EarthCaching-Getting Started

GPS Units can be fun tools for exploring Shenandoah.
GPS Units can be fun tools for exploring Shenandoah.

NPS Photo

Read the guidelines and suggestions posted below, bring your GPS unit and digital camera, and get ready to discover fascinating features of Shenandoah's history and geology for yourself!

What you will need to participate:

  • GPS device
  • Digital Camera (optional)
  • A user account at
  • Printout of specific Shenandoah National Park EarthCache information from and a pen or pencil
  • Enthusiasm to explore Shenandoah National Park!

Things to know before your EarthCache adventure:

  • Access to Shenandoah National Park is required to complete a park-based EarthCache. Visitors have widespread access from late March - November. Please be advised of potential road closures for Skyline Drive for construction work, during deer hunting season, and in the event of inclement weather. Click here for information about road closures prior to your visit. Also be advised that most visitor services are closed from December - March. Click here for detailed facility information.
  • While there is no fee for participation in the EarthCache program, all visitors are required to pay park entrance fees. Click here for fee information.
  • All EarthCaches are located along marked trails. Do not go off trail! Doing so is unsafe and will take you farther away from your destination. Parking is available at each trailhead.
  • As with all EarthCaches, there are no physical caches to be found. Search for natural features to answer the questions. Learning about the natural wonders of the park when you visit the site is the treasure!

How the Program Works

  1. Set up a membership to access complete EarthCache listings. The basic membership is free!
  2. Choose an EarthCache found in Shenandoah National Park. The park is divided into 3 sections: North, Central, and South Districts. Look for EarthCache opportunities in each district!
  3. The estimated time to complete each EarthCache varies depending on trail conditions, terrain, and your own pace preference. Check the difficulty and terrain ratings listed on each EarthCache to help you decide which one is best for you.
  4. Log in and print the text of the EarthCache you have selected and either download or manually enter the GPS coordinates for the EarthCache objectives into your GPS device. Once in the park, use your GPS device to locate the EarthCache objectives and answer the questions. Each Shenandoah National Park EarthCache is a separate entity so you can choose to complete the ones that look most interesting or are most suitable for you.
  5. Return to the website to log in your EarthCache and give a short statement about your experience. You can also email the answers to the EarthCache questions separately so you won't give away the answers to future EarthCache enthusiasts.



Drive Mile


EarthCache Link

Compton Peak



Compton Peak EarthCache

Little Stony Man



Little Stony Man EarthCache

Old Rag Mountain

Park Boundary See Map


Old Rag EarthCache

Bearfence Mountain



Bearfence Earthcache

Skyline Drive Car & Wheelchair


South The Lowly Worm EarthCache
Skyline Drive Car & Wheelchair


South Seeing Spots & Lines EarthCache




Blackrock Earthcache

More Information

EarthCaching is a world-wide phenomenon! If you are interested in finding out more, visit


Last updated: November 30, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


540 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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