And the winner is…

The geocaching community has spoken. The Mission 9: Tunnel of Light APE cache will be returned to its original location and restored to active APE cache status. Once reactivated, the cache will be loggable throughout the year.

We will reactivate the APE cache on August 19, 2017, the date of the Going Ape 2017 Mega-Event at Washington’s Iron Horse State Park.

More than 10,000 geocachers helped make this decision. (Read the February 20th blog for more about the ballot choices.) Here are the results:

61% — Return and Reactivate

17% — Activate Once A Year

13% — Display at Geocaching HQ

9% — Traveling Artifact

Geocaching HQ’s Bryan Roth and Jon Stanley examine the recovered APE cache container at HQ in October 2016.

Many of you argued passionately on all sides of this issue. In the end, the consensus from the community was clear.

We understand people around the world are eager for more details. In the coming weeks, Geocaching HQ will work closely with the Washington State Geocaching Association (organizer of the Going Ape Mega-Event) and we will keep you updated as plans are made.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the process. From the Seattle-area cachers who rediscovered the long lost APE cache to the thousands who helped write its next chapter!

(Anyone wishing to visit Geocaching HQ around the time of the Going Ape event should see our Schedule A Visit page. It’s always a busy time, so there is a ticketing system in place during August 14 to September 8.)

Jon Stanley (aka Moun10Bike) at the hiding of the Mission 9: Tunnel of Light cache in 2001.
Several members of team who discovered the long-lost APE cache. At Geocaching HQ in October 2016.
Hopelessly addicted cacher and Geocaching HQ's PR Manager.
  • a geocacher


  • irwando

    Over/under on when it disappears again? I’m guessing many people want the icon, I just fear for its future.

  • Mike Ivy

    August 20th…

  • Chris

    Hi irwando,

    Thanks for your feedback. It’s certainly a valid viewpoint.

    Of course I can’t speak for the community as a whole, or what each individual’s motivation was as they voted. But I can offer a window into discussions here at HQ before the voting happened.

    No doubt, the cache could go missing again. As the owner of the cache, we could have determined that the container had too much sentimental value to return to the wild. But in the end, we felt that if someone decides to muggle it again, then we’re no worse off than we were a year ago. If it’s muggled, whether that’s a day or 10 years after the reactivation, at least people will have gotten some enjoyment out of finding it again.

    That’s why we were cool with returning it to its original location OR leaving it at HQ. So we looked to the community to make the call.

  • Bart Flentje

    Awesome. The only geocaching-mecca caches I need are the APE and GC17. Now I have my reason to return this summer. See you then.

  • Angelfire

    Oh, my goodness! I hope I can get there before it disappears again!

  • Jonathan Devor

    Something tells me that Going Ape 2017 is going to become a Giga-Event.

  • FireflyAfrica

    So how do the rest of us who don’t live in the USA or have the financial means to travel there get to log an APE cache?

  • Justo

    You go to Brazil.

  • Justo

    Awesome! This is great that some people will have the opportunity to log an APE cache again. That is, if they live closer to Washington than to Brazil…

  • JimRKY

    About the same way that those of us in the US who can’t afford to travel get country souvenirs: we don’t. Life is REAL. Life is HARD – Geocaching, now that’s Fun! 8-D

  • JimRKY

    Thank you. This instills a bit more confidence in the future of Geocaching! 8-D (Do you remember when they re-activated that APE cache because the container got found y e a r s after it was Disabled?…)

  • JimRKY

    Perhaps a solar-powered webcam on the cache site? Nice Lithium-Ion powered battery backup and a satellite-phone module if wi-fi isn’t available. At least make any Muggles “dress up” for the deed! 8-D

  • dronnord

    My thoughts exactly.I missed it on the 2010 trek due to time restraints. My wife restrained me after two weeks of caching from Alberta to the Seattle Mega and back to Alberta…new reason to go back to Seattle. (Which is georgeous country)

  • t4e

    What’s the plan for dealing with all the fake logs?
    This was one of the reasons I didn’t want to see this one put in play again, besides its really not fair to all that have been there since it disappeared,

  • HighpointerGeocaching

    It appears that many foreign geocachers have visited the Seattle area, so it appears that it is feasible for geocachers from throughout the world to get there to log the APE cache.

  • Robert Lippman

    and will the reactivated cache allow finders to get the coveted ape icon??

  • me

    So many challenges require me to have a cache like this and other uncommon types ones, that require much more money for across-the-ocean flight that I can’t afford, not to mention the long, expensive and annoying process of getting US visa (which can become harder due to US politics lately). I wish there were ways to get the ape icon in other continents beside America.

  • Team Goobie


  • mietek112

    Sad, it is realy sad 🙁 Geocaching – this is fun, but it doesn’t mean that must be so expensive. Unfortunately I will not have this cache for long time… or never. This is sad, it is realy sad :((

  • Sally Harper

    At least now you have two choices if you must have the ape cache icon. Why would this be something to complain about?

  • Sally Harper

    Why is this sad? What does it matter if you never get the icon? It’s not a requirement. At least now we have a higher chance of getting the icon than before!

  • Sally Harper

    Then don’t sign those challenges. It’s just a game. No one is making you buy a flight to America.

  • Sally Harper

    I think this is awesome and I’m amazed that some people are being so negative about it. It costs a small fortune for me to get to Seattle (and I’m in the USA) so I’ll probably never log this. But I’m stoked for those of you who will!

  • mietek112

    Ofcourse You have right. Nothing happend if i will have no APE icon in my stats. And I’m ok with it. For me it is sad, because this Type of geocache is the icon. This is part of history and thats why this is sad for me. No stats. For me would be great if this cache would traveling around the world.

  • Michal

    The new APE movie is coming to theathers in July, maybe you can think about new APE caches around the world?

  • Ellen Hayes

    I live across the USA and most likely will never get to claim it or the one in Brazil but hey I will not get to claim all the other nearly 3 million caches around the world either. The ones I would love to be able to claim are the ones under the sea and the one up on the Space Station. But can’t get those either. O well reality sucks 😀 Go for those you can get.

  • Sally Harper

    I understand what you are saying, and I think you are right, the only thing special about this cache now is the icon and that is sad. But I am also happy that it was found and re-instated so that people can find it if they choose to.

  • Ivan

    And now somebody should find the GC12AD Mission 10b: Meridian Snake in London to make it easier also for European geocachers 😉
    BTW: I vote for “Display at Geocaching HQ” option to keep APE cache in Brasil only.