Grand Lake becomes a Geocaching hotspot
Geocaching (geo = earth, cache = hide) is a FREE treasure hunting adventure for families, grandparents, and outdoor enthusiasts. It is more alive than ever in the Grand Lake area thanks to many volunteers who are providing today’s 6 million-plus geocachers an opportunity to explore and experience the great outdoors and activities in Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Worldwide, there are over 2.6 million active geocaches, and here in Colorado there are over 15,000 geocaches.
On Sept. 4th, 2014, the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce, along with the Town of Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), kicked off the 100th Anniversary of RMNP with the Grand Lake Geocaching Challenge Passport. This activity was the culmination of Phase 1 of the Grand Lake Geocaching Program, which affords many locals, visitors, and tourists an opportunity to enjoy a free activity with their friends and family. Thanks to the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Lake Geocaching Team of Larry Bacon, Jennifer Brown, Joe and Julie Cunningham, and Steve Meyer, the Grand Lake Geocaching Challenge Passport was developed and implemented and will be in place for years to come.
This Passport lists 30-plus geocaches of all sizes within a 5 mile radius of Grand Lake, with an additional 40 Earth and Virtual caches located in Rocky Mountain National Park. The challenge is for geocachers to find any 10 of the geocaches listed in the Grand Lake Geocaching Challenge Passport and upon their return to the Grand Lake Visitors Center or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, they can redeem their Passport for a Commemorative Coin (wooden nickel) with the Grand Lake Logo on one side and the Rocky Mountain National Park 100th Anniversary logo on the other. Visit http://grandlakechamber.com/geocache/ for details.
Phase 2 of the Grand Lake Geocaching Program, participation in the development of the Across The Divide GeoTour (ATD), kicked off on March 1 this year and is one of only 55 GeoTours worldwide, 36 of them in the United States, and the only Colorado GeoTour North of Interstate 70. This GeoTour is a collaborative effort between Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Estes Park to provide geocachers from around the world not only an opportunity to find 50 specific geocaches along the GeoTour route, but to experience and celebrate the Wilderness, Wildlife, Wonder, and RMNP’s Centennial History.
The Grand Lake Geocaching Challenge Passport, and/or the Across The Divide GeoTour (ATD) Passport, can be picked up at the Grand Lake Visitors Center, or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center at the Western Entrance to RMNP. The ATD Passport can also be picked up at the two Visitor Centers at the Eastern entrance to RMNP in Estes Park, and the Estes Park Visitors Center.
Geocachers can earn souvenir commemorative coins (wooden nickels) for Grand Lake and Estes Park by finding 10 caches on each side of the Divide, and getting the RMNP stamp at the nearest National Park Visitor Center. If the geocacher finds and logs any 35 caches on the ATD GeoTour Passport, and gets two RMNP stamps, they earn a Souvenir Centennial Coin. The ultimate achievement souvenir is completion of the entire ATD 50 cache GeoTour with all three RMNP stamps to earn the trackable Across The Divide Geocoin. Other specific rules of the game are stated on the front of the ATD GeoTour Passport.
Register for FREE at Geocaching.com, and learn about geocaching through their short Geocaching 101 video, and check out some geocaches that are near your home by using the site’s pulldown menu to find a cache near you. Then come to the Grand Lake Visitors Center to pick up your Geocaching Passport of choice: 1) The Grand Lake Geocaching Challenge Passport to find at least 10 geocaches in the Grand Lake area and earn your commemorative coin; or 2) pick up the more adventurous and challenging Across The Divide GeoTour Passport for a geocache tour from Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park and in to Estes Park to earn a Souvenir Centennial Coin, or the ultimate Across The Divide Geocoin.
Geocachers love the Grand Lake area as evidenced by the fact that the Geocaching Colorado organization (geocachingcolo.com) conducted their 2nd Annual GCCO Lake Granby Campout at Cutthroat Bay Group Campground July 24-26. Geocachers from all over Colorado attended.
There will be an Introduction to Geocaching presentations highlighting Grand Lake’s Geocaching Program in celebration of Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th Birthday on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month through Sept. 1, at 9-10 a.m. at the Sagebrush BBQ & Grill in Grand Lake. Admission is free, with breakfast available for purchase.
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