Become a U.S. National Park Ranger for a Day – Park Employee for a Day Geocaches (GC42GX2) – Geocache of the Week


Counting some of the Everglades' natural residents. Photo by geocacher lilyfly.
Counting some of the Everglades’ natural residents. Photo by geocacher lilyfly.

Getting plenty of fresh air, enjoying beautiful scenery, exploring wondrous destinations—United States National Park Rangers have a job that many of us dream about. However, it’s not all fun and games. Park rangers work tirelessly to help preserve natural areas, protect endangered species and ensure visitors enjoy their experience. This week’s Geocache of the Week is the Park Employee for a Day Geocache series (beginning with GC42GX2), which  put you in the well-worn boots of a Park Ranger in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.

This geocache series is relatively new and ranges from 1.5–2.5 in difficulty and terrain. Most of the geocaches were placed in January 2013. However, just because these geocaches haven’t had a whole lot of time to rack up Favorite Points, we can tell that this series will be loved by the community. “So far, the caches have been wildly popular with visitors…we’re getting good qualitative feedback from visitors about the real-world issues we’re asking them to consider. Visitors are chiming in on how we should respond to climate change, protect imperiled species, and manage risks from wildlife. This sort of back-and-forth conversation is an exciting new departure from traditional ranger programs found at most national parks,” said Larry Perez, the U.S. Park Ranger in charge of the series.

A nice view of the Everglades. Photo by geocacher JunglePete.
A nice view of the Everglades. Photo by geocacher JunglePete.

The Park Ranger for a Day geocaches are some of the very few geocaches that are placed within a US National Park.  Geocachers will be able to experience more than just another find—they’ll be able to see the park through the eyes of a ranger. The series begins with a simple park and grab geocache that contains information about the other geocaches, as well as their coordinates. Each geocache then presents a different, real-world scenario that Park Rangers could face. “The issues we ask our visitors to consider are ongoing, real-world challenges for our park personnel. The series helps expose visitors to the “behind-the-scenes” work–both past and present–that has been undertaken by many of our rangers. These include dealing with invasive exotics, managing large wildfires, and planning for the future in light of sea level rise,” said Larry Perez.

Geocachers share how they would handle the situation in their logs. So far, the geocachers that have made the trip to southern Florida have enjoyed the series. Geocache lilyfly had this to say, “Thanks to the NPS for being willing to take chance on us geocachers. These caches were all placed in excellent locations where minimal impact will be made. The challenges presented really helped give a glimpse to the different issues facing the NPS. We loved it! THANK YOU!”

A beautiful Everglades sunset. Photo by geocacher auyantepuy.
A beautiful Everglades sunset. Photo by geocacher auyantepuy.

We’re excited about having a series of geocaches in a U.S. National Park. Which U.S. National Park would you like to see geocaches in next? Let us know in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.

If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to pr@geocaching.com.


  • Utahsnowboardin

    I live in Kalispell,MT just outside Glacier National Park. I would love to see the opportunity for caches to be placed in GNP. Glacier has been called the “Alps of the US” and National Geographic named it the “Jewel of the Continent”. It attracts visitors from all over the world and features fauna and flora that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Because Kalispell has a fairly large and active geocaching community for such a small town we would be more than happy to maintain caches in Glacier and would welcome cachers from around the world to this beautiful locale.

  • tnphotobug

    This is an AWESOME idea!!! National Parks and geocaching: how much better can you get? 😉 Next up, I would highly recommend Great Smoky Mountains National Park and/or Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. 🙂

  • Great to see more cachesinside this very unique National park, I hope one day it could be open for many
    of us regular cachers to place safe educational and ecological geocaches.
    This is a great way to finally start to introduce geocaching to this place,
    which had been so unwilling to allow us to place caches here before.

    This place is like my
    back yard I had spent many days and nights here enjoying a unique ecosystem,
    full of beauty and exotic life.

    Great blog it, nothing
    makes you more proud than to see your very own back yard on a geocaching blog



  • John Crilly

    Great idea. Rocky Mountain National Park please.

  • I would love to see a National Park Service cache place in Kalaupapa as it is the only county in the US without a cache (that I can find)

  • I know the feeling, but remember here are the park ranger the ones that are hiding but are not allow to hides caches yet, just them 🙁

  • This is an awesome series. Made it ’bout a month ago during my stay in Florida…

  • 10ninety7

    Really cool idea! Yosemite gets my vote!

  • White Mountains National Park in New Hampshire please!!

  • YukonShadow

    I can’t think of a park that I wouldn’t want to have a Ranger cache in. Glacier would be perfect for the next round but also Arches, Crater Lake, Yosemite, Rocky Mt., etc., etc., ….

  • I would love to see NPS more friendly and cooperative to geocaching overall. In the NPS policies I have read there are plenty points restricting geocaching at parks under NPS. Although the rangers in the park where I live wanted to see caches hidden in our park and where very excited about, they had to coordinate that with “the office” and they got negative reply.

  • Pinky Flamingo

    Would love some caches in Nantahala, Pisgah or Cherokee; all located in Western NC.

  • Webfoot

    I would hope that if they start placing similar types of geocaches in other parks, that they’d start with some of the lesser known ones, to encourage more visitors to them. Lassen Volcanic National Park in California comes to mind as well as Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado and Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota are two others that aren’t well known.

  • Tom Cooper

    National Parks contain some of the most remote and challenging terrain in the country. I would love to see them place one or two really remote caches in some of the larger National Parks. To be sure, it would be necessary to emphasize the need for proper camping, entry, or backwoods permits to attempt the cache, but those who love remote areas would have something new to go for.

    Knowing how many geo-trails I see around popular caches, I believe the NPS should plan on regularly moving popular caches in order to protect the environment.

  • Story about these caches in “Our National Parks”

    ‘Geocaching gains in popularity in Everglades’
    School of Communication
    University of Miami