The cache has been updated and replaced with a new container. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE IT WELL HIDDEN! The original Strato Cache was first hidden in September of 2001 and had been vandalized multiple times, then it was completely stolen in July 2002. We replaced the Ammo Can cache with a much smaller waterproof tube style cache, in hopes that this one would not be so easily discovered. In 2004 the cache was yet once again replaced with an ammo can with Official Game Piece do not remove markings. The original cache was hidden behind some loose rocks in the base of the monument plaque at N 43° 58.752 W 103° 20.612. Be sure to check it out and enjoy the view!
From the lookout you can enjoy a superb view of the Strato Bowl. The Strato Bowl is a naturally occurring limestone bowl that was frequently used for conducting balloon and high atmosphere tests during the pioneer times of our nations aviation history. In 1935 the Explorer II was launched and set quite a number of altitude and world records for manned flight. In recent years (The 1990s) several attempts at the "around the world in a balloon nonstop" record was launched from the bottom of the Stratobowl, but technical problems caused them to fall short of their goals and to ditch in the Atlantic ocean. The Strato Cache is easiest to access along the forest service walking or biking trail from the southeast. The cache is a camouflaged plastic cylinder about 7 inches long and 3 inches around, and as a clue -it is hidden to protect it from the sun. The cache is in a highly explored area so make sure you hide it well, after you sign the log book recording your visit.
Getting to the cache: The easiest route to hike to the cache is to use the following starting point- If your traveling south from Rapid City on Highway 16 (Mount Rushmore Road) Drive a mile past the big wooden (Gateway to the Black Hills) arches at the top of the hill, past the home away from home-where reptiles live (Reptile Gardens). Continue on the road (highway 16) and look for an access leading north road just before you begin to descend down the hill into Rockerville. Park at the gate (at N 43° 58.186 W 103° 20.310) located on the top of the hill.
Note: While you are enjoying the view be sure to look for the Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats that live in the area below.
Please make sure you are wary of Muggles when finding this cache and don’t let them see what you are doing, as there is a lot of exploring and hiking traffic in this area
-Team Family Affair (Scott, Mary, Matt, Mindy and Beth and latest replacement cache helper Gloria)