Geocaching opportunities abound in Rock Mountain National Park, Grand Lake | SkyHiNews.com

Geocaching opportunities abound in Rock Mountain National Park, Grand Lake

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GRAND LAKE — Get your GPS ready and grab your maps for the Across the Divide GeoTour, scheduled for Sunday, March 22, in Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Interested participants should meet at the Sagebrush BBQ & Grill, 1101 Grand Ave., by 11:30 a.m. The event is scheduled to run until 1:30 p.m. Participants are required to RSVP for the event by noon on Wednesday, March 18. You can send an RSVP to frangrooters@frii.com or can sign up at http://www.geocaching.com or http://www.facebook.com/acrossthedividegeotour.

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity wherein participants attempt to locate stashed items, somewhat hidden, through the use of GPS (global positioning satellite) devices. Caches are located at various locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. Cache sites are noted using only latitudinal and longitudinal GPS coordinates and geocachers must find the stashes using only the coordinates and their own skills with a GPS.

The Across the Divide GeoTour is being sponsored by Rocky Mountain National Park the Town of Grand Lake and the Town of Estes Park. It is also part of RMNP's 100th Anniversary Celebration going on throughout this year until September and is being billed as an official "Centennial Event".

"The Across the Divide GeoTour is a great new activity that gets the whole family involved in a treasure hunt for the wilderness, wildlife, wonder, and history of Estes Park, Grand Lake, and Rocky Mountain National Park," said Barbara Scott, anniversary coordinator and park ranger interpreter for RMNP. "It's a fun way to re-discover and see with new eyes the treasure that has been here right before our eyes for 100 years."

Across the Divide GeoTour held its first event recently on the eastern side of the Continental Divide in Estes Park. The event this Sunday will focus on the western side of RMNP and the Grand Lake area. A total of 50 caches covers the entire GeoTour.

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GeoTour Passports, allowing participants to record their successful cache finds, can be picked up at both the Grand Lake Visitor Center and the Estes Park Visitor Center. You can also print them out online at http://www.geocaching.com/play/geotours/across-the-divide.

Geocachers who locate 10 caches during the tour will receive a custom wooden coin that show's RMNP's Centennial logo on one side and the logo of the local community on the other. Participants who find 35 caches will be eligible to receive a "gold" commemorative coin, and for those intrepid explorers who find all 50 caches a few special trackable coins have been made.

Cache sites in RMNP adhere to the Park's "Leave No Trace" policy. All cache sites in RMNP are either Virtual or Earthcaches.

According to a press release about the events, "A Virtual Cache has no container, however, a cacher is taken to a beautiful view or historic site they can photograph, answer questions about or solve a puzzle in order to prove they found the cache and an Earthcache presents some lesson on how the place formed, about why the place is important scientifically or what the site can tell us about our planet."

Cachers will also get to try their hands at a few "multi-caches" located throughout the GeoTour. Multi-caches involve two or more cache locations with the final site being the locations of a physical container with a logbook inside. Each cache site in the multi-cache offers clues to the next cache location.

"Geocaching is a wonderful way for people to get outdoors to explore this amazing area and use their 'tech' gear," said Fran Grooters, co-owner and promoter/public relations person for Across the Divide. "I hope our locals will enjoy this GeoTour as much as our visitors. After all, what's more fun than a treasure hunt?"

Across the Divide is a private business that works to provide geocaching opportunities in the RMNP, Grand Lake and Estes Park regions. They are also looking into creating more geocache sites throughout Grand County. The business is funded entirely through donations from sponsors and there are no paid positions,. While Across the Divide is not an official nonprofit, Grooters said, "Across the Divide is being operated as such."

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