Mystery Cache

The SuMMit Challenge

A cache by fastflyer Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/19/2013
In California, United States
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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How Geocaching Works

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Geocache Description:

The cache container IS at the posted coordinates. But to log it, you must first meet the challenge.

This challenge will take you to 24 named peaks in the Santa Monica Mountains (SMM). And the experiences of exploring them will be quite diverse. Some locations are bunched together (particularly in Griffith Park), and some are more isolated. For some spots, you will often find them fairly crowded, while for others you might have nearly complete solitude. Some are reasonably easy to access, and some require more serious planning and effort.

You won’t be hunting any park ‘n’ grabs.

This challenge should be achievable by any reasonably strong hiker. No special skills, such as technical rock climbing, are required to complete this challenge.

The Challenge

So, are you ready for a real peak experience?

Then find and log a cache near each of these high points in the Santa Monica Mountains:

Name Elevation (Feet) Coordinates Active Qualifying Caches *
Sandstone Peak (Mount Allen) 3,111 N 34° 07.218 W 118° 55.914 Display caches
Tri Peaks 3,010 N 34° 07.331 W 118° 57.012 Display caches
Boney Peak 2,825 N 34° 06.643 W 118° 57.462 Display caches
Saddle Peak 2,825 N 34° 04.695 W 118° 39.319 Display caches
Inspiration Point 2,800 N 34° 06.989 W 118° 56.569 Display caches
Topanga Lookout 2,469 N 34° 05.526 W 118° 38.164 Display caches
Calabasas Peak 2,165 N 34° 06.722 W 118° 39.158 Display caches
Temescal Peak 2,126 N 34° 06.136 W 118° 33.226 Display caches
McAuley Peak 2,049 N 34° 04.324 W 118° 43.364 Display caches
Ladyface 2,031 N 34° 08.104 W 118° 46.379 Display caches
San Vicente Mountain 1,965 N 34° 07.717 W 118° 30.772 Display caches
Mesa Peak 1,844 N 34° 03.750 W 118° 43.139 Display caches
Cahuenga Peak 1,820 N 34° 08.217 W 118° 19.555 Display caches
Conejo Mountain 1,798 N 34° 11.300 W 118° 59.056 Display caches
Burbank Peak 1,680 N 34° 08.156 W 118° 19.921 Display caches
Mount Lee 1,640 N 34° 08.084 W 118° 19.255 Display caches
Mount Hollywood 1,626 N 34° 07.684 W 118° 18.071 Display caches
Mount Chapel 1,622 N 34° 08.195 W 118° 18.513 Display caches
Mount Bell 1,587 N 34° 08.133 W 118° 18.123 Display caches
Parker Mesa Overlook 1,525 N 34° 03.553 W 118° 34.429 Display caches
Briar Summit 1,509 N 34° 07.566 W 118° 22.107 Display caches
Runyon Summit 1,320 N 34° 06.986 W 118° 21.178 Display caches
Mugu Peak 1,266 N 34° 05.556 W 119° 03.306 Display caches
Glendale Peak 1,182 N 34° 07.480 W 118° 17.270 Display caches

* Unknown cache types are excluded and can not be used as qualifying caches.

If you wish, you may use the challenge checker below to determine whether you've qualified. This checker is currently believed to be correct, but if any bugs are found in which the checker indicates that you've qualified when you haven't, you are still responsible for qualifying properly. You may copy and paste the output of the checker into your log. But if you would like to document all of your qualifying and bonus caches, you will still need to do that manually.

PGC Checker

The Specifics

  • You must log a cache that is within 0.2 miles of each location for which any active qualifying caches are available. Naturally, you are encouraged to attempt to log the active cache which is closest to the peak, and to actually set foot on the highest point if possible. You can use the “Display caches” link, included in the table entry for each location, to determine the active caches which can be used to qualify. You can also refer to this bookmark list, although it’s not guaranteed to be complete. At the time of this challenge cache creation, all locations in the challenge had active qualifying caches available.
    (Note: 0.3 miles from official coordinates is allowed for Tri Peaks, in order to include East Peak.)

  • The following cache types are included in this challenge: Traditional, Multi, Virtual, Letterbox Hybrid, and EarthCache. Acceptability as a qualifying cache is based on the published coordinates (for example, the first stage of a Multi), as these are the only coordinates which are easily verifiable. All other cache types, including Unknown, are excluded from this challenge.
    (Note: I was unable to find a way to make the “Display caches” links filter out excluded caches such as Unknowns. But even though you may see them appear in the results, they are still excluded and can not be used as qualifying caches.)

  • You must log a distinct cache for each location. Because some of the locations are close together, there may be caches which are within the 0.2 mile radius of multiple locations. If you are using such a cache to qualify, you must choose a single location to associate it with. Please indicate this in your qualifying list.

  • Previous finds count. If you are an avid SMM mountaineer, you may already qualify for this challenge.

  • Archived caches count. But they will not appear in the list generated by the “Display caches” links. If you wish to check whether an archived cache that you have logged qualifies for a particular location, use the specified coordinates for the location and determine the distance that the archived cache is from those coordinates. There are many tools which will do this, including this one: Coordinate Distance Calculator.

  • If you are the cache owner of all of the currently active qualifying caches for a particular location, then you may claim credit for it. However, if there are any active qualifying caches by one or more other cache owners, then you must find and log one of those.

  • Any location for which there are no active qualifying caches when you are ready to claim a find, does not require a qualifying cache.

  • Please document your qualifications either by listing your qualifying cache finds in your "Found it" log, or by creating a bookmark list. Please indicate the location name, qualifying cache name, GC number, and date when you found it. Only one qualifying cache per location is required but, if you wish, feel free to list more qualifiers for additional “bragging rights”.

  • You must find the physical cache and sign the log, before posting a “Found it” log on-line. “Found it” logs which cannot be verified will be deleted. The preferred order is to first qualify before hunting the challenge cache. But if you would rather find the challenge cache and sign the log before qualifying, that’s okay.

  • Logging progress notes or qualifying notes to the challenge cache page is not necessary, but it’s fine if you care to do so.

Bonus Locations

To make this challenge more inclusive, named peak locations with qualifying caches available, but which are only accessible by more effort than simply hiking, are not required. Of course, if you wish, you may log them and claim even more “bragging rights” in your qualifying list. At the time of publication, Brents Mountain was the only such location.

Name Elevation (Feet) Coordinates Active Qualifying Caches
Brents Mountain 1,713 N 34° 05.159 W 118° 43.363 Display caches

It’s possible that other locations could be added to this list in the future, but they will never be required in order to complete this challenge.

Background Details

The qualifying list for this challenge cache was created using named peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains, beginning with the highest. It turned out to be surprisingly difficult to find a definitive list of all of the SMM named peaks, along with their elevations and coordinates. The information used for this challenge cache was assembled from multiple sources including USGS, Google,, and Sources often had conflicting data - particularly for coordinates. All of the data used by this challenge were carefully reviewed, and are believed to be (at least very close to) correct. If any gross errors should be discovered, they will be corrected. Otherwise, the data listed for this challenge will be considered correct as it stands.

In addition to the entries in the challenge qualifying list, there were other named peaks which were considered for inclusion in this challenge. But none of them had any qualifying caches available, presumably due to land use restrictions in each case. If geocaches are ever allowed and placed near any of these locations, they may be added to this challenge as additional bonus locations that are not required to meet this challenge. These are:

  • Ballard Mountain
  • Castro Peak
  • Clarks Peak
  • Laguna Peak
  • La Jolla Peak
  • Sugarloaf Peak
  • Triunfo Lookout

Given the 0.2 mile tolerance around a peak in this challenge, some named peaks are simply too close together to both be included. This occurred in the following cases:

  • Big Dome is redundant with Tri Peaks
  • Exchange Peak is redundant with Inspiration Point
  • Saddle Peak West is redundant with Saddle Peak East (Saddle Peak East used)

Final Word

If you decide to take up this challenge, some serious hiking to some outstanding destinations lies ahead. Enjoy the adventures!

There are also two other great SMM challenge caches, and some of the qualifying caches for those challenges overlap with this challenge:

Santa Monica Mtns History Adventure (GC18DXW)
Spinal Tap (GC1C4Y4)

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Haqre ohfu oruvaq ebpx

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



53 Logged Visits

Found it 16     Write note 35     Publish Listing 1     Owner Maintenance 1     

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**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 2/4/2017 5:02:39 AM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (1:02 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum