Thermopolis, WY…

SUBMITTED August 2015
BY Fenn Hunter


I have been doing some online research and have come up with a solve, which I know has about 0.01% chance of being correct, possibly less.  However as there is absolutely no way I can go and search them myself I thought I may as well send it to you. Please feel free to do with it what you will, ignore, follow up or share either partially or in its entirety with all – I was going to put it on your forum but didn’t want to waste peoples time if it’s totally wrong.

WWH – Hot Springs Park in Thermopolis WY. Hot Springs = Warm Waters.  Park = Stop = Halt.  Seems too obvious but we know the first tow clues can’t be too obscure they have been solved before.

Thermopolis is one of the towns marked on FF’s map, a major tourist stop on route to YNP.  Most importantly of all it’s a big fly fishing area and surely there is a chance FF fished here as a boy on his way to and from YNP?.

Although Thermopolis in under 5000ft.  That is not necessarily a problem: if the poem takes you up.

Canyon Down – We know that we need to travel up. Down on a map is South.  To the south of Thermopolis is Big Horn Canyon.

The Big Horn River is home to some notably big Brown Trout, often referred to as Big Horn Browns. This is a much lauded but relatively unknown fly fishing spot where fishermen will ‘float’ down the river.

If you travel South on Highway 20 for 4 or 5 miles (too far to walk and no obvious trail to walk on), you reach  ‘the wedding of the waters’. This is a spot where the river changes name,  Big Horn to the North, Wind River to the South.   Could Big Horn River be THOB?  It is home to Big Horn Brown Trout.  Big Horn Canyon is named after Big Horn Sheep which are Brown.  Just up river from here is also the Wind River Indian Reservation- which was home to ‘Camp/Fort Brown’. A military fort since renamed.   I think too that a Wedding of the Waters would appeal to the romantic in FF.

The Wedding of the Waters is a place where you can ‘put in’ to float down river – back towards Thermopolis.   In fact it’s the southerly most (furthest upstream) before reaching reservation land.   The putting in spot in within a couple hundred feet of the road – did FF mean that searchers (by being on that road) have been that close to the third, vital clue rather than the treasure its self?

Just downstream and across the river Is Memorial Cemetery, the final resting place to traverse the river you can’t be meek, and the cemetery is a scary place not for the meek either – it’s also a place where the end (death) is nigh.

From there Red Rock Canyon – a dry river bed (so no need for a paddle),  runs under the overhead train line (which carries heavy loads).

If you were to walk a few miles west into the canyon – in the direction of the Owl (owls are of course wise) Creek mountains, then the rocky outcrops on either side tower to just over 5000ft (could it be the altitude clue was a bigger clue than thought – that helps lead to a specific location, rather than a general area?)

The rock in this area is red and there appears to be a few cliffs in the area – could one look like a blaze? Or ese there are supposedly a number of petroglyphs in this area  does one mark the spot?  Whichever we know that me must climb to the top of the hills to get over 5000 feet. The area is not heavily wooded, but there are  some trees, is there a stand of them on top of one of the hills that appears as a wood from the bottom of the canyon?

When you reach the top of the hill it will no doubt be colder than in the canyon, and you will also be looking over the Wind River Indian Reservation (home of the Brave).  The hills have a number of drainage gullies running down them – a place  where a chest might easily be hidden without being fully buried and the chest will likely to be wet (especially in spring when the snow melts – what time of year was that interview held?)

How did an old man manage this journey? There are back roads just to the North that would take you very close without having to cross  the river and traverse up the canyon etc

Main problem, is this could be private land?  I think it might be but can’t really tell.. is it a problem, or the reason not to tarry?

I would be interested to know what you think of the above, is it with promise or complete trash?

Good luck and if it leads you, or someone, to the chest,  please do share some of the loot with me…


an addendum to this story from dal-
Please do not trespass. If this solution is on private property, please seek permission before accessing. We do not advocate trespassing.

36 thoughts on “Thermopolis, WY…

  1. So many different possible solves.]

    Dal, you are correct, we need to check things out (thoroughly)!

    • I can’t find anyone else who interprets where warm waters halt as 111 degrees? if you follow the longitude line of 111 degrees down it goes through a canyon….

      Water Temperatures:
      Laundry Care Symbols
      Click on image to enlarge
      Hot – initial water temperature ranging from 112 to 145 degrees F
      (45 to 63 degrees C).
      Warm – initial water temperature ranging from 87 to 111 degrees F
      (31 to 44 degrees C).
      Cold – initial water temperature up to 86 degrees F
      (30 degrees C).

  2. It is private property. Big Horn sheep relocated there in
    The early 90’s by Game and Fish.
    Originally thought of the area because of Owl Creek Mts but dismissed.

  3. Dal,

    Perhaps I am wrong, but was it not you who stated last night the Fennhaven had been picked over several times. Is that not private property?

  4. wind river canyon makes sense to me, for reasons i’ve spoke of… maybe not specifically. “wedding of the waters” as WWWH maybe? so taking the canyon down is actually go north from there, towards thermopiles. but i don’t know if the elevation matches.

    • The Wind River Canyon is beautiful and magical. My first time in it, traveling uphill toward the reservoir, it actually felt as if we were going downhill. This illusion, I saw, was created because the tilt of the striations from so many millions of years ago. A fascinating place.

  5. This area has been picked over, a searcher recently mentioned ‘Sinks canyon area’ also Metetsee is mentioned in the book. The problem with wind river canyon is elevation is all below 5,000 ft.

    • For small vessels such as a kayak “put in” is used to launch and “take out” is used for getting out of the water.

      • What is your source? I checked several on-line dictionaries and saw no provision for “put in” to mean different things for different water craft. In Fenn’s poem, if using some kind of water craft, ypu would launch “Where warm waters halt.” Why would you launch again “Below the home of Brown.”?

  6. What is your source? I checked several on-line dictionaries and found no differnt meanings for different types of water craft. Besides, in Fenn’s poem, you would launch “… where warm waters halt” so why would you launch again “below the home of Brown”.

    • “put in” simply means enter the stream bed/canyon below the hoB. I would suggest leaving your watercraft home, as this is a hike of “less than a few miles” jmo

      Best of luck


  7. Probably doesn’t play a role in this, but apparently a Marion F. (Mike) Brown owned a ranch 3 miles south of Thermopolis in the late 1800s. He was known to have helped hidden Butch Cassidy from the authorities at the time. I’m still trying to find his or his widow’s gravesite(s).

  8. Also, wanted to point out that there is a Warm Springs Creek that empties into the Bighorn in Thermopolis. As well as, the Warm Spring Creek that empties into the Wind River near Dubois, WY (further west). IMO, both wwwh can possibly lead to the 2 former Fort/Camp Browns.

  9. What a coincidence! Ran across the Fenn treasure thread on a forum (not this one) 2 days ago and became interested. Have been looking at a few ‘warm’ rivers and hot springs in NM. Just an hour ago, I googled Brown Indiana Tribe’ and up popped a map of Wind River Reservation together with Camp Brown. On the map was the Owl Mountain Range (‘wise’ clue) and Hot Springs State Park @ Thermopolis. Google Earth revealed Owl Creek and Owl Creek Road as well as the whiskey brewery (some in my neck of the woods call whiskey ‘brown’). My last Google Search was for ‘brown trout Metropolis’ and this comments section popped up. Coincidence ? I think not. Glad I found you guys… 🙂

  10. Hello, thank you for your wonderful site! I am a newbie to the Forrest Fenn treasure search, & the main info you have collected into one source is most appreciated, perfect to get the essentials down (I haven’t yet read the more “advanced” parts, sure they are great, too).

    I’m not sure I’ll ever actually go searching physically, due to health issues (and being one legged, mountains and hiking are not easy!), mainly doing this for fun. I try to at least get outside while I do my “armchair” searching, to at least honor Mr. Fenn’s wish to get people out in Nature.

    I’ve only been studying the Poem & Map for a couple of days (Mr. Fenn’s books are on order), and for some reason, Thermopolis, WY jumped out at me, and a cursory glance online about the town & environs had what I thought could be some possible “clues” – but I tend to find connections everywhere! Apophenia and searching for hidden treasure do not go well together. When I googled the town & “Brown” (though I’d already come across a few Browns, like the salmon), the first hit was this page. While I am too green to feel like any hunch I have would pan out, just knowing someone as deep into the quest as you, Dal, considered Thermopolis as well gave me a nice boost of confidence!

    Greg 1Leg

    • Oops! Just realized I got mixed up, and attributed this “solve” theory to Dal! Still, glad someone else (who from what he/she wrote appears to be well versed in the subject of Fenn’s treasure) was thinking on the same lines as my first conjecture.

      The admiration & thanks for the website still stand, of course!

      [I’m not feeling super confident about solving puzzles, discovering clues, when I made such a silly mistake, but I knew this was out of my league to begin with – but that’s never stopped me from trying things before!]

      – Greg 1Leg

  11. Hello all,
    Long time troll, first time poster.
    First, a thanks to Mr. Forrest for the Chase!
    Second, a thanks to Dal and Goofy for the blog.
    I’m another google hunter from the east side of the Mississippi. While i’d love to have boots on the ground and search for myself, It’s just not possible. I have still enjoyed the time spent searching the maps and reading history from the many small towns in the Rockies.

    Ok, so onto my IMO’s about this area. It has been one that I keep coming back too.

    IMO 1. The home of Brown. While I couldn’t find any other connection, I believe Mr. FF and a George Brown were both on the “Buffalo Bill Historical Center” Board, at one time.
    Mr. Brown I believe, was the ranch manager and lived at the “Hoodoo Ranch” for over 40 years. While some may say that’s home, I also like to think home is where your grow up. For me It was Spokane, for Mr. Brown it was “Owl Creek”.

    IMO 2. I like this area also because of “Legend Rock”. I don’t know Mr. FF, other than what I’ve read, but i would like to think this is a place he might have visited.

    IMO 3. “Cottonwood” creek. Your going to be cold, Your going to be in the wood. It runs right next to Legend Rock.
    The only down side to this area for me is that I couldn’t figure in 4, 45 min walks.

    IMO 4. “if you are brave”. So many options there. You got out of your house, you got out of your city, you went exploring in the wilderness. Could that be being brave?
    A side note here. No I did not even consider using the word “brave” to justify the area just because there is and Indian reservation there. Thanks to Mr. FF and the Chase, I’ve done a lot of reading and learned that using “brave and squaw” to reference an Indian might be just as offensive as the other derogatory word you might hear used here in the south to describe African Americans.

    IMO 5. I’m adding this one because of the Cottonwood creek. Not too far west of Legend Rock there is a place, where another creek called “Twintyone”, runs into the Cottonwood. You can google and GE the area. Looks like a pretty good “fly fishing” area if your into that sort of thing, like others I’ve read about.

    Thanks for reading. Sorry if this has already been discussed, I looked but didn’t find any other postings on it.
    I have IMO’s on the other clues but I guess those should be posted in a different part of the site.

    Happy hunting

  12. hey guys in Thermopolus i think where warm warters halt is some where in pathfinders refuge in wyoming you guys ever consider this?

    thank You for You time

  13. I believe this searcher was on the right track. Very nice write-up, and great idea and location. IMO of course. 🙂

  14. Hey there ya’ll obsessed searchers! By now addicted and thus lovin’ this romantic and great treasure hunt!

    After reading a newspaper article about FF, i started searching and came up with Mammoth/The Boiling River as WWWH, and making the whole poem sense.

    Of course this perfect poem posesses my brain so i had to look further, cause what are the chances it’s Mammoth? None what so ever.

    I searched Maps and saw the name Thermopolis. After googlin’ it i read 3 articles (1x 1994, 2x 2000-2006) about a steadily declining hot spring flow detected in late 1960’s (
    FF must have know this too and it is an argument for Thermopolis being WWWH. The trend there is, the hot springs will halt some day. SO let’s begin at Thermopolis.

    I think from there we have to go North into the Canyon down(stream), not South. And what is too far to walk? Imo it could be 10 miles or 4-6 as i keep reading everywhere. But why not 100 miles? That’s not far compared the 1000+ miles Rocky Mountains search area as shown on FF’s map. It’s even not that far compared to taking a plane: just take the 4 wheels. I can see FF sitting in a car at 5 am, driving from Thermopolis to Big Horn Lake, and hiking to trips in 4-6 hours to hide his trove. 100 Miles is far enough to not walk, and maybe too far in this case, but actually it isn’t that far at all when you put it in perspective.

    So lets stick to 100 miles to Big Horn Lake, where everything is Brown colored, there is Brown trout, Montana has his pine trees Sierra Brownbark and (as we are at the border of WY and MNT) the home of the Grizzly Bears (Montana has the largest population). Even old pictures of the Montana Indians are full of Brown hahaha. Everything is Brown. What if Montana is the home of Brown? In that case “Put in below the home of Brown is at the north of Big Horn Lake but just under the Montana/WY border? It’s all Brown there.

    There is also a horse shoe bend (picture in FF book!).
    I see a Devils Canyon (not for the meek) we can go to. I see a Crooked creek and Gypsum creek full of trout and perfect for fly fishing. It’s all Brown territory. Standing on top the Big Horn Canyon it’s no place for the meek: just look down and do not get dizzy. Aside the fact you’ll have to climbe higher at some point (elevation 5000+). But maybe first we have to descend to somehow (not for the meek) cross the river?

    On an old map i found this area labeled: Reserve for the Crow Nation. The area reserved for the Crow Nation… crownation…coronation?…reserve for your title to the gold? And the Indians where brave people, wise too and also “in the woods”.

    I guess lots of you have more interesting and intelligent things to say about that particular area. The blaze? I still think it’s out there. It can’t be found not being there, imo.

    Yet, maybe we have to stop (THOB) at Greybull? Or for that matter in any place in between the 100 miles. Maybe we have to go south of Thermopolis.

    The area is hughe and the clues or the poem seems to apply to at least 100 WWWH’s. But i can’t erase the idea that only at Thermopolis the Warm Waters eventually shall halt (for a proved fact). On the other hand, i do not think the area around Thermopolis is the most beautifull area, referring to FF. Big Horn Lake has way more to offer!

    Last but not least:
    For the record to some crazy bt’s out there: if above looks like anything someone else already explained in some blog/vlog/paper/essay or whatsoever, i apologize in advance. I truly didn’t know.

    Carpe Trovium

  15. Just found this, has anybody actually searched Thermop? Long time resident, is helpful to know what is BLM/Reservation/Private Land. The owners of the area in question I believe are only around a little bit of the year. I have my own theory about where it is but, it’s about 300′ inside the reservation.

  16. Interesting little side dish about Thermopolis. You will note that Forrest uses the year 3009 when speaking of the future. Google Themopolis census and you will see that the population of Thermopolis was 3009 people in 2010, the year he hid the Treasure.

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