Alberta Parks Home

Geocaching

What is geocaching?

In geocaching, you use a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to navigate to a "geocache" - a hidden object or natural feature. Started in 2000, geocaching is a growing outdoor recreational activity that combines physical activity, technology, the outdoors and the thrill of exploration.  It's an intergenerational, low impact, healthy activity that promotes natural heritage learning. Check Geocaching.com for more information.

Natural and recreational areas, including Alberta's parks, are used for geocaching adventures.  There are more than 1,000 geocaches in the provincial parks system, with requests for additional cache sites continuing to submitted.  Check the map below for geocaches in Alberta Parks.  (Updates are done annually so the map is accurate as of the last data synch.) Geocaching.com administers all geocaches in Alberta and has the most up-to-date listing.

What are the different types of geocaches?

Alberta Parks permits two types of caching.

  • Physical caches are geocaches that use a container (which contains at least a a log book). Types of physical caches include: traditional caches, multi-caches, and mystery or puzzle caches. Many containers include "trade items".  The general rule is: “Take an item, leave an item”.  These caches are administered by Geocaching.com.
  • EarthCaches use natural features, such as waterfalls or hoodoos, as the coordinate markers. These caches are administered jointly by Geocaching.com and the Geological Society of America

Virtual caching has been discontinued in the provincial parks system.

How do I get started finding a geocache?

  • Get a GPS unit or use your cell phone.
  • Join Geocaching.com (free account). 
  • Download the free geocaching mobile app.
  • Search for geocaches in the area you're interested in, select one and get going!

Geocaching is an excellent tool for self-guided hiking in our parks.  You can rent a GPS unit at Cypress Hills Provincial Park year-round or at Crimson Lake Provincial Park during summer.  At Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, renting Ranger's Geocaching Adventure Pack includes a GPS unit.

As the popularity of geocaching continues to increase, Alberta Parks is developing guided geocaching interpretive hikes and environmental education programs. Check Events for what's on.

How do I get permission to place a geocache?

Geocaching is not allowed in sensitive ecological areas or where there is a risk to the public anywhere in the Alberta provincial parks system. Geocaches are NOT PERMITTED in any park in these land classifications: Heritage Rangelands, Ecological Reserves and Wilderness Areas.

Geocaching is permitted in: Provincial ParksProvincial Recreation AreasNatural AreasWildland Provincial Parks, and Willmore Wilderness Park. To place a geocache in Alberta Parks, you must follow our geocaching guidelines and application process.

Are there rules to follow?

  • Like all outdoor activities, there are inherent risks involved in geocaching. Take the same precautions you do when participating in other outdoor recreation activities like hiking.  Check our Outdoor Safety and Advisories for more info.
  • Follow Alberta Parks Regulations.
  • Minimize impact to the location of the geocache.  Stay on trails and avoid trampling vegetation or damaging the cache area.
  • Ensure that geocaches are respected and placed back in the exact location they are found.  If the geocache is damaged or poses a danger to people or wildlife, please report it to Alberta Parks staff. 

Map of Geocaches in Alberta Parks

Updates to this map are done annually.  Check Geocaching.com for up-to-date listings of geocaches in Alberta.


Updated: Jun 8, 2017