Geocache Placement Guidelines

All geocachers should be familiar with the geocache placement requirements & guidelines as listed by geocaching.com. If your geocache does not adhere to all of their guidelines, it may be placed on hold, temporarily disabled or permanently archived.

In addition, various local government bodies have additional rules which must also be followed.

The British Columbia Regional Geocaching Policies is maintained by the BC Review Team and should have the latest information available. A copy has been added below.

National Parks

Permission and a permit are required for caches placed in a National Park

Parks Canada geocaching policy

Contact Info: No main contact. Players are to contact each Park Superintendent on their own.

Deparment of National Defense Lands (DND)

All Department of National Defense property is out of bounds for all geocaching.

Indian Reserves / First Nations

First Nations lands are private property and caches cannot be published on tribal property without written permission from the local Band.

British Columbia Provincial Parks

Geocaches within Provincial Parks in British Columbia do not require permission if they comply with their Geocache Placement Policy (PDF).

British Columbia Ecological Reserves

BC Ecological Reserves are out of bounds. These are areas that are managed by BC Parks, but are not classed as parks, but rather have “Ecological Reserve” or “ER” in their name.

BC Ministry of Transportation

Ministry of Transportation has asked that geocaches only be placed in areas that people are invited to stop. This includes pull outs, viewpoints, rest stops, break checks, etc… Geocaches are not allowed on overpasses, underpasses, tunnels, cloverleafs, or any signage designed to direct traffic.

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks

Geocaches within Metro Vancouver Regional Parks do not require permission if they comply with their Geocache Placement Policy (PDF). Minimum distance between geocaches is 500m instead of the usual 161m.

Metro Vancouver Watersheds

All three Metro Vancouver Watersheds are off limits to hiking and geocaching. They are the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam watersheds. A map of the three watersheds is available (PDF).

City of Surrey Parks

Geocaches are permitted in some City of Surrey Parks with a permit. Parks that are currently off-limits include Green Timbers Urban Forest, Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, The Glades Park, Darts Hill Park, formal gardens at Fleetwood Park, City Hall, Hawthorne Park and Bear Creek Park, and playing surfaces such as sports fields, tennis courts, etc. City of Surrey Interactive Parks Map

Capital Regional District Parks

Capital Regional District requires notification of the cache location, but does not require a permit. Guidelines for Geocaching in CRD Regional Parks (PDF).

Sooke Watershed

Portions of the Sooke Watershed, including the Sooke Hills are off-limits to all geocaching activity.

City of Kelowna

The city of Kelowna has included bylaws for Geocaching in the Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw, revised March 30, 2015:

4.10 Geocaches placed in parks may be removed if they do not meet the following conditions:

a) all caches must be marked “geocache” on the outside of the container if practical, and the owner’s name and contact information must be inside the container;
b) caches must not be placed in areas that may put participants at risk of injury;
c) caches must not be buried or result in the disturbance of vegetation, wildlife, wildlife nests or burrows, or cultural heritage sites and features;
d) cache placement must not interfere with other approved recreational activities; and
e) caches in parks are not considered permanent and may not be permanently attached to any structure or natural feature.

City Parks

Many city parks in BC are closed at night. Night caching in these areas is off limits.

BC Hydro Equipment

BC Hydro equipment is off limits to geocaching. As it is difficult to determine if the equipment belongs to BC Hydro or not, it is best to refrain from placing geocaches on or near any electrical equipment.

From BC Hydro: “To ensure public safety and reliability of the electrical system, geocaches must not be placed or hidden on or near BC Hydro infrastructure or equipment such as poles, guy wire sleeves, pad mounted transformers and kiosks. The location of geocaches in the vicinity of BC Hydro infrastructure or equipment may lead participants to open or tamper with containers or covers when trying to find or access geocaches. This is a dangerous practice that could result in injury if participants, members of the public or BC Hydro workers inadvertently come in contact with live electrical components.”

Other Areas

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