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Geocache (GCD) Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 06/21/2000
2 out of 5
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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How Geocaching Works

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Geocache Description:

Take a hike up the flanks of Mount Margaret - in the Cascade Mountains near Snoqualmie Pass - to the oldest active cache in Washington State and 15th-oldest in the world, with the only remaining three-digit GC code. It's a Great Caching Day!

Getting there: The optimal route to this cache starts at the Mount Margaret trailhead (see waypoint). Take exit 54 from I-90, then unpaved forest roads 4832 and 4934 to trailhead parking (GPS routing is usually accurate). The roads are generally in good shape; sometimes, however, the final stretch to parking has big potholes and dips that might defeat a low-slung sedan or fifth-wheel.

You don't need a pass to park at the trailhead; it's free.

The hike: From there, the hike is 2 miles one way with 1,600 feet of elevation gain. Follow the Mount Margaret Trail until you are about 300 feet from the cache. The cache isn't on the trail, so you have two options: Bushwhack directly to the cache location through the brush, or follow the trail past the cache location to the ridge, take in the views, then follow the sketchy ridgeline track until you see the waytrail down to the cache, which is just below the ridge.

This is a moderate mountain hike, so bring hiking shoes, water, and other backcountry essentials. Don't forget your camera! Weather permitting, you'll have nice views of Mount Rainier and the Snoqualmie Pass area, as well as great views east from the ridge top into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

When to go: This area of the Cascades can have snow well into the summer (often into July), so plan your trip accordingly. Your chances of reaching and finding the cache in deep snow are almost nil, and simply visiting the location does not qualify as a find. Optimal months are July through October. You may want to check Snoqualmie Pass weather and I-90 road conditions to prepare for your trip.

The cache: The container is a 30cal ammo can.

Pro tip: Go in August or early September if you want to snack on ripe huckleberries en route to the cache. Yum!

Cell reception: A few folks have asked.... Verizon has great coverage; AT&T has a few spotty areas. T-Mobile, not so much. However, if you save the cache(s) offline in your geo-app of choice, cell reception won't be an issue.

Origins: The original cache, placed in June 2000 by ajroman and his girlfriend Karen, was famously a recipe box found at a yard sale for 10 cents. I found this cache on June 27, 2004, back when it was just an ordinary cache in a young game. Years later (2011), AJ asked me to adopt it as they didn't geocache anymore and it had become a celebrity cache.

While you're here, you really should get Mount Margaret and Livin' on the Edge. Both offer breath-taking viewpoints over the area (but are not recommended for acrophobes).

If you use a Garmin or DeLorme GPSr, Northwest Trails could prove helpful.

In Memorium: Eric McDonald (ECM41)
On Aug. 17, 2014, geocacher Eric McDonald (ECM41) was hiking to this cache before the Going APE mega-event, along with his 12yo daughter Kaylynn and best friend Hoovers69, when he had a heart attack. Despite more than an hour of CPR, Eric died on the trail before paramedics could reach him. A Puyallup resident, Eric was only 43 and in good shape, and was at the Groundspeak Block Party the day before, so this was a huge shock. He is greatly missed in the Puget Sound caching community.

Page views added Oct. 4, 2012. The cache was placed in June 2000, so this counter doesn't begin to capture all the visitors to this page, but it's still fun to see:

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Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Nzzb pna oruvaq raq fghzc va ebj bs fghzcf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)