Where Warm Waters Halt…


This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…


242 thoughts on “Where Warm Waters Halt…

    • Bryan-
      Confident is a word I am not willing to use…
      I like it…
      I still use it because I have not come up with anything better..
      But having said that, I also use a couple others from time to time when searching…but that one is my favorite…

      • For Madison Junction’ers, do you ever question Fenn’s use of “certainly more than several” when describing the number of searchers that have figured out the first clue?

        As opposed to a phrase indicating a larger number (i.e. “everyone and their mother” or the like)?

        I’m assuming you rationalize the “certainly more than several” as FF being coy/not giving anything away or that maybe you just haven’t really thought about your WWWH in context of this statement.

        Search where you want to search… I’m just curious is all.

        • If he said, ‘everyone and their mother,’ we would all know WWWH being Madison Junction would be one of very few possibilities, though.

        • It all depends on how you look at f’s answer…….more than several?
          Several = more than 2 but not many
          more than several = ? 1000 ?

        • Thanks Bryan-
          I recall that conversation with Forrest over breakfast at the Loretto Inn with a journalist/searcher. So there were three of us at the table. After we ordered but before the food arrived Forrest asked us what the nine clues were. At that time the Loretto had a sandwich named for Forrest on their menu and a copy of the poem on a table card. They were promoting the Thrill of the Chase and hoping to attract searchers to their hotel…

          The two of us were going through the poem, line by line and pointing out what we thought were the clues to Forrest. He didn’t flinch or comment about what we said until we were finished. The two of us had several divergent opinions about what was a clue and what was not.

          At that point Forrest looked at the journalist/searcher and asked him where he would begin…where was his WWWH. The journalist then mentioned his theory about YNP being WWWH. I certainly cannot quote anyone at this point, my memory won’t allow it. But the gist of what occurred next was that Forrest asked how that would help and mentioned that YNP was a big place so where would he begin his search. After some additional short discussion Forrest told him that his idea did not give him a place to begin and that WWWH was a specific place not a region. That was one of the first times I heard Forrest say that any clue referred to a specific place.

          • Dal,

            This is actually an amazing hint in light of everything else we know now about the Chase…

            But you have to use a little deductive thinking. Its not absolute however it is certainly strong.

            So it looks like this:

            1) WWWH is the first clue and you begin your search there.
            2) WWWH is a specific place NOT a general place.
            3) WWWH has been identified by several searchers.
            4) WWWH and the second clue have been identified by at least a few searchers but they went right on by the treasures hiding spot.

            Now given that everything above is true and the vast majority of searchers are, either in the Yellowstone area, or Madison Junction area — IF these were the right WWWH; would Forrest make a point of saying only a few or several searchers have correctly identified the specific place that WWWH?

            Just a thought,


          • GCG-
            I don’t know that I believe ” the vast majority of searchers are, either in the Yellowstone area, or Madison Junction area”.
            I think you vastly underestimate the number of searchers looking in NM. I suspect there is close to an equal number in both NM and the Yellowstone area. If Yellowstone has any advantage at all it is simply because YNP and the Tetons are vacation destinations and folks decide to head there for a vacation and then discover the story about the treasure and decide to look for that as well…
            Additionally…things today are not as they were two, three, four, or more years ago when many of those statements were first made…

          • GCG;

            Seems like a valid point to me, but am sure that the YNP and YNP area searchers will disagree – Just a thought – JDA

          • Dal,

            I left NM out on purpose perhaps I shouldn’t have since it is distracting from the main point of my logic.

            I could have included NM in my comments and then used very common/popular areas for searchers there like; Ojo Cliente, Rio Chama, Toltec Gorge or Dinosaur National Park perhaps.

            The point though is the same. These areas have been combed over by MANY, MANY searchers.

            Remember the definition Forrest has given us of “several.”

            It is more than a few but NOT MANY…therefore the specific place that WWWH reference by the poem, is NOT a place which has been discovered or has been combed over by many.

            Like I prefaced this comment from the beginning – it isn’t iron clad but it is very strong logic.

            Is this making good sense to anyone?


          • GCG,

            Yes it makes sense. It’s essentially the same point I was making two days ago.

          • FMC,

            Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to keep up with your post or many others— thanks for the feed back.


          • So Dal, are you saying you got some inside information that the rest of us wouldn’t have received. I feel so cheated. But you shared, so kudos to you. 🙂

          • Charlie-
            Don’t be a conspiracy theorist..
            Read between the lines.
            There was a journalist at the table.
            Forrest was providing info for the story.
            I wrote about it shortly after it happened about 4.5 years ago and that story is on this very blog which is where Bryan read about it and started this conversation.
            This is not new info.
            Since then Forrest has said more or less this same thing on this and other blogs at different times…For instance:
            Q: Did the same 9 clues exist when you were a kid and to your estimation will they still exist in 100 years and 1000 years?
            “The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.f”

          • Thanks Dal, this helps me get past my recent infatuation with the continental divide. I am moving on now. Glad I read this. Dave

          • Dave-
            Before you abandon your CD concept…remember that there is no reason that WWWH cannot be a particular spot on the CD. That spot may be more fully described in other lines in the poem…

            On the other hand Forrest told us:
            “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”

            So lets take that apart for a second..
            First…is the CD “many places”?
            Maybe…maybe not…depends on how hard you want it to be…
            Is most of it north of Santa Fe?
            Again…the part in the USA is but it is called the “continental” divide and so it includes the entire continent…
            I dunno..things get sketchy but certainly possible if you squint a little and cock your head just right.

            But lets assume, as many have, that WWWH is an active thermal event..a geyser, hot spring or the like…
            Certainly there are many of them, and also certainly, most are north of Santa Fe…if you are looking in the Rocky Mountains…
            However that gives you no place to actually start…from there it’s a guess as to which one of the thousands of thermal events in the Rocky Mountains to start at…
            So you look at other lines in the poem for help in figuring out WHICH thermal event…
            and help is there…
            In the first two lines of the poem he tells you exactly which thermal event to start at..

            As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,

            Most searchers believe that in those first two lines Forrest is writing about the place he hid Indulgence…but maybe not. Maybe he is writing about the place to begin…chronologically that would be the right place to describe WWWH…

            So…using that logic, WWWH is a place (a thermal event) Forrest has gone alone. How on earth would we ever know which thermal events Forrest has visited..and alone…and IN ??
            That’s actually easy..he has talked about this place and written about it…
            The place has grass growing in the bottom that waves in the current of the river and reminds him of his daughter’s hair. There is a photo of the place in one of his books and on his blog:

            Clearly the place where the thermal event Ojo Caliente meets the Firehole River is special to Forrest.
            He often bathed there as a youth…riding his bike the 20 or so miles from West Yellowstone.
            Bathing means he was probably naked, probably alone and since he was naked his treasures would have been bold…(close your eyes PDenver)

            Okay…you don’t like the naked idea…
            Then maybe since it is the first place..the place to begin…he was carrying his chest with him on his journey to the place where he hid Indulgence…therefor he was carrying his treasures bold.

            There are lots of possible solutions to make that work for the determined mind.

            But at least it gives you a “place” to start…

            Can you do the same with the Continental Divide?
            If so, you may not have to abandon your theory…

          • Thanks Dal, yes, that bathing spot in the Firehole River is very appealing as a WWWH for many reasons. It would be a special place where Forrest went into alone in a bold manner and where he could have ridden his bike several times in his youth. If it is the right one, it does seem a bit odd that ff would have laid it out on a ‘silver platter’ in TFTW. It is almost too perfect / obvious. If it is correct for WWWH, it could help explain why lots of people have solved the first two clues and have been within 500 feet because it is certainly a popular starting point for searchers. It has a lot going for it. So if it is the correct starting point, then what is going on with all of those searchers that begin there? Is the hoB extremely difficult? I know the chest is very small and the area is huge, but it seems as though if that is the true WWWH then someone should have solved the other clues at this point and been able to ‘go with confidence’ to the blaze. I am torn on that one but I am going to reluctantly fall on the side of it being incorrect due to the large volume of very smart people already crunching that one to death unsuccessfully.

            As for the CD, yes, they do extend south of Sante Fe, NM. That comment about most WWWH being North of Sante Fe, NM might help rule out the CD…but that statement by ff is also very tricky because I cannot really think of any WWWHs north of Sante Fe that are not mirrored in the southern hemisphere of the Americas. If he meant just the northern hemisphere with that statement he might have been alluding to ice or thermal water spots or railroad halts….all of those are much more prevalent north of Sante Fe in the Northern Hemisphere. I do think that statement rules out using a person dying as WWWH….and maybe the CD too…which is helpful. I think I am moving on from the CD, and I have not been able to make it work so I guess I was just looking for a good reason. 🙂 Best of luck this summer. Go get it before that person stirring ff’s gut does! I want to know the solve and it sounds like ff might be thinking that person might not disclose which would be an unfortunate ending. Dave

          • Well Dave-
            If Ojo Caliente is the correct starting place it is no mystery to me that Forrest would have “laid it out” in TFTW.
            First, because he knew most would never believe it’s WWWH if he did…human condition is to be suspicious.Just as you are.
            Second, because by the time TFTW was published we already knew about Ojo Caliente because the story was (and still is) on his blog and had been there from the beginning of the appearance of his stories on the blog. Many serious clue gatherers figured that out long before TFTW was published. What’s more, it was written for the West Yellowstone paper and published therein before Forrest announced the treasure hunt. (context, context, context)
            Third, because it would be just Forrest’s sense of humor to sit at his desk giggling as he read all the strange machinations we have put his poem and his books through just to figure out what WWWH is…when in reality he laid it out for us…
            So no, it doesn’t seem strange at all to me…nor unlikely…He knows more about human character than we sometimes give him credit for. He spent his gallery years selling art to guys with a lot of money who are suspicious as heck of art dealers.

            As to your second question…why hasn’t it been found if that’s the correct starting point?
            To answer that question all you’ll have to do is try it for yourself. Take a family vacation to YNP (I suggest after the tourist season but before winter)
            And if you write Forrest about the experience maybe he will tell us about at least one more person that was within 200 feet of the chest but went right by it.

          • Dal;

            One of the most fascinating aspects about the chase is how differently each of us read and interpret the same information.

            For you, the allure of the YNP area is that Forrest spent time there as a youth. He spent several summers in this area as a fishing guide, motel builder, youth and adventurer.

            I on the other-hand look at all of these things as things that Forrest has talked and written about as “distractors.” I see these stories as a way to focus our attention AWAY from where Indulgence is secreted.

            What has Forrest said about having to tell the truth only 85% of the time? Let’s take “Buffalo Cowboys” as an example. What if the “meat” (no pun intended) of the story is true – that Forrest DID lasso Cody, that it did yank the axle out from under the car, and that Cody was shot and served up in hamburgers. BUT, maybe it did not occur outside of YNP – Maybe it happened some place different. – one “wee” modification of fact.

            Because the story supposedly took place outside of YNP – most people run to West Yellowstone. Maybe they should consider the possibility of some other location.

            Who knows? I guess that if Forrest’s gut feeling comes true, we will all know within a short summer.

            What fun!!! Just something to ponder. JDA

          • * * * * Dave from KC – ” If he meant just the northern hemisphere with that statement he might have been alluding to ice or thermal water spots or railroad halts….all of those are much more prevalent north of Sante Fe in the Northern Hemisphere.” * * * *

            (This below has been mentioned many times, but bears re-repeating):

            The Northern Hemisphere isn’t what’s in question (unless ff was speaking very loosely when he wrote this answer).

            “There are many places IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them [places in the Rocky Mts where warm waters halt] are north of Santa Fe.”

            Nearly all the places IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS (including the CD) are north of Santa Fe – full stop.

            By most definitions, the Jemez and Sangre de Christo mountains are the southernmost ranges of the Rockies, and they barely extend any distance south of Santa Fe.


          • Hi Dal, Well, after giving it some thought, I have to agree with you that I would not put it past ff to put out a blatant WWWH clue and then get a chuckle at those who dismiss it as being too obvious. I would not put this past ff as he obviously has a sense of humor and mischief. Good point. I do still struggle with hoB then being so difficult if that is true. I have to admit, there is plenty of evidence that hoB is very difficult given the fact that some searchers that sent ff their solves early in the Chase subsequently learned that some of them had sent him the correct first two clues and they have still not been able to solve it after all of these years. That has blown my mind.

            With that said, I would love to hear your opinion about the apparent sticking point with the hoB or other subsequent clues. I will completely understand if you choose not to share your opinions on this as an active searcher. There are some tantalizing potential hoBs in that area (landmark Beaver names, cinnamon names, etc.). Is it just the sheer size of the search area? Or something else? Thanks for sharing your thoughts Dal but, again, I understand you have limits on how much you would want to share about your solve so no worries if you cannot share more than you already have. Go get it! Dave

          • Thanks Jake for clarifying that point. I guess I missed an important part of that quote. As most of the Rockies are North of Sante Fe it seems to be a bit of a non hint or clue. Dave

          • Well, at least the “there are many places” was information.

            (as opposed to “there are only several . . . er, wait . . . a few places in the Rocky Mountains where . . . “).


          • WWWH = RBIB
            Dal, Glad we have something in common.
            Why not, give it a spin from there & see where it goes.
            The Jack can wait till someone finds it.
            Remember the “right of passage”?

          • Hi Dal, your suggestion of the WWWH being the bathing spot at the Firehole River has me considering the ‘what ifs’. It would be interesting if that is the WWWH because that spot would represents a part of ff’s life when he was quite young. Since WWWH is the beginning of the solve, and also a memory from fairly early childhood, I am wondering if it is possible that the poem (and locations) could represent a chronological walk though different time periods of ff’s life? For example, WWWH is the bathing hole, and then the hoB represents a little older ff when he became a quite adept fisherman (and fishing guide)? From there, ff went into the military and then became a treasure hunter (both no places for the meek). Maybe the blaze location represents the older, and wiser, ff after he became a parent and family man. This is kind of an abstract idea that requires some imagination…and if this is true, I am not sure if this idea would help a searcher find the locations for each of these aspects off’s life. Quickly mapping out in my mind what I might consider with this approach…I might consider the bathing spot (WWWH) then fishing spot (hoB) then spot where old treasures have been found (NPFTM) and then ultimately a family friendly location for the blaze. This is a major reach…I know. It might be interesting if you started a thread on the ‘what if’s for the big picture’ to see what people can come up with for the big picture and what ifs. Something is missing from most (all?) searcher’s solves…and I doubt what I have written above is the missing link…but maybe someone else’s imagination holds the key? Dave

        • Hi Dal: thank you very much for the additional back story on WWWH/YNP and the specificity of WWWH. You were very forthcoming with the gist of this info on your blog years ago, but I appreciate the added context.

      • Dal…. have you ever considered that WWWH refers to a place that water only flows, with any strength, during meltoff… I’m intrigued by the Cirwin lodge area

        • Marc-
          In my early search for a WWWH place I considered many options from The Great Salt Lake to Lake Missoula to ancient oceans, glacial melt and intermittent creeks. None pointed me at another eight places..
          But if you are interested in the ghost town of Kirwin look at this story by TomWhat:

          And if you use the search mechanism at the bottom of the right column and type in “Kirwin” you will find many interesting comments by folks who had the same interest that you have in that area.

          Good luck! Have fun!

    • I think warm waters halt is the general Madison Junction Area…. Forest mentions many favorite fishing holes that are unknown to many where him and his dad would go alone to fish…. all of them he mentions are in the West Yellowstone area…. Forest also stated in an interview that a person could ride a bike to the chest location…. how would he know this ??? I think he rode a bike there at one time years ago….. recall that he rode a bike to his favorite bathing hole (Firehole) …. his mother died in West Yellowstone…. his family had cabins there, a Motor court there. They were fishing guides there….. one of his biggest Brown trout was caught in Hebgen lake …. Forest stated he already knew right where he would hide the chest….. which means he knew of this place long before he hid the chest…. I think he knew of this place from his childhood

        • DKM,

          We also know fenn moved to NM to [ if i have the correct word for the comment ] ‘Recover’ Start a business, raise a family, even bought a dig site there… when he could have easily moved to the greater YS region.
          I’m not saying that those connection you mention are not plausible at all… But if we take the idea from the ‘book’ N of SF {NM}, In the mountains he hid a chest at a location he wanted to be his last resting place… possibly… in a state he consider to live out is all his days. One can argue NM is fenn’s ‘green acres’.

          My point is… that is just guessing. Pick a stated that we may think is the most likely. Don’t you think that there would be more to the idea… “nailing down the first clue or stay home” than just a guess to which state.

          For me that sounds more like; if we find more of fenn’s finger prints anywhere else… that has to be the place. But it’s funny that the book has a ‘single’ page chapter title “in love with YS” and most of it talks about the ‘trip’ getting there. {if i recall correctly} there’s less than a small paragraph – lines, that mentions anything about YS in that single page chapter.

          Another little tidbit for thought. In the 1930 and 40’s the only reasonable route for a four day 1600 mile drive was to connect a route from TX to a route going North to YS… you had to drive through an area approx. 8 plus miles N. of SF.

          All I’m saying… if you’re going to hang your hat on any stated for ~ “just because” we know of this or that… I just don’t see how we could get the idea of, what took me so long

          But I need to ask; you said, ‘ Forest has also stated that the chest is NOT in a National Park….. ‘
          I haven’t seen that one… do you know where we can look it up?

        • DKM, I agree with you on all points here.I have been searching the Hebgen Basin and West Yellowstone area for a few years now. I just got back from my trip and spent 7 days searching one single spot and still don’t think I have exhausted it. I may be wrong and in the entirely wrong state, but my gut tells me it is there. It is a huge area that could take 100years to search and still find nothing because the landscape is ever changing and undergoes a hostile transformation during the spring thaw.

      • I JUST WONDER if we all caught the punt on how he wanted people to play with the grizzly when their hungry’….’ ‘not;;, nor do i think a 80 or 90 year old man wants to climb a tree to avoid a moose the place is worth a visit. to become a part of the work of SIR Forrest Fenn but its not the safest beginning as the riddle rolls where could he stop to think we all know he loves to do that i may be wrong i visited and loved every secound as i walked through the pages in the book to reach the poem the caynon is there some what the creek is there grayling or close by if i remember right the beauty is there the guard on duty was a eagle i wasnt messing with that guy him and his buddies keep a keen watch on every thing again sence tells me forrest wouldnt want searchers to mess with his creatures of any type what do you think

  1. Seeker
    Yikes I am very tired and I am sorry I used the wrong term lack of confidence is a synonym. sorry my bad

  2. I’ve spent 3 days in Stillwater MT on this.
    No luck so far…
    I still got 3 days left.
    I’m willing to exchange ideas.

    Here is why I came-

    Yellowstone (warm) meets Stillwater (halt) near Nye MT( nigh)
    Also …Mt Wood has a Lake Wood high in the mountains( water high) ( in the wood) and has a Woodbrine Falls that leads to amazing fishing….Also this is all in/near Yellowstone ( childhood) and Gallatin Nat Forest area where he got lost with his friend I pretty sure.

    What do you think!

    NO idea on Brown or bllaze

    • Jasmo, that is a beautiful area. We were up there a month ago and the Beartooth Hwy was still closed from snow. It’s nice you can search around there. I’m pretty sure many have searched around Woodbine Falls area; you can probably find their search reports under “Other Searcher’s Stories” (above, far right).

      FF did get lost in the Gallatin Natl Forest, but above Hebgen Lake, up Red Canyon, I believe. Good luck!

    • JasMo66 wrote:
      “what do you think!”
      You say “Stillwater (halt) near Nye MT( nigh)”. I gather you mean Stillwater County or River and the little town of Nye in the southwest corner of the county on eastern edge of Gallatin Natl. Forest.

      Well, I’d say that would certainly help the locals in southern Montana and norther Wyoming. But I doubt that some redneck in Texas has ever heard of Stillwater County/River or Nye, Montana.

      I don’t think Forrest Fenn would be so parochial as to give the locals in any area an advantage over people in Texas, Florida, Australia, or England.

      You also state that all ” this is all in/near Yellowstone ( childhood) and Gallatin Nat Forest.”

      Which is another reason why I would eliminate the area from my search. Fenn has said there are a few “subtle” clues in TTOTC. His chapter “In Love With Yellowstone” is hardly what I would call “subtle”.

      But every summer there’s a stampede of searchers who flock to the Yellowstone, all of them reinforcing each others’ view that Yellowstone has got to be where the chest is. Maybe it is.

      But if so, I’d be extremely disappointed with Forrest Fenn who wants us to use our imaginations. Given the content of TTOTC, the Yellowstone area is one of the most, if not the most, unimaginative locations I can think of.

      Ken (in Texas)

      • Ken TX ~’I don’t think Forrest Fenn would be so parochial as to give the locals in any area an advantage over people in Texas, Florida, Australia, or England.’

        Don’t folks who live in any of the four states have an advantage just knowing that-?- over anyone in FL or out of the country?

        Eventually, for example, If clues start leading someone from CO to a location close to them… is their knowledge of the area going to be more helpful and have an advantage rather than someone from NY? I imagine fenn thought about just this idea.. created clues that are just as difficult for locals to non-locals.
        To simply eliminate a, more or less, known of/popular area doesn’t make the clues easier to decipher [imo]. In fact I would think just the opposite.

        Locals would have different knowledge, that everyone else would think, they’d need to research and study up on just because they are unfamiliar with the area… and so far that hasn’t help, and knowing of local information, folk lore, history etc. may lead to more force fitting [bias confirmation thinking].. rather than.. thinking how the clues truly unfold.

        Searchers, regardless if the were from the area or not, have been on site, deciphered the first two clues [by fenn’s account] and still didn’t know they might have and walked by remaining clues.. and searchers have been near the chest by 200′.
        I highly doubt locals and any advantage to solving the clues… the only advantage I see is just being closer to the search area for traveling convenience.

        Fenn finally stated ‘he followed the clues when he hid the chest’ If knowledge of the area was a huge advantage, why would the guy who created the clues, knows the location like the back of his had, spend more than a decade getting the poem just right … have to follow his own clues?
        And tells all “there is no other way to his ‘knowledge'”.

        Personally I’d be pondering more about that, than if locals have an advantage… or the area is a popular attraction to many.

    • Hey JasMo, think you’re on somewhat similar track as I am with my solve. Actually heading to that area a couple weeks from now. Using a little bit different view, I can ‘solve’ all clues, satisfy most all hints, including 200′ and 500’….only doggone sticking point is the distance…mine seems too far, given f’s comments about 2 back and forth trips in a single afternoon….I’m wavering.

  3. What makes WWWH? A lake or reservoir? Halt is such a strong word it must be heeded. My original solve was Thermopolis, WY. Warm waters thread underground, very deep, where it heats up and surfaces as hot springs. It is unclear whether the water actually halts at any point. The “canyon down” clue lead me to Sinks canyon ( a play on words). We found a fabulous blaze along the sinks canyon wall and many crevices and caves, very thrilling!! But no treasure.

  4. Dal, can we revisit the WWWH as specific location vs region concept. I’ve struggled with this for almost as long as I’ve been on the hunt….for me the best “big picture” place to designate as WWWH in the search area is YNP. I’ve searched and could only find one statement negating this possibility. It was you referencing a conversation you heard between Forrest and another searcher.

      • It somewhere on the blog. Been a while since I read it..sorry. I’ll try to locate it when I get some time. In it you mention that you overheard a comment from Forrest (I assume in verbal conversation) that WWWH is not a region but rather a specific location. Your example suggested YNP was too large a region to be WWWH. I was attentive to this because to my knowledge it has been the only directly conflicting statement with my favored WWWH. Unfortunately I didn’t note where the comment lives.

  5. Yes Redline’s idea of www being a url is very far fetched. It has actually been brought up before. Can not fathom FF doing this but I do want to entertain it just for fun.

    So if the poem somehow told us a url that FF set up. The home page of this site has Brown in the name. This page would be home of Brown. Now there is a field that has to be filled in that will give us the location of the treasure. Would we not be putting in below home of Brown by filling it in. Put the code in the field. Now not only do we get the location but FF gets notified via email that someone put in the correct code. This way he would know somebody figured it out.

    I know it’s silly but when people post silly things I always think ‘How could this work?’

    • continuing with the silliness….

      what if the blaze is the complete url path…..so that once you solve all clues that let you enter the correct path (www.clue2/clue3/clue4)….up to the blaze clue….when you hit enter the the ‘marvel gaze’ is what appears on the screen and quickly down is simply looking down from the url entry to the screen…..which shows some coordinate or something…

      again…pure fantasy here:)

  6. Because cold would indicate uncomfortable, and a delineation from the warm. But hot could also be uncomfortable I believe.

    • LD;

      I have proposed this before, but I believe that warm waters halt where they converge with a bigger body of water. Let’s say that “Tepid Stream” flows down from a geyser. At some point, Tepid Stream meets a larger stream or creek – Let’s call it Big Creek. At the point of convergence, do we now call it Big Creek/tepid stream? No, we just call it Big Creek. As an entity, Tepid Stream ceases to exist – it “Halts” – as an entity.

      ANY stream or creek – whether coming from a geyser or not, will be warmer than the larger body of water that it joins – whether a larger creek or stream, a river, or a lake. In any case, the “Warm Waters” of the smaller body of water will “Halt” when it converges with the larger body of water. Just the way I look at it – you may see it differently – JDA

      • Yep, just thinking like a kid I guess, with my head in the clouds. For a moment thought it might even mean Cloud Peak or Cloud Peak Skyway in the Bighorn Mountains.

        • Planning my first BOTG in couple weeks!!! Very excited!!! Been working on this for over a month. Was fixed on MT and Yellowstone River, but now see it all comes together in the Bighorns of WY:)!

        • I’m looking at Cloud Peak and the Cloud Peak Skyway area…then started noticing other ‘hints’ in area like a Sitting Bull Park (peace?), Meadowlark Lake, Barnum Brown…turns out the Outlaw Trail (just learned Redford did, in fact, write a book about this very thing) ran right through a canyon in that area. New at this, so all over map…focusing on pulling these pieces together. Sometimes silence speaks volumes…are the bighorn mountains mentioned much in TTOC, I don’t recall much noted about them?

          • Home of Brown. Trout Creek runs N-S and joins up with Paintrock Creek. “Paintrock” literally describes a blaze, and the creek is named for the Indian petroglyphs that adorn the region. No paddle–this area is part of the Nowood river watershed. No place for the meek–Battle Mountain, or Battle Park Trail. Heavy loads–Cement Mountain. Etc. So, how do you make all the lines cross?

    • JDA,
      I’m with you on this point. To quote Forrest

      “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts”.

      So we just need to find which specific one he is referring to.

  7. Let me reiterate my guess… Warm waters halt in the tiny town of LaMadera (The Wood) NM. The waters are the Ojo Caliente River which starts there. Tricky! (The nearby mountains are The Wood Mountains too—if you are brave and in the wood, etc.) Briefly, check a map… The canyon down (south or downstream) is the Canon de la Cueva—close, but far enough away to not want to walk to it, so drive down the road to it. Walk a couple hundred feet down the canyon to the Ojo Caliente River and put-in below the home of Brown. Put-in means cross, and brown trout live higher up the river, but not there… Just across the river a lovely waterfall from a spring fed creek flows over a sheer cliff—certainly not for the meek since you need to get above it—you can by by-passing the cliff to the south. Once atop the lovely waterfall, a sort of semi-desert Paradise is found. The creek which is small and needs no paddle issues from a lovely spring—water high or it the water high the creek itself? From the lovely spring—fairly large, but not deep, the creek vanishes underground and then re-emerges several times. At one point there i s an opening with a rock shelf in it and an odd brown rock sitting on it… The chest? I am old, and I was not used to the elevation and I was at the end of a couple hours of checking things over. I should have checked that rock, but I thought it might be too small—at the time I didn’t realize the chest was small… It probably “is” simply a rock set on the rock shelf for some reason, but I keep wondering if it might be a chest with a covering of adobe on it sitting right out in the open for all to see… I might be wrong about that, but all the clue fit so well, and it is a truly special spot, unlike most places in NM, where I lived and worked in for several years. One other point… The canyon has a fence across it at the bottom, but it might be there to simply keep cows from getting onto the highway nearby. The fence also has a complete opening made in it to purposely allow entrance past it. No signs telling people to keep out, and the assessors office was very vague about how the jumbled property lines meshed there. There are private holdings north and south of the canyon, but the canyon itself is not posted or fenced except the short area at the very bottom that has the opening in it… So another part of the Chase, or not? So much fits so perfectly, that I keep thinking it has to be there… As for the final “blaze”… Look on a map and near that spring is a white circle of mineral deposit—the white blaze? I thought the chest might be in the spring, but he later said it was not underwater… Still, I think that area fits too well to be wrong… If I lead anyone to the area of the chest, I just ask for half for leading you there. Plenty to share.

    • forrest said its not up or down any steep prefaces cant recall his exat words but he did say dont go where a 79 or 80 year old man could not go and its in a safe place so please think befor you jump off the grand caynon

      • When I mentioned LaMadera and the sheer cliff with the waterfall… It can be skirted by going a short distance to the south. At that point, it is easy to climb up to the top of the cliff.

        • Are you suggesting the home of Brown is about fish? I’m curious about Brown being fish because it is capitalized. Many have made the connection, though and who am I to say it isn’t. I don’t have the treasure. Good luck on that one. Is La Madera considered to be in the Rockies?

          • Hi. The home of Brown fits best for the trout with my idea, although there is a brownish house nearby. He says the clues should be okay 100 years from now, and that would be true of the range of fish, but not so much for buildings… And yes, La Madera is in the Rockies, although the local mountains are the La Madera (The Wood) mountains. They are just a small segment of the Rockies. Note: I did notice the capitalized Brown too, but that might just be another one of his ways of creating double meanings.

  8. Why did forest use the word Halt? It’s the only line in the poem that doesn’t end in rhyming with the next. He could have used stop, cease, etc. and rhymes with the next line. He used Halt. Why?

    • Indeed, why?

      In my opinion, most searchers consider the whole “warm waters halt” concept (including the use of “halt” rather than some other word) in a too conventional, orthodox way.

      Again in my opinion, searchers’ imaginations have not improved in the last eight years. Concomitantly, there has been no decrease, that I can tell, in group-think. So searchers keep asking the question >>> why the word “halt”?

      Ken (in Texas)

      • Ken: I get the “lack of imagination” about what most people think “warm waters halt” means. Boring, boring, boring.

        • Zap and (fellow Texan) Ken,

          I would acknowledge there is a fair bit of WWWH conjecture here, and on other blogs, and some of it falls short of novel thinking. I’m not convinced “most” is an appropriate qualifier, however. I would propose that “most” of the searchers don’t participate in these public forums at all.

    • A possibility…Periodic Spring near Afton, WY….just read it’s one of only a few intermittent springs in the world. Hmmm…about a mile hike from parking area.

      • Yes, that one is a good one for “halt”; however, the water is cold, which may work for you if you believe ff means warm in an emotional way.

  9. What IF there actually isn’t any “water,” where warm waters halt? I’m trying to think outside the box that Forest told us to get back into…? Like where a foot soldier passed away? Or Native American hero? I’m sure these ideas have been hashed over by some of you old timers. Someone throw us tenderfoot a bone!

    • Jmelis;

      Forrest has said that the poem is straight forward. I would take him at his word. If the line says warm WATERS I would believe him that waters ARE
      involved. I may be wrong, but I would think more about “halt” rather than “waters”. Figure out how waters can halt – THEN think about WARM waters. Waters is the LAST thing to think about – JMO – But for me, WATERS ARE involved – WARM waters are involved, and these WARM WATERS DO halt. – JMO – JDA

      • Water generally does not “halt”, however it can refer to warm waters ceasing to be warm, but then why use the term halt for that? Like if a hot springs flows into a colder river, that does not imply “halt”, rather the waters flow, mix and change temperature.

        • Panny;

          I have posted this a couple of times, so for you have read it, please skip it – sorry.

          If a small stream – Let’s call it “Tepid Stream” flown down hill from a geyser, and meets a bigger stream or river – Let’s call it “Big Water” – At the point of meeting or convergence “Tepid Stream” – as an entity ceases (halts) to exist. Do we call it “Big Water/Tepid Stream?” No, From their point of convergence, we call it only “Big Water” – So, as an entity, “Tepid Stream” HALTED, and was no more.

          ANY smaller body of water will be warmer than a larger body of water – It did not have to originate at a geyser – JMO – JDA

          • JDA, thanks for that, your point is well taken. Still focused on Thermopolis, can’t stop thinking that is it. However there are SO many hot springs and it is very much fun exploring them. Trying to shift my focus and stop being so obsessed….

          • TFTW #37 Treasures Galore – “Perhaps a tepid black bear has topped the hill, or an unreasonable barn owl is on the hunt.”

            Thanks JDA, now I think I know his definition of “tepid”.

            “But the rewards of traipsing through the hills and canyon bottoms are winner-take-all proof of personal fulfillment of me.”

            Dal, do you remember where you took that pic on pg 199 TFTW?
            I would guess Montana seeing Forrest mentions Montana in the chapter & also mentions winner-take-all.

          • I didn’t write it JDA,
            Forrest did.
            “tepid black bear”
            TFTW pg 199

          • I figured he did – I was just questioning what a tepid black bear might be – other than alive and warm – JDA

          • Jake;

            Tepid = warm Forrest said warm = comfortable, so I guess we have ourselves a comfortable black bear???

          • How about an unenthusiastic, indifferent, disinterested black bear. That’s how all the black bears I’ve ever come across typically behave.

            They’re kind of like goofy but very likable dogs or raccoons.

          • Hi, Jake; welcome back!
            “Tepid black bear” led me to look up “bear” again. Roots of the word, bear, are Old English ‘bear’ and (I believe you’ll like this one) Dutch “beer”…

          • Lady V;

            Good one – now we’re talkin’ a pleasant dark ale – my. my one just never knows where these things can lead – 🙂 – JDA

    • Yes, I did. I thought “halt” was a transitive verb back in approx. 2015; & I searched several areas based on that idea. The reason I thought “halt” was a transitive verb was because: ff commented something like: my other P.O. Box halted when hot water poured out of my hot water heater . . . these are my own words – this isn’t an exact quote. That comment by ff seemed, in my opinion, to be using “halt” as a transitive verb. What halted? The P.O. Box.

      I no longer base my searches on the “transitive verb” idea, but I remain open to that idea.

      • A transitive use means there’s an object of the verb ‘halt’.

        So warm waters would have to halt something else.

        “Begin it where warm waters halt” – What gets halted? The warm waters.

        “Begin it where warm waters halt backpackers” – What gets halted? The backpackers.

        So if you consider “halt” as a transitive verb in that line of the poem, you have to supply an unwritten object – just WHAT are those warm waters halting? To me, that distorts the language sense more than I’m comfortable with.

        Doesn’t make it wrong – just my own answer to Andrew’s question


        • But the object would be reflexive back to the understood subject of the sentence, no? (You) begin it where warm waters halt (you).

          • Actually, not necessarily. I’m rethinking that. But the transitive construct is not such a “distortion” that I think it can be discounted.

          • The point is, this interpretation changes the focus of the clue. “Where” is not the point. “What” is the point. Warm waters are not halting themselves; they are stopping something else. What do warm waters halt? And, does that indicate a specific location?

        • And what if the warm waters cease to be dispensed, all the while running away downhill, and leaving an empty container?

  10. This is my own take on WWWH. I am sure this has been postulated by many a few over the last several years. Forrest was an ardent angler in pursuit of trout. In the Rockies warm waters are defined as waters that are not trout waters as it relates to fishing. If you consult a “good map” (New Mexico Game And Fish) you can find where the “Special Trout Waters” begin….and WWWH.

    In the days of his youth ff fished in and near Yellowstone. In his Santa Fe years he most likely fished the New Mexico Special Trout Waters….putting an emphasis on the word “Special” as in “A Special Place”.

    His Church is in the mountians by the streams where fantasy plays. I am quite sure there are those who can render the exact quote word for word and have committed it to memory.

    These are my thoughts…and in my opinion may have also been the thoughts of others who were within two to five hundred feet of the TC.


        • Agree here…NM defines warm waters as any other than Trout Waters that are illustrated in a map. So special trout designations don’t alter this….nor does the presence of a dam figure into definition of warm or cold waters, though dams are present of course in some trout waters shown on map.

        • Jake, thank you for the correction, I did mis-speak. What is kind of funny is that the new NM “special” waters definitions all seem to be a version of “warm”…because chile is warm (or hot, as the case may be).

        • We have always used the NM Fishing Guide which has change its info but has not effected our solve. We feel Mr. Fenn picked this because searcher would have reference to go to.
          Whether you use the 2009 or 2010 as the hide date the maps are accurate & always will be. That is why we use them because they are a concrete documents. IOMHO

  11. I’ve been at this for a while…not as long as some, but longer than others, I reckon. I am stumped. Not only stumped, but concerned.

    I spend a fair amount of time thinking and reading about the ‘treasure’. The dreamer in me really, really wants to go out there and hike and poke and prod and turn over logs all day, every day. Been on one BOTG expedition and learned a lot. A BOTG search teaches one many valuable insights.

    I am currently ‘debriefing’ my expedition, trying to either a) solidify my solve, or b) find a better solve.

    But the rational guy in me is really giving me fits.

    Here’s the thing, as ‘practical guy’ sees it…

    The actual location of the box. When one follows the ‘clues’, is the ground under your boots public, private or a mix of both? Did FF consider whether trespassing was a problem or would eventually be a problem?

    In general, it appears that the local property owners are getting tired of the increase in ‘tourism’. (Does anyone actually reveal their intended quest to locals?)

    Since 2010 the world has changed, even in the Rockies. Wealthy folks, retirees, telecommuters are rapidly changing many areas in the mountains. New homes/cabins seem to be popping up in a lot of areas that encompass many of the search areas. Concerns over the new neighbor’s presence and the noticeable increase in ‘hikers’, ‘fishermen’, etc. seems to me to be manifesting a proliferation of new gates, fences, signs and warnings. Many search areas are a patchwork of private properties mingled with BLM tracts, National Forests, etc. (My personal belief is that National Parks and Reservations are flat OUT of bounds.)

    My BOTG trek discovered that so-called ‘forest service’ roads are often gated, fenced and locked. No trespassing signs, private road signs abound…the topos don’t show the extent of gates/locks in the mountains.

    Is this what FF envisioned? Armies of searchers pissing off the locals?

    Sadly, like all fun things, I think the ‘chase’ has snowballed into a clusterfetch…

    I would like to find the chest. I am ‘meek’ in that I respect the rights of property owners and will not disobey their warnings and that seems to impede my solve in particular.

    Then there is this…if FF’s intent was to take his last breath where the chest is, whose property are his bones on? Public? Private? His own?

    I am torn.

  12. Eaglesabound….no….. trout are in all the four, however, some seekers are hooked on New Mexico for a myriad of other reasons other than the WWWH. I guess I am in that league and so somethings may seem quite bias…..and they are!
    Now here are two questions for you.

    A) Can you share what you believe is WWWH?

    B) Will you show your cards…..What state do you believe the TC is hidden….notice I did not say buried.

    • Yes Guy,
      A) I can share this about WWWH. IMO, f describes it in detail in TTOTC.
      B) The treasure is located in the state f told us it was in , Colorado!
      IMO of course

      • Eagles- yes the treasure is in Colorado…and Montana…and Wyoming….and New Mexico.
        the chest is in Wyoming though.

        I think.

          • Eagles- thanks for bringing attention to the fact that the dodo is extinct. Forrest wrote that humans should leave each other alone and do a better job of taking care of the planet. I agree, and so does the Draper museum of Natural History. there is a display there dedicated to teaching this. so when you visit the Draper to take the chest and go in peace, please spend time at this display. tell ’em Dodo sent ya.

  13. Howdy again Eaglesabound -others

    Can you expound on the who,what, where and date of when ff extolled that the TC was in Colorado. I am in the dark….light a candle please. -guy-

    • Sure..
      Inside the first page of TTOTC. .. He put it right there in front of our noses.
      One horse land and cattle, Colorado

      • Eaglesabound,

        That’s a stretch with Co (company) to mean Colorado, I guess any abbreviation could be attached to a state, or even Why could mean Wyoming or (mountain) abbreviated could mean Montana.

        Just food for thought.

        • Just a small correction, it’s capital C And capital O, that’s CO. .not Co….
          In the book it’s CO..

          • Hi Eaglesabound,
            Have we all forgotten the story about Olga and the Tea. The three colours, Green, Black, Red point directly to Yellowstone Park. IMO.

          • Jeff, you posted:

            Hi Eaglesabound,
            Have we all forgotten the story about Olga and the Tea. The three colours, Green, Black, Red point directly to Yellowstone Park. IMO.

            I haven’t forgotten the story about Olga. And I don’t
            remember seeing that the word for the beverage(s) was
            capitalized (as in “Tea”). But I believe that FF is very
            careful with his use of capital letters in his poetry.

            How do you figure that the three colours point directly
            to Yellowstone Park (a fictional name, it appears)?

          • tighterfocus,
            I’m not at home to check my notes, but earlier, in one of the blogs a searcher came across the fact that those colours were the primary colours of the Pendleton blankets made for Yellowstone, early on. I checked this out and he was right. Food for thought.

          • Jeff C;

            Others have pointed out that in the chapter – “Tea With Olga” – every color in the rainbow is mentioned. and a few more –

            Red – Red tea
            Orange – Bright and sunny
            Yellow – Chamisa
            Green – Tea and Ponderosa groves
            Blue – Great Mountains or sky
            Indigo – Mood turned somber
            Violet – Mountain Laurel and sage

            Beyond the rainbow

            Black – tea
            White – Clouds
            Brown and white – Oreo cookie and snow

            “Every color under the rainbow – and then some – JDA

  14. How about the Gallatin River. It’s headwaters flow out of Yellowstone. Where would those waters do you think come to a halt. And if you were using that river where would someone put into a creek.

    • Hi Jeff C
      I can make those colors fit any state. …IMO, there’s nothing imaginative about Yellowstone…

      • Eaglesabound,
        Thanks for the reply. I’m glad you can fit those colours to any state, it’s one less searcher in Yellowstone.
        Have you solved why ff said “it’s between 5000ft and 10200ft? That also points to Yellowstone. IMO.

  15. Let me add my two cents worth on a bit more about “where warm waters halt”. In my mind I think he hid the chest within a short radius from his home—a few hours drive at the most, and in NM. When he gave no clues as to where it might be hidden to start with, people probably thought about NM as much as anywhere else, and this was probably correct to my way of thinking. When he noticed how people were searching, he decided to limit (or expand) the region to the areas now listed, perhaps to help limit the search, but perhaps also to draw attention away from areas nearer to him.

    I find it more plausible that the chest in much nearer to him than others seem to think… He has hidden a treasure worth a great deal He claims to know where it is and nobody else, so on any trip he took with anyone, they should be suspicious… Wouldn’t it be easier to take a much shorter drive in NM by himself, and then be back for supper? And there are paper trails… Entry permits to get into parks. Receipts for motels or gas. None of those things would have to be considered if he hid things locally.

    Having said this… Yes, he could have hidden the treasure far to the north, but I doubt it. Where warm waters halt… The Ojo Caliente River (The Hot Eye River). Rivers “halt” at the top and bottom. The starting points on rivers is often vague, but the Ojo Caliente is formed by the confluence of two other rivers. It has a definite upper “halting” point in the town of LaMadera, NM. I know others have mentioned this link before, but virtually everything fits like a glove with the clues and in such a short distance from that starting point. I mention my “solution” elsewhere here. If anyone gets to LaMadera, I can’t help but think you will come away with more of an idea that this is the area than not. Anyway, my guess is still NM, not some distant point. Thanks for listening to the rambling.

    • i agree… he would keep it close… but if I’m playing devils advocate… the technology existed when he hid the treasure chest to track it via gps… units are only as large as a pencil eraser… he comes off like he’s not confident tech-wise…
      but he’s sharp as a track

  16. John – I agree with what you said about the tc being closer then far away – not far but to far to walk tells you that – im like you I think its in n.m. imo

    • Again, only a guess, but in my mind I think he hid it in NM. Then in time he saw that people were either looking near his home area, or simply didn’t look at all because the world is too big… By mentioning the Rocky Mountains, he limited the search area, but also got rid of many who only checked near his home area. Killed two birds with one stone. Again, just my theory.

  17. John….I must concur with you. The RIO OJO CALIENTE halts (stops, ceases, ends) at the RIO CHAMA. The Rio Chama is some of the best world class trout fishing. Going “canyon down” takes you past The Ghost Ranch ( No Place For The Meek) which borders the Rio Chama. When TTOTC was was written is was written in New Mexico and distributed at a local bookstore.
    When the map appears in TOO FAR TO WALK expanding to include Montana, Wyoming, and
    Colorado as possible places where the TC was
    hidden ( note I did not say buried ) , it is my
    personal belief the map was a Red Herring
    including the Rocky Mountains to serve the original purpose of getting kids and families out to experience the Great American West.

    The TTOTC was written in New Mexico…distributed in New Mexico…book signings New Mexico…Fennborees, New Mexico….Special Trout Waters ( WWWH) …NEW MEXICO!!!

    • IMO – Written in NM because that is where Forrest lives – Not important
      Distributed in NM because that is where Forrest lives – Not important
      Book signings in NM – ditto
      Fennboree held in NM – ditto
      Special trout waters – Other three states have excellent trout fishing also –
      All-in-all – SO WHAT? NOT important – Use your imagination – JMO – JDA

    • Personally, I think all of the clues are straightforward, but with double meanings. Warm waters halt… yes, the Ojo Caliente, but it halts at the “top” too, in the town of LaMadera. That is the starting point. The “canyon down” is the Canyon de la Cueva, show on most maps. Go down the canyon and “put in” (cross the Ojo Caliente). No place for the meek, is a sheer wall with a water fall going over it—-and water high is the water above the falls… All this is in a very short distances… Everything has double meanings. I think the map was made to draw people away from NM, but also to give them reasons to search other places. All theory, of course.

  18. The Hatfields & McCoys

    I find no pleasure in attacking others on the blog.
    The case of New Mexico being the resting home of the TC, WWWH, HOB, NPFTM,
    and The Blaze,
    including NFBTFTW it
    seems to be worthy to
    WWWH ….They halt at “Special Trout W
    aters” as defined by the use of terminology from the New Mexico Game
    & Fish use. The use
    of the axiom of “Warm Waters” by NMG&F is tell-tell!
    Thought For The Day: “Put No Stone In Another Man’s Path”

    Happy Hunting To All, Keep Safety As Number One And Reap All The Treasure Along The Way! -guy-

    • Guy;

      If you thought I was attacking you personally – I apologize.

      I was merely disagreeing with your suppositions. I found them weak – but that is just me. You very well could be correct, and I very well could be wrong.

      Isn’t the purpose of the blog to offer differing ideas? If everyone agreed with everyone else – not much would be discussed. JMO

      Again, it was NOT personal – I again apologize if you took that way. – JDA

    • Guy,

      While you make some good connections to NM, you might consider these words from FF regarding WWWH.

      There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.

      If warm waters are “special trout waters” are nearly all of those waters/rivers located north of Santa Fe?

      • IMO, yes. Special trout waters are actually considered cold waters though. It’s where the boundary is relating to where the cold trout waters/warmer(non trout) waters meet. Here is the map http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/download/fishing/maps/Fishing-Waters-Map-RIB-2018-New-Mexico-DGF.pdf.

        Since FF specifically states “in the Rocky Mountains” then yes, nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. BUT, BUT.. logically speaking, since New Mexico has only a small % of the Rocky Mountains area it seems no matter what you are referring to; be it squirrels, cats, dogs, trees, rivers ANYTHING will be more in number North of Santa Fe.

    • Halting is temporary… by definition something halted will resume…IMHO WWWH is a place where warmed meltoff waters seasonally halt….

      • Has anyone ever explored the possibility of “Heavy loads” referring to Streamload rather than some large object or objects…. right now the Pecos has very heavy loads… I’m sure there are others but I’m researching from the east coast… getting current info isn’t easy for me… thank God they don’t charge for Googling… lol

  19. KK….Yes…I agree there are many WWWH in the Rockies. New Mexican fly Fishermen are familar with the term “warm waters”. Trout can not survive in warm waters due to the increased water temperature. Trout streams are cold….”your effort will be worth the cold”….”begin it where warm waters halt”.

    • Tiffer/Guy

      Thanks for the information. I like to fish but am not well informed on the subject. I follow what you are saying regarding the trout warm/cold waters now. Much appreciated!

  20. Thanx KK…..” and heres one more for the Tiffer”!!!

    By networking we can solve this thing….Imagination is a very big nation…together the collective from fields and vineyard hasten to solve the poem….we can do this!!!!

    • YAH for the positive attitude. I am only 5 months in and haven’t even nailed down the state! The fact this has gone on for years boggles my mind as I now will be using all the brain cells I have left to try and figure this out! (for years possibly!) Living in this concrete jungle called Houston doesn’t help either.

      Back to topic…. We fish ALOT here in Texas. And for FF to be such an avid fisherman I just can’t shake the feeling that warm waters is not an “ode” to his love of fishing. Although I have not figured out WWWH yet, I am also leaning towards the smaller streams/rivers ending at a deeper (colder) body of water. All IMO..

  21. Guy Michael,

    This will not be solved collectively… But I appreciate your optimism!

    I am the NM searcher… who has figured out WWWH (Oh I think so)…

    Best of luck to everyone!


  22. Fennatical….go for the gold…this camp believes also in “Power to the Self Propelled”!!!

    Solo or Collectively this poem can be solved….”da sooner da better”!!!

        • I won’t speak for Butch, but his gut feeling, imo. And that it hasn’t been found yet, bodes well for those with searches still to come.

          As for his wavering gut, I think maybe someone went out to search/recon their area but didn’t search very thoroughly for whatever reason (maybe it was part of a family vacation and less a dedicated search trip).

        • JDA,

          You may well hear this every season, however this is my first season and I haven’t been effected by the ‘Noise’ getting in my way imo, I will be booking my flights soon.

      • Butch- the poem says to take it. not collect, not retrieve, not gather up, not claim, not get.
        take means take, a photo. nothing more.
        I think.

  23. OK, I’ve tossed back a couple Hornitos this evening, so let’s cut to a really-out-of-the-box analysis. What if “halt” is not a verb at all? What if “waters” is the verb and “halt” is a direct object? Subject-transitive verb-direct object. Warm waters halt. Hmmmmm…

    • Andrew…back to the instransitive verb notion – Fenn recently said his gut feeling was “wavering”. …in the intransitive form “waver” is synonymous with “halt” . Fenn is playing us and we’re like the trout in Yellowstone – even though we have a PhD in Blue Midge Dun we bite anyway. Not sure who is having more fun – the player or the played. Either way, it’s a lot of fun.

    • I applaud your out-of-the-box thinking. Some will be needed for a good solve, but I think FF intended that a teenager would be able to solve the poem . . . so I
      think it’s not quite that exotic.

      But please don’t give up. If all 9 clues are well-supported, you may have a winning solve. Good luck.

  24. Interesting concept … but perhaps too complicated. Who knows? Thanks for some original thinking!

    –Best regards


  25. Forrest said this:

    “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts”

    So, I take this to mean that there are many similar starting points in the Rockies to finding the treasure. Some south of Santa Fe.
    Our mission is to find which particular starting point Forrest is referencing. Apparently this has been easier said than done.

    • Richard- when I look at the big picture I see Yellowstone Park. there are no shortcuts in Yellowstone…you must travel the main roads.

      I think.

      • dodo,
        I get that. I keep coming back to Yellowstone also. I’m not sure the chest is hidden inside the park. maybe just outside.

        • Richard- the chest of the poem is not the bronze box. and this chest is at the draper museum in cody, wy.*

          I think.

          see: my fun, safe, side trip.

  26. In my opinion warm waters halt where a river runs into a lake,dam or reservoir.
    Halt means temporary stop, not necessarily a change in temperature.

  27. WWWH decrypted by an opinionated searcher (myself and others) is related to fishing…. cold/warm waters are used to define what is or is not trout waters. Two of ff book covers ( TFTW & OUAW) are in your face front covers showing a trout stream……and a line drawing by forrest of him fishing.

    The word HALT is a military term. After years of
    being exposed to that jargon it could very well
    be used to mean Stop. The DOD (Dept. Of
    Defence) dictionary will shed light on the use of

    There are maps that show the “Warm Waters” in
    New Mexico from New Mexico Dept. Of Game &
    Fish. Warm Waters are NOT Trout waters.

    To paraphrase……Begin It Where Trout Waters
    Begin. Where warm waters halt is where trout waters begin.
    Happy Trav’lin

    Thought For The Day: Happiness Is Not To Have Arrived, But To Have Traveled Happily
    Note: As far as I know no other state other than New Mexico uses ths terminology of Warm Waters as it relates to fishing and has publications entitled “Warm Waters Regulations”

    • * * * * Guy M proposed – “As far as I know no other state other than New Mexico uses this terminology of Warm Waters as it relates to fishing . . . ” * * * *

      It’s an understood distinction in fishing, regardless of state.


      From the above:

      “The flyfishing varies as much as the terrain. The Upper Yampa holds *cold-water* species whereas *warm-water* species are found downstream at river’s end. Somewhere in-between, the two meet with opportunity to fish for trout and pike in the same river spot.”

      (“River’s end” for the Yampa is where it joins the cold water of the Green River at Steamboat Rock in Dinosaur Nat’l Monument.)


      (just an observation, NOT necessarily an endorsement for this interpretation of the phrase in the poem)

      • I admit I don’t know the Yampa well, but I have fished the upper section (stagecoach res) and parts through town. The interesting thing for me is that a ‘cold’ river such as the Yampa (snowmelt from the Steamboat Springs area) can meet another ‘cold’ river (little snake, fed from snowmelt out of the sierra madres) and yet still turn ‘warm’ sometime downstream…however, if you look at the geology/geography as it flows toward the green you get a sense of how it can turn warm (desert anyone!). At any rate, keep in mind fishing regs are guidelines and nothing is black/white, fish move throughout a river, warm/cold species can be found anywhere…under the right conditions (drought/warmer summers you may see warm species way up river from ‘normal’, and similarly, in a cold/wetter year, you may find trout way away from ‘normal’ areas).

    • Wwwh- extinct volcanos. C’mon guys, catch up already. This thing is almost ending…. even in HS cross country I stopped to help other runners. Sorry forrest, I like shopping at Walmart.

  28. Jake….thanx for the link. In some states you will not find any viable wild trout populations as all the waters are “warm”. The Land Of the South Wind (Kansas) only has trout that is introduced annually for fishing derbies or short term trout tournaments.Trout can not survive the temperatures of Star 34.

    This not an endorsement of Jake….just a thank you for your imput Jake.

    • Yep, I coulda been clearer, Guy. What I meant was that in the context of fishing, warm-water and cold-water fish would be understood in all four Chase states, not just New Mexico.

      (The Yampa River example I gave was exactly the WWWH I used in an early Green River wild goose chase.)


      • This is true, I had a small place near Denver that had a description of ‘warm water’ species on its webpage, unfortunately they updated it and it no longer uses that phrase, it does still list the species (which most fisherman would know are WARM species)…also, it is a lake…in fact most of the smaller lakes/reservoirs on the eastern part of the search states (CO and WY I know for sure), depending on depth and source of infeed water, support ‘warm’ species…but ‘natural/wild’ is a misnomer after 100+ years of management…wild trout always makes me laugh…they were all born in a hatchery, but certainly have to grow up in the wild.

        • Tbug & J A Kraven,

          Just a tidbit of information, trout prefer water at about 50 degrees F and below for a good habitat. Trout don’t like a habit and usually can’t survive where the water that is warmer than 65 degrees F. Past that lets say water that is warmer than 70 degrees F one will not find trout as it is a death trap.

          There have been trout fishing tournaments in warm water where they have been stocked just for that purpose and trout quickly disappear in that environment.

          Just say’n with what I have known over the years.

  29. Jake….reading you loud and clear. Sorry for the wild goose chase. Here is a platform for a new book.

    93,759 pages

    Hundreds upon Hundreds of photos of the

    Five Star ratings on where NOT to stay

    Five Star ratings on the best craft beer in four states.

    Full page ads of purveyors of survival gear with
    bear spray coupons good for 100 years.

    Stories of Bullwinkle Moose (Mr. Know-it-alls) claiming that the treasure chest was there…but somebody got there first.

    Each book could be numbered and one lucky number holder could win
    b) A Wild Goose Chase Tee Shirt
    c) A Framable Wall Map / Color Coded
    Where The Treasure is Not
    d) Lexicon of every word Forrest Fenn has spoken in the last teen years

    Bound in simulated alligator skin & bound to be a Best Seller.

  30. I believe when Forrest is talking about where warm waters halt, he is talking about the Continental Divide. From the divide the cold waters run east and the warm waters run west. Not many people know about that.

    • I thought the same thing for quite some time. But ultimately, I think for it work for the actual WWWH you’d have to be at the actual “Parting of the waters” and it just looks too darn far to have gone there twice in an afternoon. IMO.

  31. Upstream, oops I mean upthread, JDA wrote:
    “If a small stream – Let’s call it “Tepid Stream” flown down hill from a geyser, and meets a bigger stream or river – Let’s call it “Big Water” – At the point of meeting or convergence “Tepid Stream” – as an entity ceases (halts) to exist. Do we call it “Big Water/Tepid Stream?” No, From their point of convergence, we call it only “Big Water” – So, as an entity, “Tepid Stream” HALTED, and was no more.”

    JDA, your theory is fine, as far as it goes. But it doesn’t give searcher a specific location, separate and apart from all other Rocky Mountain examples of “tepid stream”. There must be hundreds, even thousands, of “tepid streams” that “halt”.

    How do you decide which “tepid stream” is THE specific location for the first clue?

    Ken (in Texas)

    • Hi Ken (in Texas);

      I have stated before that I thought that “the wood” has a very obscure definition, that when understood, identifies a particular geographic feature in Wyoming. Figuring out the correct WWWH once you locate the geographic feature is pretty easy…. well, fairly easy. – Hope this helps a little – JDA

    • Good observation Ken. Remember what Forrest said . ”

      There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts”.

      So, which specific one is he talking about?? That’s the elusive question. For which I have no answer for.

  32. To have the correct WWWH you must also know where the correct HOB is. They are related. In an interview f said the his grandson Shiloh lives with them and his room…get ready…this is important….Shiloh is living in Peggy ‘s old weaving room.

    Theres the connection….RACHEL BROWN….Rachel lived in Arroyo Seca.

    The Taos Wool Festival has been going strong for the last 35-36 years. All weavers are aware of the contributions made by Rachel Brown and Southwest Weaving.

    In my observations it is aire apparent that what happens in Santa Fe…happens in Taos…and again what happens in Taos….happens in Santa Fe. Again in my opinion Peggy & Rachel knew each other.


      • dodo bird,

        I completely disagree with you that the chest and the treasure are in different places. I’ve seen you post on more than one occasion the separation. How did you determine that they are separated?

        • CharlieM- easy, the poem says chest. and in TTOTC Forrest states following the poem precisely will lead to the treasure.
          two different things.

          I think.

    • Guy –

      The connections of artists named Brown to Forrest Fenn run much deepr than that. I don’t want to go nuts with a Brown primer here but there are several other artists in both cities.

      I guess for fun I will remind you that the woman who acquired Leon Gaspard and everything else for Fenn Galleries and subsequently for Nedra Neteucci is Ann Brown. She lived out on Agua Fria road west of town.

        • WC –

          Definitely a structure and surrounded by other structures.

          If there is anyone named Brown associated with this clue I will be shocked. Shocked that Fenn created such a simple clue.

          We say rabbit holes for a reason.


    • We’ve all got an opinion, there’s no need to shout it out in capital letters or we’ll end up with everyone typing in caps.

  33. There is a country and western song called “Why Didn’t I Think of That?”

    We’ve got to figure out what we are missing because we have all missed something that would be Eureka! for sure.

  34. It’s been three weeks since I ordered TTOTC and have been anxiously awaiting to receive it in the mail, so all I have had to go off are the poem, ff’s comments, and getting bogged down in the blogs.

    My 9 year old niece clued me into an interesting path on WWWH. However, this particular geologic feature is pretty rare, and given ff’s comments, there are “many” places WWWH north of Santa Fe, and most of my features seem distant from West Yellowstone, so I don’t believe they are accurate.

    Prior to asking my niece, my initial thoughts went to Ojo Caliente Spring, Madison Junction, Hebgen – just as about a million other people’s have. Given that ff was saying only a few years ago, that only a “few” or “two” people had solved the first clues after receiving thousands of emails, logic (but not my heart) tells me that none of these must be the correct WWWH.

    Since I don’t have the book yet, most of what I’ve seen online has pointed toward MT/WY (his childhood stories). So my first real question: I have no knowledge (and would love an explanation) of why many people choose New Mexico, other than “convenience” (because it’s close to where he lives now), or the definition of “warm waters” in the fishing regs? If we assume his redneck from TX is a fisher, than maybe WW isn’t specialized knowledge. But to this land-lubber, it seems to be.

    And my real question. Given that ff has many times said that a few/many/several/two/some, etc people have figured out the first two clues, and (ditto) were within 200 or 500 feet of the chest. Is it safe to assume that if I “solve” the 2nd stanza in its entirety, I would definitely be within 2-500 feet of the chest at maximum? Also, given that I don’t have the book yet, and am missing several helpful hints, for you professionals out there – how did you come to your WWWH? Can you (maybe with knowledge of the entire poem, but) just with the second stanza alone, narrow down to your location? Or do you need the whole poem, or other parts of the poem to determine WWWH?

    Sorry this is so long! I’m amazed that with thousands of different people looking, more consensus hasn’t been created to some of the clues. ff did/does a pretty amazing job at keeping it vague and difficult to parse!

  35. Misfit22

    Welcome to the Chase, I hope you don’t mind if I give you some advice, firstly none of us are professionals, if we was we would have the treasure in front of us, secondly DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING in the Chase, it’s a very slippery slope to go down, and lastly there are some very strong characters on this blog and if your a newbie like I was this year then the best thing you can do is get off here, wait for the book to arrive and go to , Tarry Scant .com where everything on there is Mr Fenns words ONLY and not any second hand comments that can confuse you/us, if I had joined here before having a VERY solid solve I would of been influenced otherwise and I’m no shrinking violet!
    Lastly if y o u already have WWWH then is almost definitely wrong.
    Enjoy and remember what Mr Fenn said ‘ Its the thrill of the chase’ 🙂

    • Ya ‘ta hey-o, Misfit 22 –

      Note too that there is a very wide range of opinions on the utility of “hints” in the chase, and even wider divergence on “how many” and “where they appear.”

      I for one think they’re few and far between, and am skeptical of anyone’s ability to tell a hint from an aberration. At the other end of the spectrum are those who think (for some – to me inscrutable – reason) that aberrations are in fact the rarest and most prized of all hints. 🙂

      Others I’m sure will chime in from other parts of the spectrum.



    • Air temperature decreases with altitude, approximately 1 degree C every 100 meters.
      The alitude of the treasure is between 5000′ and 10200′ so say it’s 7500′ that is approx 2300 meters which means that the temperature will be approx 23 degrees C below the temp at sea level.
      If it’s a comfortable 23 degrees C ( 73.4 degrees F) at sea level then it will be 0 degrees C at 7500′ which is a freezing 32 degrees F.
      That’s why ff says “Your effort will be worth the cold” because of the altitude IMHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *