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Colorado vacation caching

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My wife and I are going to be taking a road trip to Colorado next month to visit and do some outdoorsy things (hiking, maybe some kayaking, etc.) and wanted to get some input from anyone who has done some caching around Colorado Springs. I've been there several times, but wasn't a cacher (gasp) at those times. We will likely visit Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods, and a few other spots like that. I've looked at the cache map, of course, and I know there are a few big series around CO Springs (Cache-A-Day, TMP, TDP, Russellville Run), and there are several virtuals and earth caches. We will likely grab the virtuals, the earth caches, and maybe do some of the series. I will also build my usual GSAK database for the area and sort by favorites so that I can easily find the really cool caches around CO Springs. However, nothing beats personal recommendations. To that end, can anyone recommend any "you've got to do this one" caches? We'd also appreciate any input about other cool things to see/do while there or along the way from Houston, whether there are caches associated with it or not (second gasp). Naturally, anything with caching associated with it goes to the top of the list.


We know the folks on this forum are a wealth of experience, so we value your input and recommendations. Thanks in advance to any/all who can provide some input.

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1. jealous

2. have fun

3.  give a trip report when you get home!

4.  the rest of us will get a chance to FTF around here!!! 

Edited by rozowski5
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One of my all time favorite EC is Hanging Lake.


Its about 3 1/2 hours from Colorado Springs.  Hanging Lake is a



National Natural Landmark.  It took Scott and I about 3 1/3 hours to hike it, but I need to stop a lot, you ascends some 1,000 feet and go over boulders.  

But it was  beautiful and I enjoyed the hike. 



Tarryall  is the oldest cache in Colorado

Edited by Nov64
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If you're camping along the way... I 'think' there may be a cache or two in the park.... Palo Duro Canyon State Park is worth the stop for a hike or just the views. Although, be warned, it will be warm this time of year!


Two years ago, a few months before I started caching, I took a solo road trip to Denver/Colorado Springs.  I camped on the way up, stayed with a gal who is like a sister from another mother, then camped my way back home to Houston.  


On the way back, I hit Palo Duro - a spectacular place!   Sometimes called the little Grand Canyon.   Had a cat (bob) scratching and sniffing outside of my tent, which was a little unnerving,  I simply scooted to the middle of my 2 man tent and held mace in my hand while I slept.  Anyway.... a great place to visit!!!

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Team Four Paw and I went on a similar trip in 2010, except that we went all the way to Montana and back as well. This is how our trip up there went, and best caches in route and in Colorado Springs. I used to live in the Springs near Garden of the Gods, so it has a special place in my heart.

1. Drove to Palo Duro, spent the night, cached that park in the morning. Check ahead and make sure it is not the weekend of their big bike race or you will be camping in overflow parking, which is where we and about 50 non-friends ended up

2. Cadillac Ranch, has a couple of caches and also every Texan should be Abe to say they have been there

3. Valley of Gold, cache on route to Colorado, a favorite, its a cool cache Sorry for the link awkwardness, typing this on tablet and don't know how to do some functions properly. GC1DMZF

4. Virtual New Mexico #4 Capulin Volcano, GC6999, cool place

5. Once in the Springs, do not miss Paul Barclay Stash, GC67. Its a grandfather cache with great views and a fun hike, close to other cache s in a really good area to cache in. Bring plenty of water, us Texans can get dehydrated fast in Colorado mountains because the sweat evaporates so fast we forget we are losing water.

There are two others in the Springs area that are grandfathers but I haven't found them and it would take more patience to find them than the two rum drinks I just had will allow. One is in the Red Rocks area and one is near Woodland Park, that is all I remember.

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Just wanted to say thank you to those who contributed to the discussion topic before we took our road trip to Colorado and back for our belated honeymoon. I also wanted to circle back and provide some information to anyone who may be traveling (or crossing) the route we went. We had some specific things we had planned to do on the trip, but we used the locations of available earth caches and virtuals to help plot our course each day. We saw some really cool things, experienced breathtaking scenery, spotted lots of wildlife (including a rattlesnake, coyotes, a wolf, a marmot, and many deer), and learned lots of things from the earth caches and the virtuals. We visited 51 virtuals, 32 earth caches, 13 letterboxes, and 113 traditional caches along the way. We even got 4 FTF’s while we were away. J

Our general route was as follows:

  • Day 1: Houston > San Antonio
  • Day 2: San Antonio > Lubbock
  • Day 3: Lubbock > Amarillo
  • Day 4: Amarillo > Albuquerque, NM > Santa Fe, NM
  • Day 5: Santa Fe > Durango, CO
  • Day 6: Durango > Grand Junction, CO (stopped for horseback riding in the mountains near Silverton, CO)
  • Day 7: Grand Junction > Moab, UT > Grand Junction (day trip to Arches National Park)
  • Day 8: Grand Junction > Buena Vista, CO (visited Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park on the way to B&B in Buena Vista on the Arkansas River)
  • Day 9: Buena Vista, CO > Colorado Springs, CO (whitewater rafting the Arkansas River near Buena Vista and ending the day in Colorado Springs with visit to Garden of the Gods)
  • Day 10: Colorado Springs > Amarillo
  • Day 11: Amarillo > Abilene
  • Day 12: Abilene > Houston


Out of all the earth caches and virtuals we did, some of the more “stand-out” ones were as follows:


  • GC1VA65 Robber Baron Cave (earth cache)
  • GCGCND The Grotto (virtual)
  • GCB6A8 Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum (virtual….must see)
  • GC1VA36 Blue Argillaceous Limestone (earth cache)
  • GC6E04 In Texas, Everything is Bigger! (virtual)
  • GCG4YR Alchemy Cache II: Lighter than Air (virtual)
  • GCG71X Cadillac Ranch (virtual)
  • GCZQ83 The Second-Largest Canyon in the United States (earth cache…..Palo Duro Canyon)
  • GC1W9BA Blue Hole (earth cache)
  • GCK21R Travel Bug Café (virtual)
  • GC233D Night in the Alley w/ Dennis Hopper (virtual)
  • GC1T840 Frijoles Canyon (earth cache)
  • GCGE6Z Hello Hello Hello (virtual)
  • GC22ZXJ Pagosa Hot Springs (earth cache)
  • GC3057 History, Trains and Southwest (virtual)
  • GC13MAT Box Canon Falls (earth cache)
  • GCGM80 Tour of Duty (virtual)
  • All of the earth caches in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah (particularly GC20EX7 Landscape Arch and GC2VZ0T Double O Arch.
  • All of the earth caches in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
  • GCND0E Garden of the Gods Earth Cache (earth cache)
  • GCGGCJ Mining I- Ludlow Massacre (virtual….terrible story, but definitely one to learn about if you didn’t know the story already….which we didn’t)
  • GC9182 Military Honors virtual (virtual)


If anyone is planning a trip anytime soon to Colorado or anywhere we passed through, feel free to contact me for more info if you want.

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I see y'all also got Pinkerton Hot Springs earthcache -- GC23EMK.  I was FTF on that one!


Yes, there were lots that we did but I didn't list. That one was not on the short list of favs of ours, but it was simple and commonsense (not the case with some of the earth caches along the way). Congrats on the FTF. O0

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