Summit Stop: Discover off-mountain adventure with treasure hunting at Keystone
summit daily news
KEYSTONE – A vacation in Summit County is almost guaranteed to be full of adventure. But not all adventures have to be the downhill variety. With miles of showshoeing trails, kite skiing, dog sleds, tubing and sledding, snowmobiling and countless other winter sports available, there’s no shortage of diversions for the active thrill-seeker. But for those groups of adventurers looking for a more unique challenge, Keystone might have just the thing. A modern-day treasure hunt, it’s called the GPS GEO-Cache Adventure.
Keystone Resort equips hopeful treasure seekers with just two tools to help them complete their quest: a list of coordinates for each of the three buried (under snow) treasures and a hand-held Garmin eTrex Global Positioning System. The treasure chests are hidden across five miles along the Snake River near the resort.
The adventure is popular with large groups and families, who often separate into teams and split up to see who can track down the treasure chests fastest. But be warned, this is no Easter egg hunt. The snow and the wide search area make finding the chests a challenge that will require all the seekers’ navigation and GPS operating skills.
“We do have a lot of people who say they couldn’t find it or that it got stolen,” said Keystone Mountain Concierge representative Tyler Barnes. “And then we go out and look and it’s always right there.”
The treasure chests are all accessible from a shoveled path along the Snake River. Many searchers choose to drive during the winter months, but the hunt can be a beautiful walk that provides a quiet escape from the bustle of the resort and a unique opportunity to enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and the sparkling river.
“(The caches) aren’t located by buildings, they are located in natural settings,” Barnes said. “People do come back and say how peaceful it was while they were (searching) and how nice it is.”
The treasure chests are full of Keystone prizes, such as bandanas and stickers, which successful treasure hunters get to keep.
The hunt begins at the Keystone Mountain Concierge in the River Run or Lakeside villages. There, searchers are given coordinates, their hand-held GPS devices, clues and a quick tutorial on how to use the systems. The GPS cache adventure is available daily. If booked through Keystone Resort the treasure hunt is free (although searchers have to leave a credit card), but otherwise it costs $10. Make reservations at 800-354-4386.
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