Yellowstone Caution….


Yellowstone National Park ranges from about 7,500ft to 14,000ft. It is very cold and very snowy there from October through May. They do not keep all the roads open all the time. In winter some roads are open to Nordic skiing and some for snowmobiles…no cars.

My point is that if you plan on a Yellowstone trip in spring or fall you need to find out if you can even get to the spot you want. I failed at getting to my spot one spring. You can read that post here:

The roads are not completely open until Memorial Day. But they open incrementally starting around April 26th. Budget cuts may also effect how quickly the roads are opened…Finally…there is a lot of snow there so even if the roads are open you may not be able to see the ground beneath 3 feet of snow.

The parks’s facilities closings are found here:

They manage not just visitors but also wildlife and many areas are closed during various breeding seasons in the spring. There are lots of reasons in the fall, winter and spring why the place you want to explore may not be accessible.

The best plan is to call ahead. Here is the Visitor Center info number:

307 344-2107

But please, if all 9,000 of you call at the same time they will close the doors, turn out the lights and go home…

A cautionary note from Forrest:

If you are searching for my treasure please stay safe, take adequate supplies and a GPS. The chest is not in a dangerous place. Remember, it weighs 42 pounds and an old man carried it to its secret location. Keep your children close in the mountains and search at your own risk. Good luck in the chase. f



41 thoughts on “Yellowstone Caution….

  1. Yes, I actually heard that the sequester is in factgoing to affect the opening of many National parks. Not enough government cash for plowing…Dal isn’t just trying to get a head start. Also, out of the kindness of my heart I will tell you that Yelowstone is currently in the process of digitizing their archives. You can link to a biography section where you can search and find dozens of Browns.

      • Yes I agree and that’s why the 5000 people who are going to look during spring break might not have a chance if they can’t get into where it might be.

    • LOL….maybe with the sequestration there will be LESS RANGERS out there asking hikers questions like “what ya got in that there back pack”…um….honest officer. It ain’t nuttin but my flashlight and sandwich.

      • Bonnie…you of all people should know that the rangers won’t care…..because they’ll be too busy looking themselves LOL….isn’t that what you said about the diamond rangers? LOL We might need to ask THEM what’s in their backpacks hehe.

  2. Sounds like its going to be a real rat race for spring break….Maybe I should sell Forrest Fenn memorabilia on the Santa Fe plaza.

  3. Seriously, please heed Dal’s warning. The mountains are no spring break like in Florida. They are dangerous for those inexperienced or not properly prepared….

    • Exactly! Mountain hiking in canyons down with snow melt and storms is NOT a day at the beach. Keep in mind also that unless you are already acclimated to high elevations, there is altitude sickness to deal with. Lack of O2 can make you think silly thoughts and do stupid things (the extreme) and at the very least, give you a rip roaring headache and fatigue for the first few days.

      I’m glad you’re posting this, Dal. But it makes me think you are getting into the “PSA” business…Hahaha. Amazing that anyone has to warn people not to be a danger to themselves.

      Maybe Forrest needs to have a disclaimer…..

      “Search at your own risk”.

    • Juliet..that’s not a fair request. It’s his treasure hunt not ours. He gets to make up the rules…and change them if he wants…and I ask much of a clue is it to say it’s above 5,000 feet once he has already told us that it’s in the Rocky Mountains? It’s really a non-clue isn’t it? I mean Denver is at 5,300 feet and it’s not in the mountains. Granted..there is some landscape that gets eliminated..but by comparison, not all that much. I believe his clues will all be like that. I don’t think he’s going to hand out any clues that will point folks in a definite place…
      But if you’re worried I think you should put on your hiking boots and get out there…

    • Juliet, you can’t rein in a wild horse. I think Forrest will give out clues much like the last…what we all refer to as “non-clues”. He has stated the clues are in the poem and those are the most valuable. They are the very clues everyone needs to focus on in the effort to find the treasure. Good luck. *S*

  4. All this talk of Yellowstone, yet has anyone considered finding a clue in the poem that might hint to the starting point of the trail as relates to the spot where the author of the poem resides? It seems to me that if the the treasure can be found by means of only the poem (per Forrest himself) then there should be an adequate clue within the poem as to geographic location on at least a macro regional scale. Otherwise, it is simply not possible to find it by anything other than luck if one is utilizing only the poem.

    Just a thought…

    • I think he gave us this macro clue when he originally said it was in the mountains North of Santa Fe. He later added the Rocky Mountains blurp. I think (maybe wrong entirely) he added this to spread out the search area. I completely agree that if the entire Rocky Mountains were in the search area that the clues would be almost impossible to solve. I’m a full time NM searcher. Pretty sure this is the area to be looking in.
      Phillip Mason

        • Just starting out on your site,.. Not quite sure if I should deploy a sarcasm meter or not to your short sweet answer. However, I ‘started at the beginning’, which I read as not the word ‘begin’ but the 1st stanza and true beginning- and, via my loco way, got WY (though not where I mighta thought )
          Anyway, best luck to all the hunters. It’s huge fun. Won’t boast that I’m going to get it, just that I expect to be nearby when it’s found. 😉

          • lol…sarcasm meter…
            I just didn’t know how to reply..
            Not enough info from you to make any serious comment…so I thought about it for a second and decided that I could answer yes or I could answer no…
            I had a 50/50 chance of being correct and no way to move the odds one way or another…

  5. Or you can look at it simply and say; Whats the most famous Warm water north of Santa fe? Yellowstone. This could be deduced by anyone. Unlike some smaller more personal areas. Which require something more than the Poem.

  6. Well i cant go where i want to this weekend so, im going to Lake Havasu . Whats this have to do with the hunt? Nothing and thats the point, to clear my mind. Sometimes you half to forget to rember.

  7. If you are searching for Forrest’s treasure please stay safe, take adequate supplies and a GPS. The chest is not in a dangerous place. Remember, it weighs 42 pounds and an old man carried it to its secret location. Keep your children close in the mountains and search at your own risk. Good luck in the chase.

    Well, THAT’S reassuring!

  8. I just want to echo previous comments about safety. On the local news it was reported that a hiker went missing yesterday while searching for Fenn’s treasure. she has been found safe and well but had to spend the night out in the wild where the temperature was in the low 30s. So be safe, be prepared, let someone know where you are going.

  9. Hey All…I would like to share my recent experience and theory with you all and get your thoughts.
    I am writing this because I am concerned that people may be taking unwarranted risks in pursuit of the treasure at this time of year and also people may be expending resources that they do not have.

    As I posted in an earlier note, I have always been concerned about the construct of the poem in that the seeker gains possession of the chest (supposedly filled with gold), but does not gain title until after two more apparently meaningless stanza’s of the poem run by. The other thing that has always bothered me is the reference by Forrest to the following T.S. Elliot poem.

    We shall not cease from our exploration
    And at the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

    The last line in particular in that it infers that you won’t know it the first time. My searches and analysis led me to believe that once you find the chest, you will only be half way there. In addition to going “in there” you must also go out again and it will not be as simple as just walking out. You will need more clues and must reverse your steps albeit taking a bit of a different route of sorts. If you start returning home from where you “take the chest and go in peace”, it may look something like this.

    But tary 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 answer 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.

    Begin it where cold waters start
    And take it in the canyon down
    Not too far, but too far to walk
    Take out above the home of brown

    From there its a place for the meek
    The beginning is ever coming now
    There’ll be no paddle down your creek
    Just light loads and water low

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

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

    I believe the chest will be found by solving the puzzle and I can tell that a number of people have as I had done several weeks ago. More have done so after someone (Forrest?) posted the Home of Brown on this blog last weekend. The place cannot be accessed until the snow melts unless you are williing to take a 6 miles roundtrip snowshoe trek. Once the snow melts, you can do it in about .5 miles in your flip flops…been there, done that. I will not spoil your fun of the hunt here, just be safe and go now only if you are experienced. I do not believe the chest has any gold in it other than maybe a token coin to add to the enticement at an attempt at validation. I believe the chest will contain a map of clues along the lines of the poem above to retrace your steps.

    I have taken these steps first via the internet and then physically. Here is how I did it. The line “brave and in the wood” always troubled me as meaningful, but apparently unnecessary. After some thought, I finally arrived at searching for Brave (as in soldiers) in the Wood (as in the Wood Memorial). You will find a brave soldier by the name of “Billy” Mitchell (Father of the Air Force). Searching for a memorial in his name will take you to a website a scavenger hunt waymarking site (hmmmm). The site shows a memorial for Billy at the Air Force academy in Colorado Springs with Longitude and Latitude designators. I thought, O.K. if that long./lat. shows the location of the memorial then maybe a dead end. If not, maybe on to something. Well, plug in the long./lat. into Google Earth and guess what? The site is a location for a “brown home” just outside of
    Colorado Springs out of the mountains (i.e. where you began)….Reallllyy??, Reallly? Yes Really! Oh and what more if you pan out you will see a satellite image of a snowy imprint that shows a blaze just like the one you already found if you have the chest. Also, it shows a creek, a canyon and the “take out” point now “above” the home of brown to get you back where you began. This route follows the version of Forrest’s poem that I provide to you above. At the end of the route is in fact another version of the same blaze variety as the first two. Looking quickly down from this blaze was a very large out of place (i.e. praire land) piles of pine straw and pine cones (i.e. in the woods) that someone had placed there. I tore the pile apart hoping to find so called treasure, but the cupboard was bare.

    I write this so that you all can make informed decisions of your own regarding your quest based on my recent experience. I do not want to see anyone get hurt physically, financially, or otherwise. Turns out this last blaze is about an hour from my home so no big deal for me.

    I still plan to go track down the chest for the adventure of it with my sister, but I am getting skeptical about the reality of the treasure. Forrest replied to me by stating “thank you for providing the directions to no treasure”. He is right. I found no treasure, but now you can decide for yourselves.

    Keep in mind the last stanza of the poem as I have constructed it above. Looks like Forrest still keeps the treasure.

    Hope this helps in your decision making process. I got concerned when I saw folks saying there were venturing out even this week for the chest. Know what you are getting into. I also sincerely hope that I have not spoiled anything for anyone.


  10. I had a great Yellowstone snowmobiling vacation a week ago and want to make sure the inexperienced understand the dangers of Yellowstone. The Grizzlies are out now with the warm up they had (but now it’s frigid and snowy again), but please know the different kinds of wild life you will encounter and how to deal with them. Two people were killed last year and Yellowstone is now recommending to be at least 2 deep and never alone. Bring bear spray, a gps and an air horn for signaling help and know how to use it all before venturing off into the woods. Our guide advised us to be especially careful in spring (April-May) when the bears are hungry and could have their cubs with them.

    It’s hard to believe, but the grizzlies can run 30 mph, and they will chase you down for lunch and are the main threat other than an extremely rare and unlucky encounter with a wolf pack or cougar.

  11. I also thought the T’S Eliot quote was amazingly appropriate and odd to be so ready on the tip of his fingers. Made me wonder if all his answers in that piece were carefully pre pared, and perhaps had some weight . Certain that I cracked the coded part of the poem at that point, but just not enough info yet from those initials upon which to head east. Thanks, Forest!! You’ve given a nice gift!!
    (New to the website, fairly new to the hunt, but don’t discount me out yet — fresh eyes see new fruits 🙂

    • I’ve been looking at the live cam of Old Faithful so I see what you’re talking about! It will be a while before anyone will be able to search that area. Do you know when the roads usually open?

  12. Just saw this on the news.

    (CNN) – Authorities at Yellowstone National Park are investigating reports that a tourist crashed a drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring, the park’s largest hot spring, on Saturday.

    The tourist approached a park employee about getting the drone back after losing it in the almost 200-feet deep hot spring.

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