Arizona Governor Legalizes Geocaching Game

Chiricahua Mountains | Bob Miller

Geocaching, a game in which people use GPS devices to find hidden "caches," is now legal in Arizona thanks to a move by Governor Doug Ducey.

As Ray Stern of the Phoenix New Times reported recently, Ducey's executive action recognizes the activity and makes it legal, but with certain restrictions. Previously, the caches had been deemed "litter" and the practice was banned in Arizona.

Geocachers place objects in small containers, mark their GPS coordinates and leave them for others to find. Under the new rules, geocachers will need a $15 recreational permit, good for one year, and must not leave caches bigger than a shoebox or leave anything hazardous in them.

The state also disclaims responsibility or liability for the caches and can remove them at any time without warning. And participants can't alter the natural landscape when leaving or retrieving caches.

You can learn more about geocaching by visiting If you're looking to get into the activity, the rocky Chiricahua Mountains (pictured) seem like a pretty good place to hide some stuff.


You should specify that this decision applies specifically to state land. Geocaching has never been illegal throughout the state as this article currently implies. It has always been legal on private and federal land within the state, except for certain classes of federal land such as designated wilderness.

Just to be clear, this information applies specifically to Arizona Trust Land, not all of Arizona. Private, State, and Federal land managers have had positive geocaching policies and experiences for many years. The Trust Land has always viewed things a little differently and it is awesome that the Governor has taken this step toward promoting participation in a wonderful outdoor activity on Trust Land.

This only applies to Arizona State Trust Land and simple reverses a determination a couple of years ago that geocaching was not "recreation." The Arisona Republic has several recent articles on the topic and this video:

The Picture of Cochise Head with the article from Massai Point is a poor choice, because geocaches cannot be hidden in that area of the Chiricahuas. Geocaches cannot be placed anywhere within the Chiricahua National Monument.

Well make up your mind. First someone says you can't geocache in a wilderness area. Now somebody says you can't do it in a National Monument! So what are the real rules?

There are a number of rules, typically from property stewards, land managers and owners, plus a number of guidelines from cache listing services. The cache listing services honor the rules of those with property stewardship responsibilities. As the article states, more can be learned by visiting the website of a cache listing service such as

The author of this article needs to do some research, this article is incorrect and should either be removed or rewritten. First sentence --- (Geocaching, a game in which people use GPS devices to find hidden "caches," is now legal in Arizona thanks to a move by Governor Doug Ducey.), --- wrong!!! Geocaching has always been legal in Arizona just in the past two years was banned from State Trust Land. Continuing with the article are numerous errors, is it possible for journalists to due proper research anymore?

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