How to plan a geocaching route and a geocaching road trip

Have you always wanted to go on a geocaching road trip? Need to create a geocaching route? Read here for some tips on how experienced geocachers plan their geocaching road trip. Planning the geocaching route consists mostly of finding out the best geocaches in the area that you want to visit. 

Geocaching route is a route of geocaches you want to find. You can also add landmarks, activities and stops to the route.

Now, let’s discuss tips that will help you find best geocaches, plan a geocaching route and plan a geocaching road trip:

1. Use this steps to plan a geocaching route or a road trip

Here are some steps that you can use to plan a geocaching route or a geocaching trip:

  1. Define how long the trip will last.
  2. Plan a trip around the geocaches that you want to find, or around landmarks, places and activities that you want to experience. If you are planning a trip around geocaches, first make a list of geocaches you want to find. Then plan activities and landmarks nearby. If you are planning a trip around activities or landmarks, first make a list of activities and landmarks. Then find the best geocaches nearby.
  3. Plan the geocaching activities to do on the road trip. Here are some ideas:
    • Finish a geocaching challenge that you are already a part of.
    • Start a new geocaching challenge or a geotour.
    • Finding the oldest geocache in the area.
    • Finding the geocaches with the most favorite points.
    • Finding Premium geocaches (those can often be higher quality).
    • Finding geocaches with higher D/T rating or different attributes (e.g. Night cache) than you usually would.
    • Attempt to find a type of geocache that you haven’t found before like mystery geocaches, virtual geocaches and other types.
    • Getting a geocaching souvenir.
    • Participating in a geocaching event.

In the next paragraphs, we’ll talk about how to actually find the best geocaches for the purpose.

2. Search for the best geocaches

One of the best ways to find the best geocaches is to know how to effectively use the old-fashioned search bar on website. Log in, and then type in the place around which you want to visit or put in some coordinates to get a list of geocaches in that area. There is also a useful Filters button to enhance your search.

Photo of search on website
Filters button lets you filter out geocaches.

Filters button shows some interesting criteria by which you can search the geocaches, like geocache size, D/T rating, Geocache Type, Attributes, etc. Some of the search criteria is for Premium members only, but you can still find interesting geocaches without it. Try to play with search criteria to find interesting geocaches.

When you get search results, you will get a list of geocaches in that area. You can pay attention to the Favorites column. This shows the amount of Favorite points that a geocache has. These are points that geocachers give to their favorite geocaches when they find them. You can click and then explore a particular geocache.  There is also a useful Map these geocaches button. search result.
Use the Favorites column to find most favorited geocaches, and use Map these geocaches to display them on a map.

When you click on that button, you can actually see the map with geocaches in that area. This is very useful for planning a trip. 

Then, the good next strategy is to click on various geocaches, read their descriptions to see if you like them and whether it fits you. Do you like to find a geocache near a landmark and learn more about history? Do you like finding big geocaches like ammo box? Do you like geocaches that are difficult to reach, like on a tree? Do you like geocaches that are in challenging locations, like on top of the mountain?

You can inform yourself on various criteria for the Geocache. (Insert the criteria here). Try to read all the info on the geocache page, and don’t forget to check the comments to see the state of geocache, and whether it’s still findable and in good condition.

3. Search for more geocaches with lots of Favorite points

There is an online tool Project GC – Top Favorites (%). This tool lists geocaches with the most favorite points, in percent, within some geographical area. 

Log in into the tool. Input location and you will get a list of top geocaches by most favorite points, in percent. Then you can also click Create a map to get those geocaches on a map. (Note that some filtering and geocaches displayed on the map are limited to Geocaching Premium members.)

Favorite points tool on Project GC.
Favorite points tool shows you geocaches with the most favorite points, in percent, within some geographical area.

4. Get Geocaching Premium

It’s useful to get Geocaching Premium to make searching for geocaching easier. You don’t need Geocaching Premium to find the best geocaches. It’s just that the process of planning which geocache to find is a little bit easier. If you are just a beginner geocacher, you may want to go without it until you become more experienced.

If you click on the last link, you can see which features Geocaching Premium offers. Feature is useful for making User Routes, which allows you to make a route from one place to another, and find geocaches on that route. There is also a geocaching advanced search for the best geocaches, you can filter them easier for e.g. D/T rating. And you have access to Premium geocaches, which are sometimes very high quality.

Besides Geocaching Premium, the basic Geocaching app, or other apps like c:geo are still very useful for geocaching trips. 

5. Do a Challenge geocache

Majority of challenge caches will show up as Mystery geocaches. They are shown on maps as usually having a blue question mark icon.. 

Icon for a mystery geocache.
Challenge caches will appear as Mystery geocaches on a map.

The official Challenge geocaches have a word “challenge” in the name. There may be some older “challenge” geocaches that don’t follow the current guidelines.

Challenge caches have a container at the posted geocaches coordinates, where they first sign a log. Then the player will usually have to find multiple required geocaches to complete the challenge. After finding the geocaches, you verify online that you’ve completed the challenge. Read more about Challenge geocaches here

To find challenges, you can use an online tool Project-GC – Challenge checkers. It can also tell you for which challenges you already qualify for. This may be because you already collected a geocache that was a part of some challenge. You should log in with your Geocaching account. 

Then you just find your country/state to get a list of challenges to that area. You can also press Use checker next to the challenge. This will activate the checker and check your progress in that challenge.

Displaying challenge checker, an online tool for checking geocaching challenges.
Challenge checkers will show you all the challenges in the certain area.

6. Try GeoTours

There aren’t many of them but you could also check out GeoTours. Most geotours will be in maintained locations with maintained geocaches. GeoTours are tours where you have to find all geocaches in a certain location and then you receive a digital souvenir. Here you can find a list of geotours.

7.  Use cachetur is a geocaching route planner. You can create a trip by adding the list of geocaches that you want to find. The tool will then estimate how much the trip will last. You can also generate a map of geocaches and export gpx files. But, you also need Geocaching Premium to fully use Cachetur.

Displaying Cachetur homepage.
Cachetur is a great geocaching route planner.