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An open Geocaching Box sitting in underbrush contains trinkets for geocachers and the official cache log book with codes

Geocaching - It All Began Here

Jim Austin | 08/17/2017 | Canby, Heritage, North Clackamas, Other Outdoor Activities

Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is the home of geocaching.  Literally, the place where it all began. Back in May of 2000, when Dave Ulmer hid the world’s first geocache (stash) in the woods just outside of Estacada, Oregon with instructions that finders "Take some stuff, leave some stuff," little did he know that he was creating a new worldwide hobby.  Now, just 15 years later, there are over 2,662,191 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers around the world. Interest in this activity continues to grow.  And it all started here.

If you are a geocaching enthusiast, a visit Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory should be on your list of places to visit. Why? Because within relative close proximity to each other are GCGV0P The Original Stash Tribute Plaque and GC92 - The Un-Original Stash (a.k.a. ground zero, the location of the first stash); GC12 - The second oldest active cache in the world; GC16 - the tenth oldest active cache, and GC17 – the twenty-sixth oldest cache in the world.

If you are looking to do a geocaching heritage tour and mix it up with a bit of hiking, all of these caches can be visited in a long, well-planned day trip. Mid-summer is best as there is more daylight and the roads to GCs 12 and 17 won’t be snowed in. GCGV0P and GC92 are easy to get to, just off the side of a road, but hiking is needed to get to GCs 12, 16 and 17. Twelve and 17 are in the Mt. Hood National Forest so a Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at trailheads. And bring a camera as there are some great photo-ops along the way.

Along with being the Official End of the Oregon Trail and the first seat of U.S. governance west of the Rockies, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is proud of our place in geocaching history. And we like to share it by creating geocaching opportunities within the Territory. To do this we often partner with local communities to create coin challenges. These challenges require cachers to find and log a series of caches, and collect code words and clues found at each cache. When participants have finished a challenge they can turn in their completed log form to claim a commemorative, traceable geocoin. We mint new coins for each challenge and each one is designed to artistically represent the uniqueness of the community that hosted the challenge.

Cache the Stash

On August 8, 2015, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, with the help of a handful of fantastic volunteers from the local caching community, launched the Cache the Stash Coin Challenge (CtS). The CtS was a six-community challenge created to celebrate 15 years of geocaching, which is an activity that started right here in Clackamas County.

The challenge kick-off was the largest geocaching event held in Oregon to date, with over 600 people participating. If you were there for it thank you! Cachers who completed all six community challenges received a set of coins that fit together to form a nifty cube. 

It’s been over two years since the CtS went live and activity along the trail has slowed. It is with a bit of sadness that we have decided to retire the challenge as of Sept 30, 2017.

If you have questions about the Cache the Stash or any of the other coin challenges sponsored by Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory please contact Jim Austin at 503-742-5901 or via email at jim@mthoodterritory.com 


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