San Francisco Treasure Hunts

About Jayson Wechter’s San Francisco Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt

The Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt is a unique urban adventure game played on the colorful streets of Chinatown, North Beach, Telegraph Hill and the Financial District, set against the backdrop of the annual Chinese New Year Parade. It’s a scavenger hunt for information, in which teams collaboratively solve clues leading to off-the-beaten-track locations connected with local history, art and culture. 

Each clue (or puzzle) leads to a location within walking distance in a one-square mile area, where players must find and use a piece of information to answer a question. The information could be wording on an historical plaque, a detail in a mural or public artwork, a unique architectural feature or a distinctive business sign, something you might never notice if you weren’t looking for it. The treasure hunt is a great exercise in visual awareness that hones your observation skills and makes you more aware of your environment. Participants often discover memorable sights they’d passed by hundreds of times and overlooked. 

Teams will travel on foot over streets trod by 1849 gold-seekers, 1870s silver barons, 1920s crime writers and 1950s beatnik poets, finding obscure landmarks, forgotten architectural delights and secret vestiges of San Francisco's past. Teams solving the most clues in the shortest time receive prizes and bragging rights. 

Clues involve wordplay, puzzles, trivia, anagrams, map reading and other fun challenges. They’re designed to be too difficult for one person but solvable by a team using their collective brainpower, so working together is key to succeeding (and to every team member having fun). 

There are four divisions in the treasure hunt, offering clues suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to experts. The hunt is designed to be enjoyable by all ages and ability levels, by long-time San Francisco residents and new arrivals. You can participate at your own pace, racing from clue to clue or walking leisurely and stopping for snacks, drinks or espresso.

Players can come with a team already organized or can join like-minded hunters at the event. The treasure hunt is a great way to make new friends.

The treasure hunt will start and end in the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center gym, located at 555 Chestnut Street (between Mason and Powell Streets) in San Francisco. 

The hunt is conducted entirely on foot. Prizes are awarded to the winning teams in each of four divisions (Beginner’s, Regular (Intermediate), Master’s and Thinks Faster Than Runs) and to the teams with the best names and costumes. Partial proceeds benefit the San Francisco Circus Center.

For non-ticketing questions please check our Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt FAQ page. For further questions, please email us at


“I highly recommend San Francisco Treasure Hunts to any manager looking to bring their team together over an afternoon of puzzles & fun.”

Mark Provost, Salesforce
“Our team loved the hunt. I loved how (Jayson) Wechter mixes in history. He’s a really fascinating guy. Sort of part historian part tour guide, part facilitator.”

John Ghasghai, TiVo Inc.
“It worked just as well for the participants from across the country as it did for the natives.  A great team-building event!”

Eric Schmautz, Wells Fargo
“Our customized Angel Island hunt was intellectually & physically stimulating. We enjoyed rising to the challenges and would do it again. We all had a great time."

Sara Ruiz, Genentech, Inc.