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.
👀 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.
📦 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.”
📲 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.
📍 Start here
Ready to hunt? We’ve hand-picked a few local beginner caches — with 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.