Oldest Active Geocache in the World – Mingo, Kansas

Windows rolled down and the breeze hitting your face as you cruise down the interstate and on the way to the oldest active geocache. Music on the radio turned up high and singing those road trip songs that you only sing when you have been in the car for over 5 hours. Our road trip from Atlanta, GA to Boise, ID had all that and then some. To me, road trips feel like the ultimate freedom. Freedom to pull over at something that looks interesting, or pull into a State Park for a picnic.  And to us, road trips also mean lots of Geocaching.  On this particular trip I got a geocaching surprise, stumbling upon one of the oldest geocaches still active in the world!

Road trip

Geocaching Road Trips

We actually discovered our love of Geocaching on a road trip, and over 4 years later, we are still geocaching as a way to break up road trips and to discover those not-so-popular roadside attractions. As we were cruising through 8 states to our final destination in Idaho, this gave us something to look forward to as we crossed the country. Think of it as another type of road trip game, but instead of staying in the car and playing “eye spy” or “the alphabet game” you are able to make a stop and stretch your legs.


As we cruised through the rolling foothills and horse farms of Kentucky, Tennessee, and into Missouri, the road trip wasn’t too bad.  But when we got to Kansas it was a whole different story.  If you have ever taken this stretch of I-70, you know what I’m talking about.  It is long, straight, and mostly flat all across the state of Kansas.  It’s rough.  The scenery is nice, but an hour after hour, it doesn’t really change.  Everyone told us about Kansas and how it can feel like the longest part of the trip. They were right.

Geocaching Kansas… With Views?

But being the traveling geocachers that we are, we can make anything fun. In fact, we made it a point to find at least one or two caches in each state along our journey. And for our first geocaching stop in Kansas, we noticed that there was a highly favored cache at a rest area not too far outside of Topeka. This sounded like a great place for a pit stop and to stretch our legs. 

We really enjoy going for caches with a lot of favorite points, because we know that they must have something unique and memorable about them.  And this particular geocache description mentioned a hiking trail with views.  Being in such a flat part of Kansas, we were intrigued as to what that view could be.  So we pulled over and headed out in search of that rest area geocache.

Rest Area Monument

After a short walk on a trail leading up, which was actually a little difficult considering it’s Kansas, we arrived at a really cool monument. This monument was perched up at the top of a hill and had a gorgeous view that went on for miles and miles. After searching around a little bit we discovered the cache, signed the log, and replaced it. This was by far one of the best views we had in Kansas. Really cool.

Rest Area cache
Great view from a Geocache at a rest area along I-70 in Kansas! A bit of a hike though!

Oldest Active Geocache in the World – Mingo GC30

After driving for hours and hours, we were sure that we had to be near across Kansas.  With the view hardly changing, it was frustrating when we looked at the map and saw that we were barely halfway across the state!  After this long in the car, there just isn’t much to do, so we were getting really antsy!  And our friend Joshua, The Geocaching Vlogger, commented on that picture saying… “Mingo.”  Liz and I were confused because we didn’t know what that meant.  At the moment, we didn’t think too much of it, and continued to make our way across Kansas.

View from above

Accidentally Discovering the Oldest Geocache in the World

Several hours later Liz woke me up from a nap with a slap on the arm and her shouting, “Mingo!!!” Apparently, Liz caught a glimpse of an exit sign out of the corner of her eye, and all it said was “Mingo.”   I jumped up and quickly put two and two together from what Joshua had told us.  “Hey. He wants us to go to Mingo!” I said. So I quickly pulled up our Geocaching App and saw that there was a geocache named MINGO nearby us, and it had over 1140 favorite points!  Then as we dug into the details on the cache page deeper, we discovered that it was the 7th oldest cache in the world. “What?!?!” we said to each other. How awesome is that!

With a quick spin of the car, we found ourselves alone off the Mingo exit in search of the Oldest Active Geocache in the World. The Geo-Senses drew us in and we walked right to it. Once we discovered it, we did our happy dance. Honestly holding the cache felt like we were holding history. We pulled out the really cool logbook and read some of the entries and then made our own to make it official.

geocaching, oldest active geocache in the world,
Oldest Active Geocache in the World

After taking a bunch of pictures and admiring the views from Mingo, we replaced the cache and hit the road again.  But not before receiving several honks by other cachers driving by. We are so glad that we didn’t pass by this guy. After several weeks of planning our road trip and changing the route a couple of times, we didn’t realize that we were going to be driving by Geo-History in Mingo, Kansas. Thanks to our friend Joshua for the cryptic comment on our Instagram account that lead us to this awesome, and unforgettable cache.

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oldest active geocache, mingo kansas

11 thoughts on “Oldest Active Geocache in the World – Mingo, Kansas”

  1. Thanks for stopping through and glad you found something to celebrate in our humble state! Next trip through, let us know and we’ll show you some more great wonders of Kansas!

    1. Thanks for reading Jay. We will be driving back the other way in a couple of years once we make our way around the world. We enjoyed caching around Kansas and look forward to you showing us around a little bit more in the future. I bet that there are several hidden gems around your part of the country.

      – Josh

  2. Great read. As one of the GeoTruckers I am please to read that you found two of my favorite interstate caches. The different terrain from one to the other is typical of what I have found in Kansas and one or two other nearby states as well. Enjoy your travels.

  3. Wow, I was just doing research trying to figure out if it was actually accessible since it’s supposedly a ghost town and someone purchased the whole area! My grandmother was born there in 1920. I guess the town was abandoned by 1940. I will be going out that way tomorrow on a road trip. I had never heard of geocaching until today. I signed up to the site and hopefully, will get to mark my first discovery off at my grandmother’s birthplace. What a homage! If there is a box, maybe I will put a picture of her in there. It will be like returning her home. She was the sweetest lady and a lot of people were devastated when she passed in 2011. Thanks so much for making this entry. I am so glad I found it!

    1. Thanks for reading Sarah. This makes me smile so big and yes there is a can there and it will be a great homage to put a picture of your mom in the cache. Make sure when you sign the log to include this in it to make sure she can look over the cache and say hello to all the cachers out there that discover this cache in the future. We hope that geocaching will bring you and your many adventures as it has to Liz and I. Stay in touch!!! 🙂

  4. My parents came to Denver from Thomas County shortly after the war; she was born in Norcatur, and he in Kanorado, but they grew up in Colby and Hill City, respectively. There used to be a feed and grain store in Mingo in the 40s and the 50s, as my mom had some things–a giveaway pack of needles, a mirror with a kitten on it, etc. — imprinted with the address of the feed store on them.

    I think my family and I drove through Mingo more than once, when returning to their family home area for the annual Thomas County picnic. Does anyone remember going to that?

  5. Loved reading this article about Mingo! What a fun discovery. I’m hoping to make the drive to Denver next summer for GeoWoodstock and plan to make the drive through Kansas. Can’t wait to find one of the most historic caches in the world.

    1. Thanks for reading Sydney – and for the comment! That’s awesome that you are planning to head out there for GeoWoodstock. We’re sure many people will be stopping off to find Mingo along that route. Have a blast!

      – Liz & Josh

    1. Thanks for reading Diana – yes, it is a lot of fun. And so few people have heard of it. You should definitely check it out sometime 🙂

      – Liz

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