Geocaching Guidelines



Find a cache in the City of Glendale! Geocaching is a popular outdoors "scavenger hunt" that uses a global positioning system (GPS) device and internet-published coordinates to locate a virtual or physical cache. A virtual cache may be an amazing view; a physical cache may be a trinket or logbook in a plastic container hidden under some leaves. Geocaching is an acceptable activity in the City of Glendale when all the guidelines and policies are followed.


  • Virtual Caching: (Preferred methods)
  • Coordinates of stationary landmarks guide participants to the virtual cache. Virtual caches are verified only by e-mailed photos of the cache site. This method is encouraged and must adhere to the applicable requirements used for physical caches. 
  • Physical Geocaching:
  • Participants seek a hidden - not buried/do not break ground - physical cache. A waterproof container stores the trade item or logbook. For a letterbox cache, there is usually a logbook and rubber stamp. Participants mark their personal logbooks with the stamp from the letterbox, and use their own personal stamp to mark the letterbox's logbook. For a micro-cache, a small container such as a film canister is used.


  • You must abide by all  City of Glendale ordinances.
  • You must conform to the "Leave No Trace" outdoor ethics guidelines, that is, take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints. For more information on the principles of "Leave No Trace," visit the  Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics website
  • If you discover any illegal or hazardous materials in the cache, you must contact the City of Glendale Police Department immediately at (414) 228-1753.


  • To place a physical or virtual cache, you must have prior written permission from the City of Glendale Director of Public Works. For each cache location, complete a separate Permit Request Form and provide a map (ex. Google Earth or similar map) with each permit request.
  • Geocaching is not allowed in
    • On private property.
    • Sensitive Areas: Those areas the City of Glendale staff determines cannot tolerate human traffic or disturbance which includes portions of the parks & greenways.
  • Cache may not physically change the character of the site. This includes but is not limited to disturbing/excavating soil, cutting vegetation, moving logs, etc. You must use the natural terrain and site conditions to hide the cache.
  • Caches will not be allowed within the normal field of play at recreational facilities (i.e. playgrounds or multi-purpose sports fields). 
  • Caches may not be placed adjacent to birdhouses or bird nests. Federal law protects nesting birds and disturbing their nest is a federal crime.
  • Caches will not be allowed on slopes greater than 5%. However, caches may be allowed on the area above the slope or the foot of the slope.
  • Caches may not be placed more than 3 feet from a designated trail or 25 feet from developed roads
  • Caches may not be attached (glued, bolted, nailed, strapped or screwed) to any structure, monument, archaeological, natural or geologic feature


  • The following items are not permitted in a physical geocache:
    • Food of any kind
    • Pocket knives or weapons of any kind
    • Illegal items such as drugs
    • Materials restricted from minors, such as, but not limited to, tobacco and alcohol
  • The maximum capacity of any single physical geocache must not exceed one gallon
  • All cache containers must be clearly labeled in large lettering with the word "Geocache" on the outside of the container, especially old ammo cans.
  • All caches must contain your permit number inside the container.


  • You are responsible for monitoring the cache regularly - four times per year recommended - and reporting any vandalism or deterioration of property. If you discover any illegal or hazardous materials in the cache, you must contact the City of Glendale Police Department immediately at (414) 228-1753.


  • You will not need to fill out a second permit form to remove a cache, but you will need to email the Director of Public Works or his designee notifying the City of Glendale of the removal and provide the permit number if applicable.
  • Geocache permits are valid for two years. If you wish to maintain your cache longer than two years, you will need to request an extension from the Director of Public Works or his designee. If you do next extend your permit, you will need to remove and archive your cache once the permit is expired.
  • A cache may be required to be moved if the Director of Public Works or his designee deems that it is being over-used, or that volunteer trails are developing, or the site is being developed.
  • A cache will be removed if the Director of Public Works or Police Chief determines that there is an unacceptable hazard to humans, an unacceptable level of damage to the environment, or it is not in compliance with policy. The Director of Public Works shall make a reasonable effort to notify you of a removed cache. A removed physical cache will be stored for up to one week. If not claimed, it shall be disposed of as surplus property.