Join in on the Summit County treasure hunt

COALVILLE, Utah. — The Summit County Library is offering a unique treasure hunt activity, geocaching. For the unindoctrinated, geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt, using GPS technology to guide participants to hidden treasures called geocaches. Players simply download the free geocaching app on their phones (iPhone & Android).

Coalville Branch Library Manager Susan “Murph” Murphy said in a statement, “When my kids were little, they were NOT fans of hiking. Then we discovered geocaching and used it to get our kids excited to search for hidden geocaches along hiking trails. It worked like a charm!” Murph had read that other libraries throughout the country had implemented geocaching programs and knew the charming town of Coalville would be a perfect fit.

The Summit County librarians worked with Joe Frazier, the Summit County Historian, to choose five important historic locations throughout Coalville. In a statement, Frazier said, “It was difficult to narrow it down to five locations, actually! There are so many historic locations in town, but we chose five spots that are especially interesting.”

Librarian Diane Brown caught the “geocache bug” and began to search for geocaches throughout Summit County to understand the activity. She said in a statement, “There are hundreds of geocaches in our county; it’s pretty amazing. I’ve become a bit of a geocaching fanatic and have pulled off the road on the way to the grocery store, just to search for a geocache!”

One doesn’t have to search far to find other geocaching fanatics like Chris Rock. Geo-guru Rock lives in Salt Lake City, has worked at Deer Valley for 15 years, and geocached in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. She’s geocached in the following 13 Countries:

  • Costa Rica
  • Hungary
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • China
  • Canada
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Chechia
  • Mexico
  • Slovakia
  • Germany

At the behest of the State of Utah’s tourism project, Utah GeoTour, back in 2016, Rock placed one near the city hall in Coalville, one near the Kamas City Hall, and even one intended to be done at night at the rodeo ground in Oakley. There’s also been one near the Rafter B’s convenience store in Wanship. She volunteers with a trip planning site for geocachers.

Rock said, “I enjoy caching because of the places it takes me. Whether a mountain top, an unknown park, or something more unusual (Micronations anyone? e.g. Zaqistan, Molossia) there’s always a cache to bring me there. With an interruption from the pandemic, I have been hosting a monthly caching hike for over 12 years. It’s a way to get local cachers (sometimes out of towners too) together and find some caches along the trails of the Wasatch mountains. The mental challenges of solving puzzles to get the coordinates for some caches or opening clever gadget caches keep things interesting even in an urban environment.”

All five geocaches within the Summit County Library’s new system are within walking distance from the Coalville Branch Library, and for those looking for a little exercise, it is a total of 6,723 steps. The geocaches are also “drivable” for those who prefer to drive. The librarians hope that after completing the geocache activity, people will stop in the library, then visit one of the family-owned restaurants along Coalville’s Main Street.

Kids and adults throughout Summit County are invited to participate in the Coalville Geocache Challenge, which runs June 1 through August 18, and everyone who completes the activity will be entered in a prize drawing for gift cards to local restaurants.

For more information on the Coalville Geocache Challenge, visit the library’s website or call 435-336-3070. 

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