag (aka trade items). One thing to note about swag/trading is that you should always make sure your trade is of equal or better value than what you take out!

Something on a Stick 'YXD' (GCBB2A) a cache by Tommi Potx. This is a virtual cache-- a cache that takes you to a location and asks questions of you in order to log your visit since there is no physical cache container. You can no longer create these types of geocaches at This one was grandfathered in. Now, virtual caches are considered waymarks and can be created at instead.

Spaceship Landing (GC1QHRO) a cache by cerebus48. This is a typical traditional cache that is easy to get to. I am offering it up as an example of a fun/unique cache container that may take some searching to find!

A Typical Ammo Can Cache with Swag
The Camel Humps (GCGR5J) a cache by Shumway. This is another typical traditional cache with a small/decent sized container. But I love these types of caches: unknown-to-me historical sites! I really enjoy being introduced to parts of Edmonton and its history that I had not known about. From the cache description: "The area was the site of a brick factory in the early twentieth century. There are several small hills here that were created by the piling up of waste from the brick making process - mostly clay. Nature being as she is quickly took root. The humps are now covered in vegetation - almost to the point that you can't tell the humps are man-made."

We've been to another historical cache when it was in need of maintenance (it was missing and needed replacement), so we need to go back and find it still: Schools Out (GC1FX06) a cache by Geo Muggler. This is Edmonton's oldest schoolhouse (1881)!

Edmonton even boasts Earthcaches, one of my personal favourites!
"An EarthCache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. EarthCaches include a set of educational notes and the details about where to find the location (latitude and longitude). Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth."

Of course there are earthcaches in the river valley (Dawson Park Hoodoos--GC1AXTN by EngGuyJay... hoodoos in Edmonton), but there are also two downtown.
City of Edmonton-- Rockwalk Tour 1(GC19JJT) by Celestial Badger is one of two rockwalks that tour you around downtown to learn about the rocks and minerals used in building our city!

Like I said, that is only a glimpse into the types of geocaches out there.

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