- Good hiking shoes. You are almost always stepping UP on loose, rocky ground so you will want something comfortable and durable on your feet.
- Lots of water. Even if you are here when it's cold, this is tough on the body so stay hydrated.
- All your geocaching data stored offline! You will have no signal here so make sure to offline all the cache data for the entire area.
- Hiking stick if you have one. We didn't have ours along but I was wishing I did. Helps take a little pressure off the legs :)
- A camera. There are some extremely beautiful places for panoramic photos of the mountains and Mt. Rainier.
- Plenty of time! I say with all honesty that even for the physically fit, this is a challenging trek and you want to take it easy. While hundreds of geocachers, young and old, have been up this hill, it is stressful on the body. I'm not posting this to scare you in any way but to pay tribute to a cacher that was lost along this trail due to a heart attack. ECM41. Please stop at his memorial cache along the trail.
Let me start by saying that geocache GCD, Washington's oldest active geocache is an OMG WTH?!? kind of amazing, long, beautiful trek into the backwoods of Washington near Snoqualmie Pass (that's oh-my-goodness, what-the-hell?!? for those of you not fluent in texting shorthand. I write what I think and sometimes... it's weird so go with it :) A roughly 2 hour trek, 1600ft up a winding path that left us in awe of the beautiful mountain scenery and at one point, had me tightly clinging to a pine tree.
As part of our travels, we will go out of our way for notable geocaches and since we were in town for the Geocaching Block Party, one of the events was to trek up to GCD. GCD requires a long hike of switchbacks up the side of Mount Margaret in the Cascade Mountains near Snoqualmie Pass. Originally placed on June 21, 2000, GCD is the oldest active cache in Washington State, with the only remaining three-digit GC code.
After a hearty breakfast at one of our now favorite Seattle coffee shops, The Commonwealth, we made our way up the narrow drive to the trailhead area. And up we went.
Let me also stop here and say there are a few helpful/necessary items to make a trek like this one.
Now you will be looking down at your feet most of the way so remember to stop and look out across the valley and at your surroundings. You will come to a point where the trees and growth dramatically changes from dense pine trees, grass, weeds, brush to tall, beautiful ponderosa pines.
And I'm not sure if this is always on the ground or if it was put there by a fellow geocacher attending the weekend festivities but about 300ft from the cache, there was a nicely built arrow telling us exactly where to leave the main trail and bushwhack a bit straight up to the cache location.
And then....tada! We found GCD :)
Now from here you have some options. You can turn around and start working your way back down the trail, or walk up a bit further on the trail and pickup a cache called "Living on the Edge." Now, the name should tell you enough so if you are afraid of heights, don't bother. (There's another one in the opposite direction that we didn't get that I hear is basically the same experience for acrophobes like myself. Mount Margaret.) I was dumb enough to make a go at it and while it did give us some amazing views, I spent the last few hundred feet, nearly on all fours, clinging to every tree I could find. Of course Mark was much less stressed by the thought of falling off a cliff and spent time at the cache taking pictures while I was safely crouched behind a sturdy pine tree. Click on the below photos and look closely, you can see him in the distance both of the below pictures and me trying not to look completely freaked out.
I was able to find one spot where I was comfortable coming to a completely vertical position and we got a great selfie with Mt. Rainier in the background. Then I was happily scurrying the f' off that ridge!
The walk back down to the car was only about an hour and completely burned out my quads but the entire experience was worth the exhaustion! So here's a link to my public list of the geocaches you can find on your way up to GCD
Have you logged GCD or any of the oldest active geocaches in other US states? Tell us about it in the comments. Check out our complete list of the oldest, active geocaches in each state.
Geocachers, foodies, photogs, DogVacay hosts and aspiring digital nomads. We are Mark and Kris Kuhn. Wanderlusters and a fun-loving couple continually looking for new adventures and striving for a life without regrets. Years from now, we don't want to look back on a life missed opportunities.
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