Hidden Bottle Hunt

July 5-9

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What is the Hidden Bottle Hunt?

In 2021, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Oregon’s iconic Bottle Bill by hiding six commemorative bottles across the state, all in the special places the Bottle Bill helps keep litter free. Thousands of Oregonians joined in the hunt, went outside, and followed the daily clues to search for the hidden bottles. The lucky “finders” got to keep the commemorative bottle (they’re like a trophy!) and were also able to direct a donation to the BottleDrop Give nonprofit of their choice.

The Bottle Hunt was so much fun, we decided to continue the Hidden Bottle Hunt to celebrate Oregon’s Bottle Bill around its anniversary each year! This year’s hidden bottles have a whole new look, celebrating the State of Oregon’s iconic flag and official colors, and the lucky finders will be able to direct a $1,000 donation to the BottleDrop Give nonprofit of their choice for each bottle found.

Just like last year, each bottle will be hidden in a different geographic zone of Oregon (map below), and we’ll release separate clues for each bottle at 10:00 am, every day of the hunt. Sign up to receive the daily clues.

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When is the Hidden Bottle Hunt?

The Hidden Bottle Hunt begins with the announcement of the first clue at 10:00 am on Wednesday, July 5. The final clue will be issued at 10:00 am on Sunday, July 9 (or until each bottle is found, whichever occurs first).

Where are the bottles hidden?

OBRC and the BottleDrop network conduct statewide container redemption operations through a series of five operational “zones,” which we’ve used to break up the state geographically, and we’re hiding one bottle in each zone. Due to the population of Zone 1, we’ve further divided it into Zone 1 East and Zone 1 West, and we have hidden a bottle in each for a total of 6 hidden bottles across the state. Bottles are hidden in parks or trails that are open to the public.

Zone 1E Clues Zone 1W Clues Zone 2 Clues Zone 3 Clues Zone 4 Clues Zone 5 Clues

What do the bottles look like?

We have taken six of our unique BottleDrop Refillable bottles – used for our Refillable beverage program – and had them specially painted by an Oregon professional. The bottles include a unique label and a metal emblem honoring Oregon’s Bottle Bill, which has produced outstanding recycling and litter-remediation outcomes for the past 52 years!

The bottles will be wrapped to prevent breakage and covered in a burlap sack to protect them from the elements while they wait for you to find them.

How do I participate?

Participation is simple! Just follow the clues and hunt for the bottles. It’s even more fun to team up and hunt with your friends and family. If you’d like to receive the clues by email each day, just sign up here.

What do I get if I find a hidden bottle?

For one, you get all the esteem and bragging rights that come with cracking the clues and being first to the bottle. Congratulations! Second, you get to keep the bottles, and they are super cool! Finally, best of all, you get to direct a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit of your choice from our list of over 5,000 participating BottleDrop Give nonprofits across Oregon. Each hidden bottle includes instructions for how to contact us when you find it. Just follow those directions as soon as you find the bottle!

What are the rules for the Hidden Bottle Hunt?

Here are some of the rules related to the Hidden Bottle Hunt.

  • Do not trespass on private property. All bottles are hidden in parks or trails open to the public.
  • Do not go inside any buildings to look for bottles. All bottles are hidden outside.
  • Do not dig for the bottles or otherwise damage/destroy any plants or structures at the park/trail, and bottles will not be hidden in any community garden spaces. The bottles may be concealed but will not be hidden in places that require damaging property in any way. You do not need to dig underground or destroy anything to access the bottles, and doing so is prohibited.
  • Abide by any park/trail hours and rules while you are hunting.

But there is, of course, some legal language and more detailed rules as well. Here are the 2023 Hidden Bottle Hunt Official Rules & Regulations, in full.

Happy hunting!

Zone 1E Clues

View Zone 1E Clues and Explanations


To find this bottle you’ll need to demonstrate both mathematical and historical intelligence.
Zone 1E contains 5 counties but only one will exert eminence.
The first equation involves two dates important to our foundation.
Add the month and date of our constitution.
Subtract the sum from that of the year of admission,
to get the district you’ll need if you want victorious representation.


To set the boundary geometry is needed to resolve,
a polygon of clues you’ll need to solve.
The 2nd largest City in forty-eight.
Henry’s summer playground estate.
Oregon’s Woodstock wasn’t subtle.
Metro’s only remaining hydrogen oxide shuttle.


To further narrow, it’s time to triangulate.
The views are sure to rejuvenate.
A former site of Hill’s academy and Anderegg’s dairy,
plus an amusing dreamland you might call merry.
One of these three will hold sway,
if you let George’s little lefty point the way.


With MATH you must continue to wrestle,
as you seek parallel solutions to our vessel.
A forty-three PTC map may make you a legend,
dividing 15 by 2 offers a second.
If word problems aren’t your thing,
two routes to the answer we bring.


Before this year’s hunt is extinct,
you’ll need to work to make this place succinct.
Between a spot where Harvey and York once held sway,
and another where Bloco Alegria’s talent’s display.
Just past the finish line, but not too grand, you should pin,
in the spot that Plympton named, for the win!


Zone 1W Clues

View Zone 1W Clues and Explanations


All aboard the hidden bottle show!
Connect the clues and bask in finder’s glow!

From the icy streets of Europe’s #2 city
She was the first to em-Bark, although her end, a pity

A one way trajectory didn’t fare well for her
Keep west of the place where her name endures


Vaya con dios, father of Bonzo
In a fifty-year storm he was gone-zo
Swells in bells were really shot at this spot
Stay north to win the hidden bottle jackpot.


With a 1,000 foot reel they caught it all
The crimps, the love, the rescue and brawl
Jennie’s young heart was set on JT
Back in ‘09 in this town by the sea


Seek the path of celluloid
To a trail with a stop for a quinary droid
No parachute needed to get to this place
Just a strike of inspiration to win the treasure hunt race


Zone 2 Clues

View Zone 2 Clues and Explanations


Welcome to the Zone 2 BottleDrop treasure hunt!
Start with the seat of Joseph’s county
and get on track to find the bounty.
In this gem of a city you’ll toe the line
run south of it and you’ll do just fine.
Start in your lane to find the dough
get on your mark, get ready and go!


Go south and west and only rest
when you find a place of pines.
In this county, you’ll soon find bounty
and a park that really shines.
Now go explore what you adore,
a city, or more rural
but while you’re there
you just might find
a hint in a very large mural.

Don’t think you’re done with this long distance run
and stop the game Prematurely.
You’re almost there, please don’t despair
as we dispense more clues though obscurely.


From here we’re going to pick up the pace
to help you find the direction to face.
A Greek warrior with an injured heel
used a plant that can help with your zeal.
Is it true that money doesn’t grow on trees?
Myrtle would know about things like these.

If that doesn’t help you find direction
how about this for clue perfection?
Elijah is another wood
who’d change his parents if he could.


The race will soon be at the end
you have no time to flounder.
You’ll know you’re there without a care
if you have found the founder.
In his park are many things to see and to do,
stop at the car from the French
and say Merci Beaucoup!
But do move on, go through the park
and stay between two courts.
Don’t stop long, you won’t find treasure
if you stop to play the sports.


Zone 3 Clues

View Zone 3 Clues and Explanations


A fowl presence parked in a roguish heart,
come for more tools, see the strange attraction.
But if you want it to sing thee something well,
the direction it faces is a worthy transaction.


Fowl again, but now the water fits the bill
to help you get your pointes on the ground.
It’s a good bet to pirouette with Odette,
en avant to the county where it will be found!


Two boys of summer, an ad campaign for kicks
The World’s Greatest? Belatedly, only the one.
Find his way and you’ll be buzzing near the gold,
it’s a missing link to vault your bottle run.


Chuck and bro’s gift has had skiing and skating,
it was also a wily home for a zoo.
Today, aces are possible in more than one game,
in this place someone will say “woohoo!”.


If you start at Nevada and continue west
you’ll be linked to a waterfront road.
To your right is a lake that’s second to one
and a playground in construction mode.

Look for a sign so dearly important
and prance across to Rufus’ dedicated wall.
There you’ll see a multi stemmed tree,
find it first and win it all.


Zone 4 Clues

View Zone 4 Clues and Explanations


Whoa, Nelly! Find a scrappy bronc for battle
blessed with tines for a sternum so hollow.
In his day, almost ninety percent were thrown off,
you too, unless 180 you turn him and follow.


It starts down south at a place we’d call unusual
before it proceeds to cross something quite big.
It ends just past gold before reincarnation in maple,
get back in the zone, within five miles are bottle’s digs.


Last year, JR and friends remembered
Sarah and son’s generous donation.
A great network arose for personal repose,
within the system is the bottle’s location.


An aerial king took off the top of his foe,
his memorial spans quite a scene to view.
Instead of his namesake, to nearby others you go,
keep feet on the ground and chug along, choo choo.


Zone 5 Clues

View Zone 5 Clues and Explanations


The Bottle Hunt always generates a buzz
Could the bottle be found early? Last year it was

Nine counties total, but which will deliver?
Stick to the three named for a river


Still too many counties in which to search…
Let’s narrow, so you can fast break to the merch

Rank the state by population
You’ll get an assist from trailblazing generations

Put Mo and Bill into a slumber
Search the spot that is twice The Natural’s number


This is a story about Jean Baptiste’s mom
Who amidst a crisis kept her calm

Our memory of her stands out in a crowd
Of rugged pioneers and, the nearby lands they ploughed


Did yesterday’s clue feel like a lark?
Think a few years later than Lewis and Clark

It’s hot outside, so watch your migration
Search near a place known for crimson staplers and affordable hydration

Once at the place, accolades will be earned
By those who leave no stone unturned


Archive of Clues and Explanations

See Previous Years