High-tech treasure hunting will come to the Central Oregon Coast on Saturday, Oct. 17, with the launch of a new geocaching challenge — Cache the Coast.

Geocaching is the perfect combination of high-tech problem-solving and outdoor adventure, with secret treasure troves, or caches, awaiting discovery by players armed only with GPS co-ordinates and their wits.

Once a niche pursuit for enthusiasts with specialized GPS devices, ’caching has gone well and truly global thanks to the explosion in smartphone ownership. Now, all it takes to start geocaching is to download the app to any smartphone, lace up some sturdy shoes and start walking.

Caches can be of all sizes and range from straightforward finds to devilishly cunning concealments. The contents of the cache can be just as varied, ranging from a basic logbook and pencil to souvenir trinkets and even promotional coupons from sponsors.

Cache the Coast features caches at 20 of the most beautiful and interesting spots from Newport to Garibaldi. It is the second in a series of three coastal GeoTours being developed by Oregon Coast TODAY and EO Media Group, following on the heels of a South Coast tour that launched in October 2019.

“Oregon has proved pivotal to the world of geocaching, literally from the start,” said Jenn Seva of geocaching.com. “The very first geocache was hidden in Clackamas County in May 2000. In current news, Oregon’s coastal region is proving to be quite the compelling geocaching destination! Three new GeoTours launching in-state within an 18-month period makes it a high-value destination for geocachers worldwide.”

The Central Coast event, made possible in part by funding from Explore Lincoln City, launches on Saturday, Oct. 17, with a special contest offering an extra incentive to complete the tour within the first five weeks.

Anyone who finds all 20 caches and turns in a completed Cache the Coast Passport by Saturday, Nov. 21, will be entered into a drawing for prizes including a two-night stay at Salishan Resort.

Completed passports can be returned by email or dropped off at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, at 540 NE Hwy. 101, open from 10 am to 4 pm Wednesday through Sunday; or at the Oregon Coast TODAY offices, at 4741 SW Hwy. 101, Lincoln City, from 9 am to 5 pm Monday and Tuesday.

And, the first 250 people to complete the tour will each receive a unique GeoCoin — a sought-after collectible in geocaching circles.

The Cache the Coast GeoCoin features the logo of the UNESCO Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve, an ecologically significant combination of habitats that sits at the heart of the GeoTour territory. Originally designated in 1976, the Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve is the only one in Oregon and is one of only 701 such places around the globe. 

For more details on the reserve, go to CascadeHead.org. For more details on Cache the Coast and how to get started geocaching, go to https://cachethecoast.itzwild.com.

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