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In search of a way to explore new areas of the Black Hills, enjoy the area’s dazzling views and take part in an activity that the whole family will love, all for no cost? Then geocaching is perfect for you! You may have heard a bit about geocaching, as this outdoor recreational activity has soared in popularity in the last 15 years or so, but you may not know what it entails, or how you can join in on the fun. Luckily, we’re here to fill you in on everything you need to know to spend an adventurous afternoon trying to locate some of the more than 1,000 geocaches that are hidden in this region!

What is Geocaching?

Remember your childhood days of donning a bandana and eye patch and daydreaming you were a pirate? Well, geocaching brings those fantasies to life, using today’s technology to point you in the direction of your sought after treasure. Using a GPS receiver or your mobile device, you hunt for specific locations marked by coordinates, all leading to a container called a “geocache” or “cache”, which can contain all kinds of goodies, as well as a log-in book for you to document your visit. The items contained in a geocache vary greatly, but often include trinkets that are relevant to the area, disposable cameras for you to snap your photo at the site, and coins. Participants are asked to select only one item from the cache, and then leave a small knickknack to replace the treasure.  

Things You Should Know Before You Go

What’s great about geocaching is that, besides a GPS or cell phone and a mode of transportation, there’s not much involved, making it a convenient activity to squeeze in during your vacation. However, there are a couple of things you should consider before you strike out on your own geocaching expedition:

  • The difficulty level of the geocache. Caches are generally marked as being anything from beginner to expert level on their profiles. Ensuring you choose a geocache that matches your experience is important, as it indicates how rough the terrain may be, or how large the overall treasure hunt will be. If you have little ones that will be striking out with you on your adventure, these are crucial elements that can mean the difference between a fun and interesting day and a disaster.
  • What kind of treasure you can expect. Again, this is a vital detail if kids will be participating so they can be prepared with the proper expectations. This information is also often listed on a cache’s profile, and can include a list of the specific items included.

Geocaches in the Black Hills

Now that you know more about geocaching, it’s time to prepare for your Black Hills treasure hunt! There are many websites and apps that outline geocaches available in the area. Here’s a few to get you started:

So while you’re enjoying the plentiful things to do in the Black Hills, don’t forget to take a little time to give geocaching a try. And remember - a great way to round out your day of exploration is by trying some of the unique wild game dishes available here at the Powder House Lodge and Restaurant!  Now, off to plan your next adventure!

Keystone, SD 57751