Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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Geocaching on Public Lands

Geocaching is a 21st Century treasure hunting adventure game played by global positioning system (GPS) users enjoying freedom of access to the public lands. BLM welcomes this activity in appropriate locations on the public lands and if it is conducted with minimal impact to the environment.

Geocaching is related to orienteering (where participants find their way with a compass) except it takes advantage of a GPS unit's capabilities. The locations of physical and virtual caches all over the world are shared on the Internet. Visitors use location coordinates to find caches, then they are faced with a variety of rewards or additional tasks. The visitor may be expected to leave or replace items in the cache, deliver items to another cache, or take a self-portrait to upload to an Internet virtual album. The cache may be a small waterproof box or simply an unmistakable landmark to include in the portrait.

The BLM must confirm that geochaching activities do not jeopardize public health and safety, do not cause environmental damage, and do not conflict with other authorized land uses. Prior to establishing a cache on public lands, please contact the local BLM Field Office to identify the intended location and to request authorization. Through this contact, BLM can verify that the proposed cache location:

  • Is not near any prehistoric or historic archaeological site, cave, cave entrance, ruins, stock tanks, wildlife waters, or other sensitive resources;
  • Will not interfere with threatened or endangered species habitat;
  • Is not inside a designated wilderness, wilderness study area, or research natural area where such use is not considered appropriate;
  • Will not conflict with other land uses or users;
  • Is not hazardous or presents any hazards to the public; and
  • Requires no other special considerations or undue disturbances.

For more details on BLM rules related to Geocaching, please see BLM's Official Geocaching Policy: Instruction Memorandum: No. 2005-092 "Geocaching Activities on BLM Public Lands."


BLM New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Areas

Photo of GPS Device

Geocaching Geocaching

There are no designated geocaching areas on public lands managed by the BLM in New Mexico. However, BLM welcomes this activity in appropriate locations on the public lands and if it is conducted with minimal impact to the environment.