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Geocaching is the activity of hiding a geocache container from public view for the challenge of participants using a global positioning system (GPS) device and internet-published coordinates to locate the geocache. Once located, the participants typically take an item from the geocache, replacing it with one that they contribute. There is usually a logbook in the cache that the finder can sign and date.

Rules and Regulations for Iowa State Parks and Recreation Areas

Geocache Placement Permit Application | 
must be filed and approved by the park staff before establishing a cache on any Iowa Department of Natural Resources managed property. 

1. The park staff will consider resources management, visitor safety and sensitive sites when determining sites and pathways for approval.

2. Caches are not to be placed in sensitive archaeological, historical or ecological areas such as historical buildings, caves, or locations that contain rare plant species.  Prescribed burn units are general considered to be off-limits for placement.  In general, only one to three geocaches will be approved per management area.  Consider EarthCaches rather than physical caches in environmentally sensitive areas.

2.  According to  "An EarthCache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth.  EarthCaches include a set of educational notes and the details about where to find the location (latitude and longitude).  Visitors to EarchCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn abou the Earth.  For information about EarthCaches, visit"

4. The permit application must be on an approved form provided by the DNR and will include the following written information: name, address and telephone number of the placer of the geocache. It must also show the exact location both in GPS X and Y coordinates and written description or map of the placement site. Regardless of the issuance date, permits expire annually on March 31. After that date, the geocache must be moved and a new location permit issued or removed from the premises. The Department of Natural Resources reserves the right to terminate this approval for placement of a geocache container on state land for any reason at any time.

5. All local and state laws apply.

6. The cache container must be clearly marked on the outside with "Geocache" in block letters no smaller than one half inch in size and the name of the geocache.