Tri-City geocaching event starts Saturday

The 2013 Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge begins Saturday with cities and state parks taking an active role in the popular outdoor event.

Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt where players try to find a container called a geocache that has been hidden at a location that only can be found by using a smartphone or GPS unit, said Jenny Davis, with the city of Richland.

"Participants sign the log book that is in the geocache, make a trade with another player if they want, and then put the geocache back where they found it," Davis said. "Then they log their find at geocaching.com."

Rebecca Hughes, an interpretive specialist at the Sacajawea State Park Interpretive Center in Pasco, said Washington state parks are providing special geo-coins for the event.

"State parks have partnered with the Washington State Geo-Caching Association to provide a course that requires special web accessed forms to participate," she said. "If participants visit 50 parks they can earn a silver coin, find 100 to earn a gold coin."

For more information about geocaching and to register for the event, go to http://coord.info/GC39WBH.

There will be 10 new geocaches placed in each city. Those who find all 30 geocaches will receive a geocoin puzzle piece from each town.

The challenge will continue until all of the coins have been given away.

Participants can meet in the parking lot at Sacajawea State Park starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Entry to the park is $10 a day or by a Discover Pass, which are available for a $30 annual fee.

The city of Richland's geocaching event starts at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast at Horn Rapids Park, 115803 Highway 225. The hunt starts at 9 a.m.

For more information contact park ranger Jen Wheeler at 942-7702 or email jwheller@ci.richland.wa.us.