Looking in Montana and Wyoming…



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99 thoughts on “Looking in Montana and Wyoming…

  1. Wyoming or Montana? Where would you search between these two and what would lead you there? IMHO, the trove rests in a spot that ff selected based on experience. The Chase could last 1000 years because something else may have rested there that long before the gold and something of much, much more value. All IMO.

    • When you’re standing up in Montana, the semicolon turns into a smiley face, not kidding. Like a 2010 computer. Everything is specific about the document. Perfection.

    • Hi, I am heading to Yellowstone soon and I was wondering if anyone had information or advice for hiking off trail. I see information on back country travel on Yellowstone’s website, but it just says you need permit for an overnight stay. Other than that, the website seems to imply they want you to stay on trail, but what about a day hike off trail?

      • Jason-
        Right this minute many entrances to the park…and some locations in the park itself are closed due to Covid-19.
        However, most places in the Park allow “Off Trail” hiking under normal conditions.

        Some places are closed even under normal conditions. This can be a temporary closure due to heavy use, or mating season, or bear trouble or a permanent closure due to thermal event danger.

        You can check at any of the ranger stations for further info when you get there…
        If you are heading in via West Yellowstone the joint information center on the main drag before you enter the park is a GREAT place for info about where animals have been sighted and which areas are closed to the public…and more…

        However, the West Yellowstone Info Center and the West Yellowstone gate are closed right now due to Covid-19. They are scheduled to open on May 27th…but that may change. You can still use the east and north south entrances. You can get the latest info on the parks website at:

        If you don’t want to wait til you get there for a conversation about off-trail hiking you can phone and talk to a ranger before you leave…

        Phone numbers are listed on their official website:

        • East and *south* entrances, I believe is what Dal meant. Entrances that require crossing between Montana and Wyoming are currently closed, but thank you, Dal, for letting me know that the West Yellowstone West Entrance may be opening in a few days. That’s great news!

          • Thanks Zap..You are correct..the entrance from Cody and the entrance from Jackson are the only two open right now…

        • Thanks Dal and everyone for responses.

          My trip is to the West Yellowstone area and I have been keeping a close eye on the re-opening. I am hopefully the West Yellowstone gate will be open by then. This is my first trip to the area, so I appreciate the advice about the West Yellowstone Info Center. I will definitely stop by before heading into the park.


  2. Why look in Montana or Wyoming, if it is to continue to look in the Yellowstone area? I know the reason, but why after all this time keep looking there? Could it possibly be somewhere else? Why the narrow focus, why not look at the big picture? Do, we know yet what the big picture is? We know that, even without finding the treasure there is great beauty in the wilderness – in nature and in the mind – that is of incalculable value. But even now, even when we are there in the midst of great beauty, are we really, totally seeing what is there? I’m not sure. We keep coming back to the place of solitude, of timeless beauty because we have not yet solved the riddle of ourselves, of life itself. To do that, to master the art of life for peace of mind, is perhaps what we all seek. But this could be found anywhere and nowhere if we dare look where exists our greatest fear. If we find a quiet place in the wilderness, like that wonderful place Forrest Fenn seems to have found, some form of peace of mind, that timeless eternity, then we have found our personal treasure. I suspect that is what Forrest is offering us, but it is even harder to find than his hidden objects of limited value. If instead of seeking the treasure, we look in that timeless, borderless space in ourselves, free from ordinary thoughts and feelings, there can be found, in true meditation an explosion of love, the very thing we fear the most. But the very thing, if we find it gives us true freedom.

    • Someone once asked the Dalai Lama what he was doing in Montana. Was it the solitude? Was it the beauty? Was it the quiet? When asked he replied ” they make one heck of a good hamburger here”.

  3. If in Montana Del, why not look deeper into the mountains. Far as I know, the mountains there are still part of the continental divide.

  4. I have tried to open my mind to other ideas in New Mexico and Colorado, but I always end up back in Montana. I don’t know if I can ever leave there .

  5. Hi JDA/All: Let me toss out a fun little possibility to get others’ take on it. If you have OUAW Revised Version, it’s the picture of Skippy on page 46. (The picture is of course also in the original version of OUAW, but my copy is at home so I don’t know the page #.) Don’t you find Skippy’s right hand to be positioned oddly, particularly relative to his left? Does he have something white in his right hand pinched between his body and his ring and pinky fingers? Regardless of the odd pose, if you were to look at Skippy’s hands from his perspective, it looks like he’s signaling “42” (the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything). But it ALSO looks like he’s forming the letters W-V or (more relevantly to us) WY. Wyoming for JDA and Wyoming searchers; perhaps West Yellowstone for those more predisposed to SW Montana. 😉

    • Skippy’s right hand is always positioned oddly relative to his left hand because some pretty girl caused an explosion at the fireworks stand that blew Skippy half way into the street. He was slightly deformed after that curious explosion. He fell in love with the girl though.

    • Skippy’s right hand is always positioned oddly relative to his left hand because some pretty girl caused an explosion at the fireworks stand that blew Skippy half way into the street. He was slightly deformed after that curious explosion. He fell in love with the girl though. They had a blast cut
      Ring their relationship I’ve heard.

    • Ok Zaphod, disclosure here…my initials are v w, my birthdate is 4-2, I’ve hiked to Blaze mtn, have driven, hiked or floated most of the Lewis & Clark trail in Mt. was raised in the Gallatin & Madison canyons…but “it” ends there. None of that prepared me to match wits with Forrest Fenn. I don’t have many answers to life, and Skippy’s 42 signals haven’t assisted me one bit. Darn! Just hope Dal or someone finds it in my lifetime;-)

      • 42: sounds like this hunt was “tailor-made” for you (with a nod and a wink to Seeker, as I borrow the “take it in” tailor joke). Actually, since you’re familiar with the area, more like Taylor-made. Something Jake and Muset can get behind. 😉

      • Hello 42, That’s interesting. So one might assume you have looked everywhere for Fenn’s treasure in those areas? One might think you would have an advantage because you know the area so well. Obviously you don’t think so. Fenn is clever. I suppose you just sat under a tree read the poem and visually looked in all the places that fit the poem? Nothing pops up.? I wish it was hidden in the Santa Cruz mtns. I know this place like you know yours. Try visualizing without anybody around. What I can tell you about it is this…. I’ve done it a bunch of times searching for people when the searches stagnate. What I can get from it is where they aren’t. Which makes where they are a much smaller space. IT works on people, not sure about treasure. good luck. I wish somebody would find it, I will be very happy for them

        • Zaphod &
          21 ponies,

          In many ways my life parallels Forrest’s – about 30 years later. Fly fishing family outings, camping in Yellowstone, weekend amateur archaeologists at buffalo jumps sifting for arrowheads, lived in a log cabin w/out electricity on weekends…

          But no I haven’t looked everywhere as Dal has done. Dal is the resident TTOTC & Gallatin county expert .

          I live out of state and plan all year for a treasure hunting trip each summer. I always search a beautiful area so I’m not disappointed when I don’t find Fenn’s gold. (Thanks Windsurfet for that advice).

          I love sifting out layers of the poem to marry words/ places to a map. It’s helped me recover from cancer. After many hours of sleuthing I’ve decided the trove of gold sits in New Mexico. I’m enjoying seeing new territory.

          Best to all who search. I would be happy for anyone who finds ff’s Gold.

          • 42 contact me at smokeymtn@juno.com I’ll give you my search for New Mexico. I was going to give it to Dal but he said he was done there. I don’t know if I’ll get to search for it or not.If you find it there I only want to see it. Maybe touch it. Happy searching!!

          • 21Ponies,

            thanks for your kind offer. Very generous!

            However, I search with a close friend…
            we’ve agreed to only search areas we have solved together. It’s more fun that way. If I find “it” my obligations are to my friend and our families.

            Again, thanks 21 ponies.
            I hope you get the chance to search many more times.

  6. The flank steak at Madison Crossing in West Yellowstone is worth at least one more BOTG in that area. As is the fishing just above Quake Lake.

      • meBigGuy – The Epeorus and Trico hatches and spinner falls were going off on the Madison at the Ghost Road and out at Millionaire’s Pool on the Henry’s Fork in Harriman State Park. So my friend tied on a Pink Albert:


        And did I mention my friend has a signed print by Grant McClintock of that photo he took at Parade Rest Ranch of Grayling Creek with the rainbow in it? The one in his book, “Flywater”, Dal. Still wondering if that could be the blaze in the Poem.

        • The only “fly” I use anymore is a dirt worm. Night Crawlers. Drifting worms in the fast water above the turn above beaver creek is very productive . I love fly fishing too, but the contrarian in me wants to do worms when I can.

          Regarding flies, have you every been to the Butte Visitor Center? It’s basically a fly fishing museum with displays from the preeminent historical Montana fly fisherman. See a wooly tied by Martinez (I think). Worth a stop if you are nearby (like looking for treasure where the Wise meets the horseshoe shaped Big Hole). http://redboatmarkchronicles.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-day-at-montana-fly-fishing-museum.html

          • meBigGuy – I shared that great museum link with my friend. Thank you! She is shopping for a fly tying vise. Could be her next ‘vice’. I have also studied that Wise River/Big Hole area for drift boat fishing and a potential solve.

            Now I think you opened a can of worms. Your comment made me think of a scene from my solve’s theme movie:

            “He’s going to show up with a coffee can full of worms. Red can. Hills Brothers. I’ll lay a bet on it.” – Paul from “A River Runs Through It”

            My fly fishing librarian friend calls your kind, “MasterBaiters”. It is good they are working to make the Madison River into a Catch and Release zone. Like they did with the Big Wood River here in Sun Valley. And only barbless fishing. My friend had several big Browns and Rainbows slip off due to that barb removal, though.

    • Or the original taco bus by Eagles store in West Yellowstone . Not the other one on the end of town. Everything there is so good. Sometimes I limit my daily intake in preparation for a full two meals and all the sides. Worth the pain. g

  7. Wyoming, Im on three solves plus no state tax, BLM land out the yahoo 6% beer and some of the best fishing in the lower 48

  8. Got Airplane, Will Fly for a Good Solve
    I’ve got a 4 seat airplane hanger’d in Santa Fe, this looks like great fun … will fly for a good well thought out solve and help in the search, Let’s go …

  9. Hey Billy, guess what? I just got back from my first BOTG.
    Ghost of Billy Barry: “Really Sparrow. That’s great! Where in Wyoming were you searching?”

    Billy, I wasn’t in Wyoming, I..
    (Billy kicks Sparrow in the knee really hard)
    Ouch!! Why’d you do that Billy?
    “Because I’ve told you before, it’s in Wyoming you dufus”

    I don’t think so Billy. It’s in Montana, and I know just where it is too. The problem is I got a bloody nose and shortness of breath due to the altitude. I think someone may have to go and get it for me.

    “I’ll go check it out Sparrow. Let me have a shot”
    I would Billy, but I think you would come up short.
    “You trying to be funny Sparrow”?
    Just making small talk Billy. Never mind me.

    • It’s an even bet at this point. I was just on a BOTG and went through Las Vegas. I witnessed this conversation between a dealer and a masochist:

      The dealer said nothing. She simply dealt a card. And the masochist said : “Hit Me”.

      I had to get out of there fast. I don’t really like Vegas anyway— it is man’s idea of what life is. I’d rather go to Montana—- that’s God’s idea of what life is.

  10. I’m heading out to my search area in a couple of weeks. “Come and get me, come and get me, come and get me”

    • Let me know if you find the Legend of Curly’s gold! lol I’ll be going back out as soon as possible

  11. The secret of life is more than one thing; the first thing is something you have to figure out for yourself; the second is GOLD! I love both of those movies!

  12. People who have searched in the WY/Montana areas for years. When is the best time to get there before absolute snowfall?

  13. In 2017 I ended up searching in snow in late September in Yellowstone, and it didn’t go so well. Hopefully the snow holds off this year.

    • Summer is drawing nigh in West Yellowstone. Powderchasers is predicting snow for tomorrow. Glad to have a -10 below sleeping bag!

  14. While looking at properties near forest lines that may also have a blaze, I noticed a very particular looking road, Rising Sun Road within the Rising Sun Estates community. To me it looked like a blazing sun, so I investigated the property owners near here. An interesting find came about. An owner of a trust titled 3-V 1988 Trust popped up for a plot in Cameron, Montana (9S 1E 27) (Lat 45° 1’29.28″N, Long 111°35’7.69″W). Even more peculiar? The address of the trustee, 1301 PEPPER DR, D, EL CAJON, CA 92021. Sound familiar? (Fenn also from Dal’s site “Now, what if I wanted to secret a can of Dr. Pepper under a rock in the cooling waters of a rivulet somewhere in my allotted public acreage?”)
    After researching the address, I found that this address was home to a mechanic shop for suites A-C in El Cajon but suite D did not seem to really exist nor did the organization 3-V as it was not actually located here. After searching further into 3-V I found a contact number and name who I will not list here (you can easily google the organization under that address and their first and middle name are fitting) and tried to make contact unsuccessfully while on the trip to Cameron to gain permission to visit the site (As a humorous side note the company came up as 2 different types of business, a mining machine company and or real estate) As for confirmation that this was the site I looked further into other theories and puzzles which had been around including one from Dalneitzels website. Interesting enough in one of his word search finds he managed to find hidden words by simply realigning the letters to begin at the right. A cluster of words indicated a road which aligned with the find. Rising Sun, Lot Ten, In a well. Also a few missed words were The, Fort, Trees, Leave which could indicate the path to leave through as The Fort is across the road from the community (Also lot ten is from the beginning of the turn on Rising Sun). This all aligned with my own theory that Fenn hid the treasure most likely in a well/bowl near a creek that ran through his property. Remember that Fenn stumbled across a find in a similar fashion earlier in his career under flagstone. The clues also all lined up.
    Begin it where warm waters halt (Earthquake Lake)
    And take it in the canyon down, (Go NORTH on 287, following Madison River)
    Not far, but too far to walk. (24.2 miles)
    Put in below the home of Brown. (There is a put in below Beartooth Flyfishing brown for bear and capital B because it’s a proper location)
    From there it’s no place for the meek, (Wolf Creek)
    The end is ever drawing nigh; (Ennis is on your left going east on the creek)
    There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (As we found out this is a very small stream)
    Just heavy loads and water high. (It is difficult to access wolf creek and the legality of the stream requires that one use the water high law and you will need to cut over into BLM to continue the journey)
    If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, (Rising Sun Road)
    Look quickly down, your quest to cease, (2 C’s is the property marker for Fenn’s property)
    But tarry scant with marvel gaze (Unsure but most likely means enjoy the view and or sandy/tar like as you will need to be in the creek to legally be going through here. Marvel gaze most likely means marble the treasure is under. Could also be an actual well located on site which may have something covering it up as is often the case.)
    Just take the chest and go in peace. (Again, unsure but this could mean the way out or that once you get back to the car if parked at the Palisades put it the road looks like a peace sign).

  15. Hi All. just thought I would post where I think the treasure is hidden. My spot is in Glacier National Park, Montana. In particular close to Little Dog Mountain. It is an interesting place. It has a railway line running nearby, used mainly by BNSF, Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Its orange trains run by regularly.
    There is also an old dam near the mountain on Three Bears Lake. The dam was used in the late 19th to the mid 20th century to provide water for the steam engines that ran on the railway.
    There is also an old well next to the dam that was used to pump the water along old wooden pipes to a storage tank next to the railway lines. The well is 1 mile from the start of the walking track which you enter through some Aspen trees.
    Also a little bit further along the railway line there is a big loop in the line which I guess is used to turn trains around. This is maybe what Forrest alludes to when he hints at a ring, and a metal ring in particular. There are other things that make me believe that this may be the spot. The Dr pepper slogan 10, 2, 4. Translate this to 24 hour time and you get 1550.
    Convert to roman numerals: MDL. Swap them around and you get LDM, Little Dog Mountain. Coincidentally there is a star called Procyon, Little Dog Star. Asterix means little star.
    I have been to this area and it is stunning. But have not located the treasure yet.
    The thing that really intrigues me is that there is a valley on the side of Little Dog Mountain that when you stand next to the well looks exactly like the shadow on the cover of TTOTC. If this is the blaze it is 500 feet tall. This Blaze changes appearance depending on how the sun shines on it.
    Even if the treasure is not there, it is a stunning place to visit.
    i am interested in your thoughts team.

  16. The west side of Montanas border looks like a face sideways and that’s a good enough reason to look there for treasure today imo.

    • Thats funny, Brian. Because the east side of the Yellowstone Park reminds me of pg 24 in TTOTC … “… just for a faint moment, my growing awareness compared the look on her face to a can opener ad…”

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