Geocaching Guidelines + FAQ

For a Safe, Enjoyable Visit and the Protection of the Environment...

Geocaching can be a stimulating way to spend your time outdoors. The District invites you to enjoy the activity in a responsible manner within our open space preserves. Please read the District’s Geocaching Guidelines in its entirety before heading out on your geocaching adventure. These guidelines apply to both privately owned geocaches as well as those that are part of the District's Geocaching Program. In addition, participants in the District’s Geocaching Program must read and accept the terms of the Geocaching Agreement and Release of Liability. Visitors are responsible for knowing and obeying these guidelines and agreements.

What are my options for geocaching within the Preserves?

There are approximately 300 independently owned geocaches in the preserves. These caches and their information on are owned by individuals within your community and are monitored by the District for adherence to current guidelines. In addition, the District also owns and operates a series of geocaches as part of a new Geocaching Program.

Where can I find information about caches within the Preserves?

To search for caches within a particular area, visit and use the "Hide and Seek a Cache" feature from the menu (you must be a registered member and membership is free). To take part in the District's Geocaching Program Challenge, please read through our Geocaching Program information.

Must I have a passport to visit the caches that are part of the District's Geocaching Program Challenge?

Absolutely not. All caches can be visited by any registered geocachers, but you must have a passport if you want to be eligible to earn prizes!

Where can I get a passport and the coordinates for the District's Geocaching Program?

Passports can be mailed to you or you can download an alternate (letter size) version of the Preserve Passport. You can find the coordinates for the Preserve Circuit caches at or on our Preserve Circuit Geocaches page.

What do I need to get started with geocaching?

As with any outdoor adventure, you need appropriate clothing and footwear, water (and food for longer trips), and directional materials such as maps. You will also need a GPS-enabled device. You can purchase a handheld unit or download an app to your smartphone. Also, a small number of GPS units are available for short-term loan through the District (a fully refundable deposit is required).

What are the District’s policies regarding Geocaching? Is a permit required to place or search for a cache?

A permit is not required to place or search for a cache*, however all geocachers placing caches on District lands must be registered users with and must comply with the guidelines established by the District as well as those established by Anyone placing or searching for a cache must do so during normal preserve hours and must follow the procedures as outlined in the District’s Geocaching Guidelines. These guidelines were written to protect both the participant and the environment.

* Please note: Access to La Honda Creek and Bear Creek Redwoods Preserves require advance permits. There is no charge for the permits.

How does the District monitor Geocaching on District lands?

Members of the group Geocachers of the Bay Area work together with staff to ensure that Geocaching activities taking place on District lands are done so within the established guidelines.

For questions or more information regarding Geocaching on District lands, please contact Jennifer Williams at (650) 691-1200.


  Additional Information

Geocaching Home

Introduction to Geocaching

Geocaching Guidelines

Geocaching Agreement and Waiver

Preserve Circuit Geocaches

District Ordinances

District Basic Policy

Trail Conditions

Wildlife Safety

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