Forrest Fenn’s Treasure



“If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains, I’d see animals. I’d smell wonderful smells of pine needles, or pinyon nuts, sagebrush—and I know the treasure chest is wet.”Forrest Fenn

A few years ago, a certain octogenarian, Forrest Fenn, hid a treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of America. Since then, many a puzzle-solver has attempted to crack the poem which contains clues to the treasure’s location. It reads;

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

The poem is contained in an autobiographical sketch called the Thrill of the Chase, of which Fenn says, ‘ The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search.’

So where to begin – well, in a case of x marks the spot, there are two crosses on the treasure map – one should be a decoy & one help to hone in on the treasure. So, the peak marked with a cross in Wyoming is Garret Peak, its the most central cross, so on a hunch we’ll begin our search there.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,

This is a reference to fishing on the Green River, which flows through a canyon & becomes too warm for the fish in the summer. Thus ‘Begin it where warm waters halt’ is a reference to fishing – in Fenn’s book his love of fishing, especially fly-fishing, is everywhere.

Put in below the home of Brown

‘Put in’ is a term for launching a small boat – this is a reference to sailing on Green River Lake, which sits underneath Osborn Mountain.  Henry Fairfield Osborn was the man who assisted Barnum Brown’s search for dinosaurs in Wyoming – the first Tyranasaurus was found by them – & the bones were displayed in the American Natural History Museum paleolithic section founded by Osborn – thus Osborn is the home of Barnum Brown’s finds. In Fenn’s book, his love of artifact hunting & deep history is everywhere.



At the south east corner of the lake, Clear Creek begins – there is a trail to follow which leads through pinyon pine trees (rare in Wyoming) – along which one comes to Clear Creek Falls, which is described in Fenn’s third stanza;

From there it’s no place for the meek – The meek inherit the earth, thus we need to follow water

The end is ever drawing nigh –  line evocative of a waterfall’s edge & the eternal movement of the water as it approahes the drop

There’ll be no paddle up your creek, – you cant paddle a waterfall & the movement is, of course, upwards

Just heavy loads and water high. – Water high is pretty obvious, heavy loads could mean the transporting your boat which Fenn clearly tells us has been ‘put in’ by rope – up the falls


If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

This is a fun stanza. In 1988 – the same year Fenn was diagnosed with cancer – the forest around Clear Creek beyond the waterfall was charred by a blaze caused by lightning (Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range).  Tarry scant with marvel is an allusion to Hemingway sending a copy of a short story (tarry scant) to Mcleish who wrote a poem to Andrew Marvell in the style of His Coy Mistress. In a letter to Mcleish, Hemingway calls Mcleish ‘Andy Marvell’ (Selected Letters 1917-1961, p.326) & in the Thrill of the Chase there is a glaring error made by Fenn concerning Hemingway, which I beleive was one of the subtle clues made to draw one’s attention to Hemingway. The short story was called ‘Wine of Wyoming’ in which we read; 

‘Labour day we all went to Clear Creek.. Madame said. 
‘Oh, my God, you ought to have been there all right. We all 
w&it in the truck. Tout le monde est alle dans le truck. Nous 
sommes partis le dimanche. C’est le truck de Charley.’ 


For me, Forrest Fenn has hidden his treasure in river-cave beneath Clear Creek Natural Bridge. When he writes, ‘As I have gone alone in there’ & ‘Your effort will be worth the cold,’ wading into the waters to reach the chest makes sense, especially when supported by two of the clues Fenn has given us over the past few years.

If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains and I know the treasure chest is wet. 

Take a flashlight and a sandwich. 


The other hints Fenn has given us can check off one by one;

There’s no need digging in the old outhouses, the treasures’ not associated with any structure. CHECK
It is not in Nevada. CHECK
The treasure is not in a grave yard. CHECK
The treasure is higher than 5,000 feet above sea level. CHECK
If you had the coordinates, you would be able to find the treasure. CHECK 

The treasure is not hidden in Idaho or Utah. CHECK
The treasure is not in a mine. CHECK
It is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. CHECK
The treasure is hidden below 10,200 feet. CHECK 
It is more than 300 miles west of Toledo. CHECK
I never said it was buried, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t. CHECK

Is it not possible to find chest without leaving computer & google earth – CHECK

There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”  CHECK
Not associated with a structure……CHECK

I would like to know if the blaze can be found during the day without a flashlight. “I would say yes. – CHECK

I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon.”CHECK


I might be wrong, I might be right – perhaps – but many of the clues in my solution synch up with Fenn & his lifestyle, so I ‘m probably right. Fenn announced the treasure in 2010, & a few months earlier, in September of 2009, he attending the Black Bow Tie event in Cody Wyoming in his capacity as a board member of the Buffalo Bill Society. So he was definitely in the right area at the right time

As for me, I live in the UK, & I’m hoping that if I am right – which I most probably am –  & someone in the US does find the treasure, then they’d give me a wee share. Indeed, just after I sent Fenn my solve he made a massive retreat from the chase, stating that on doctor’s orders;

I’m cutting back on my activities, which means going to lunch, seeing people, and time on my computer. f”

Coincidence? I think not…

29 thoughts on “Forrest Fenn’s Treasure

  1. Damo I am always amazed at the information and ideas that you come up with.
    I think though that the treasure may rather be at or in the vicinity of one of these 4 coordinates ( 106.57W 41.40N ; 106.57W 39.52N ; 106.57W 39.45N ; 106.57W 39.33N ) ? Possibly one of these 4 (or 5) places {Mt Elbert (highest)? Medicine Bow? Longs Peak (Rocky Mtns Nat Park)? Pike Peak (airport, road)? (Bianca Peak??)} (and of course between 5000 ft – 10200 ft there in the area.)
    Could you look these coordinates and the sites on google satellite etc? (I only have dialup and it doesn’t work as well as it used to on dialup before all the changes of last 2 yrs (had no problems with it on dialup before).)
    If i’m right about the coordinates (and/or those places) then you, me, and whoever else (since i also am not in USA, and i’m on dialup so slower google earth) have fair equal split share, since i didn’t even know about Fenn’s treasure until i saw your post, and your info was very helpful/useful. (Btw you didn’t say where the 2nd X on the map was?)
    On treasure/wealth/riches though i will just say that i’d consider my self rich if i had these sorts of things {good Health, ability, good genes, clean (unfluoridated) running Water, good Food/diet, Wife/love, good Location, God/salvation, a Trade/Craft/job/work/employment, friends, Family}. Money is not much if one has these things (though money may help buy/pay for some of them) Most all of these things i don’t have any much. If you have any/many of these you are lucky and have some true riches/treasure(s) (i know you have some).

      1. No they don’t – Fenn said he was mistaken when he said that but I think he made a mistake and reduced the search area

      2. Forrest Fenn’s comments about the clue regarding pinyon trees:

        “Halogetter, I just watched that New Mexico Tourism video again and must say that I didn’t say what I was thinking. You cannot smell a pinon nut, but those who pick them know that in doing so you get pine pitch all over your hands, and pine pitch smells about the same no matter what kind of pine tree you are talking about. Looking back I think I wanted to say I could smell pine needles, not pinon nuts. Sorry I kicked a hornet’s nest with that comment. There is no clue there. Incidentally, when I get pine pitch on my hands I rub butter on the spots and that solves the problem. Of course then I have trouble getting the butter off. f”

  2. NO it’s in Taos near or on the Rio Grande river

    But tarry scant with marvel gaze,

    = But Past Little Awe-scenic as in past the rapids

  3. Here’s a couple of others
    the Blaze for great blazes as in hell or in This area of Taos Hell hole
    and house of brown is the brown trout hatchery on the Red river

  4. I’m in Australia and have read Mr Fenn poem and clues! I have found a map with every clue written word for word in order of the poem. The problem is where I found this is NOT where Mr Fenn says he hid the treasure? But it has to be where he got the words for the clues or it’s there? All I can say is his right a kid could solve it if you knew where to look? So what do I do with this information you’ll be amazed from where the warm waters halt to the heavy load and high waters even the home of the brown is there the paddle the meek need I say more all in the order of the poem BUT it’s more than 8.5 miles from Santa Fe like to hear your thoughts
    Cheers Matthew

    1. Hi Matthew,
      what do you mean by ” I have found a map with every clue written word for word in order of the poem”? A real map? That really sounds interesting! Cheers, Tobi

  5. Hi all ive been on the trail now 5 days since the story was run in england. To say its been a journey of discovery is an understatement. It started as wow treasure i wil be rich. It has turned into much more. Self discovery ,enlightenment and knowledge. I have been through many thought processes and in particular the home of brown brown in french is bruin could we be looking at bruin point..NO . Brown in spanish is maron, could ff have lost a letter and in fact we are looking at maroon mountain NO. The clue is about knowlefge research. I may have stumbled on it by fluke but i believe 100% i have the answer. So heres the possible fluke, when reading begin where warm waters halt. I have interpreted that as begin at the end. The last line is ref to having the treasure the second last line is if you are brave and in the wood. In the wood made me think of the teddy bears picnic. The humble teddy was named after theodore roosavelt. I googled roosavelt in the rockies. He made a hunting trip set up camp became ill japanese crisis hit he announced he was cutting his trip short. But was forced to stop his return due to bad weather and was forced to hole up in glenwood springs. (Warm waters). Ff said he rearrnged the words over and over until it was right( thats not a quote he woudnt like that but loosly was what he did). From there we take the canyon down. Where to? New castle the home of brown how you ask? New castle colorado was named after newcastle upon tyne in england both coal mining communities. This is were i get ff on you its the home of brown ale. Specifically newcastle brown ale or as it is locally known brown dog .( so you understand the importance of this to newcastle for us this is like you refering to new york as the big apple or bourbon comes from kentucky tennesee brown ale originated and is newcastle). Put in below, we have the colorado river? From here i believe the clues need to be interpreted on the ground something i am unable to do. But there are alot of things i have discovered which seam to tie in but asff says you must follow the poem precisely. ( west of newcastle is burning mountain still burning today could this be the blaze? I dont thing so but worth a thought, south of burning mountain is silt and dry creek . Could this be no paddle up your creek? South of the colorado below newcastle is battlement mesa which is where the native american indians were relocated to white river from by a man called meeker. Theres a town of the same name north of new castle. Could no place for the meek be ref to the mountains south of newcastle which contain a creek called coal creek certainly heavy loads .incidently meeker was killed by the indians he relocated so this area would definately be no place for the meek. Could tarry scant be ref to burning mountain, you wouldnt want to stop for too long if it is on fire. Could high water be a ref to the 2 dams above burning mountain or the lakes in the battlement mesa? And what about brave and in the wood? Brave =an indian could this be a creek indian? Lots of questions too many coincidenses to be fluke how do they tie together). What i do know is whatever happens we will all discover something for me i have discoverd more about amercan history and myself in 5 days than 47 years of life. And finish by thanking you all in particular ff. I will be visiting colorado at sometime in my life hopfully for a very long stay . Not for treasure but to admire and learn more about your beautiful country. I dont know where i dont know when but i will be there some sunny day. Happy hunting regards J.

    1. I have lived near and been to these areas and I am very familiar with Glenwood Springs, Silt, New Castle, Meeker, etc. Ever since I was a little kid, his part of Colorado has a special place in my heart. It is beautiful, but I’m not sure it is a “special” place to Forrest.
      The poem says “begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down” – well the hot springs are at the end of this canyon – not at the beginning.
      I considered the blaze might be burning mountain – which is more like an east to west running underground coal seam fire – you can see this in the winter when everything is covered in snow you can see where it is hot and still burning underground by the steam.
      Just my opinion your solve could be right – J

  6. Damo, you should email me. I have not seen anyone involve Andrew Marvell in their solve yet. If you do email, I will show you what he means by marvel gaze. You are close, it is reference to his poem, Upon Appleton House.

  7. Has anyone went here for you? I want to go here today!!!!

    Has anyone went here??? I would really like to go here. I am in Wyoming and I have
    been looking for this treasure. If I find the treasure I am going to donate some to a museum, put my daughter through school, and possible get out of debt. So I love the thrill of the chase. Please contact me.

    1. The home of Brown is the chest site. The home is a Brown drawing of a home above the treasure. And the blaze points directly at the treasure. Up a creek you can’t paddle.

  8. I’m interested in your scholarship and insight even though it differs from mine. To all of the posters and searchers, I wish you the best. Two years ago I was in the wild rivers region of New Mexico. I was drawn there by the “home of Brown” portion of the poem among other indicators. I loved every minute I spent in the area and will go back often, but I no longer believe this is the correct area for the treasure. In the summer of 2020, I will be trekking through an entirely different state based on the poem and aviation knowledge and the common sense of a Texas country boy who got D’s in school. (I have a feeling he is much more clever than he lets on). I won’t really be trekking…. I honestly think I have narrowed the location of the treasure to a couple of spots. Spots that are, at this moment, covered in snow. I’d be interested in working with someone else as long as they are committed to two things: 1) the bracelet is returned to Fenn without compensation, 2) enough treasure is left in situ so other searchers will continue the quest Fenn originally intended.

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