Exploring San Jose through Geocaching

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt and see your city in a whole new way.

A hand holds a small open canister and a roll of paper with log entries on it.

City Editor Nicole found this cache in Shady Oaks Park.

Photo by SJtoday staff

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If you’re an avid SJtoday reader, you probably enjoy seeing your home city in a whole new way. But imagine going a step further and joining the world’s largest treasure hunt to discover hidden gems in your own backyard.

A hand holds a cache and log outside.

City Editor Nicole and her dad found this Kelley Park cache this weekend.

Photo by SJtoday staff

👀 Treasure you say?

Welcome to Geocaching, a huge GPS coordinate-based game where users hunt for treasures — called “caches” — that are hidden in public places.

Currently, there are over 3 million caches across all seven continents (even Antarctica), with roughly 1,800 caches in San Jose.

A variety of Geocache containers ranging from tiny canisters to fake logs and medium plastic containers.

Caches come in all shapes and sizes.

Photo via Geocaching.com

📦 What are these caches?

Caches come in many forms + can be hidden anywhere — in trees, under benches, in fake rocks, or on magnets inside fence poles, for instance.

But don’t expect doubloons and pieces of eight. Most caches only include a slip of paper to log your find. It’s much more about the journey than the actual “treasure.”

Two hands holding a cell phone and GPS.

Ready to start hunting?

Photo via SJtoday staff

📲 How do I play?

You’ll need to make an account to get started, then you can use the official Geocaching app to start hunting. Pro tip: Bring a pen. You can also start hiding your own caches.

Not super interested in looking through bushes? There’s a new Geocaching Adventure Lab app to take you on local scavenger hunts.

A wide shot of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in Downtown San Jose.

Where would one hide a cache at this San Jose landmark?

Photo by SJtoday staff

📍 Start here

Ready to hunt? We’ve hand-picked a few local beginner cacheswith some clues for you.

  • Beethoven Lives Upstairs | N 37° 20.142 W 121° 53.123 | The coordinates lead to the doors of a well-known library — use the directory to find the cache’s final location.
  • Heads Up at Kelley Park | N 37° 19.369 W 121° 51.379 | Pass through the disc golf courses and look for a tree with a “skirt.”
  • Moons Over Mount Hammy | N 37° 20.481 W 121° 38.592 | This well-guarded cache offers an out-of-this-world view.
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