A Beginner’s Guide to Geocaching in Portland, Part Two: Geocaching with the Family


It’s time to hunt some geocaches! In Part One of our Geocaching Series, we explored the basics concepts of geocaching and what you need to get started. In Part Two, we’ll introduce you to four fun and varied caches from all different parts of the city that are great for beginners. Each cache is within the Portland city limits, and none require extensive hiking, which make them good options to take with kids in tow. If you try any of them out, let us know how it goes!

Geocaching in Portland Part II

To simplify the process, we have provided the cache name and code to make searching for it in the app a little easier. Remember: to be able to participate, you will need an account with geocaching.com and be signed into the Geocaching app on your mobile device. And don’t forget to BYOP (bring your own pen!) as some of these geocaches are small!

Large log book in the extra large cache!

NE Portland: The Atomic Penguin (GC46MZW)

This urban cache is a fantastic introductory cache to do with kids, and is easily accessible by foot or by road. Hidden in an unusual and clever spot, opening this extra-large cache is an adventure in and of itself. One of both the benefits and disadvantages of starting off with this cache is that it is chock-full of toys. This can be a great way to get children excited about geocaching, but it also may falsely make them think that all geocaches contain goodies. Remember the Golden Rule: if you take something from a geocache, always leave something in return.

Outer SE Portland: Cache Series – 1 Under Par (GC4VVXG)

One of the best ways to start off geocaching is to attempt a series of geocaches within a city park. When it comes to kids, having several caches back-to-back can help keep impatience at bay. This is one of a series located off the main trail along the walkable perimeter of a golf course. When we went to visit, we snagged a great variety of caches in about an hour, with babies in carriers throughout our adventure. This means each cache was reasonably accessible, the terrain was not too difficult, and we found them quickly enough that babies didn’t start fussing. This would be a perfect set of caches to do with kids who are capable of reading and interpreting the directions independently, and a fun way to explore different cache types (some of them are very cool!)

A geocache with a view!

SW Portland: The Great Plank Road (CG1X5PN)

Another urban cache, this one has a completely different feel from the one above. It is a great example of a medium-sized cache in a fairly straightforward location, with a little history lesson to boot. Head up the hills of SW Portland for the stunning view and grab a geocache with your kids on the way! A benefit to geocaching is that it makes you stop and look around in places you might otherwise never take a moment to visit. We found this one quickly but hung around for the scenery.

SE Portland: SpudCache (GC5ANAT)

Neighborhood geocaches are fun because they can take you through some of Portland’s nooks and crannies that you might not visit otherwise. This is a simple cache just off the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood, easy enough to spot if you know some typical geocaching tricks. It is also big enough to have a few toys, so bring something to drop off if you stop by with your kiddos. When we visited, there were a few young muggles about, but they were clearly used to geocachers stopping by.

Have some other family-favorite geocaches in or around Portland? Share with us in comments!

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Lee Ann
Lee Ann moved to Portland in 2008 following an eight-year stint in Paris, France, where her eldest was born. Though she thought nowhere could compete with the City of Lights, the City of Roses immediately stole her heart. As a great place to raise kids, she loves getting out and exploring the city and the PNW with her husband and four young children. While in France, Lee Ann earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master's in Linguistics at the American University of Paris and L'Universite de Paris - La Sorbonne, respectively, before returning stateside to become a Speech-Language Pathologist through the Portland State University graduate program. Throughout her studies, she kept one foot in the digital world, writing content for publications and creating websites for clients. After many years as a medical Speech Pathologist, she left to the field to continue freelance writing, become the owner of Portland Mom Collective (!), and to create a crafting/workshop space for PDX makers. She likes to spend whatever "me" time she can muster making soap, geocaching, jogging, sewing, and staring at the wall with no small humans talking to her. Get in touch by sending a note to leeann {at} portlandmomcollective {dot} com, or follow her on Instagram.