Buena Vista Colorado…


BY Chris


Begin it where warm waters halt (Cottonwood Pass-Continental Divide) Buena Vista Colorado.

Take it in the canyon down (take Co Rd 306 down into Cottonwood Canyon)

Not far but too far to walk, Put in below the home of Brown (Browns Cabin Remains on top of Mt.Yale)

From there it’s no place for the meek (Meek referring to followers of Chirst- Holy Water Beaver ponds and Mine Claim)

The end is ever drawing nigh, There’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high
(this brought me to Denny Creek, and the Denny Creek Trail Head at the Base of Mt. Yale tradition was that Yale undergrads would climb Mt Yale here and place boulders at its peak to ensure it was taller than the adjacent Mt. Princeton (heavy loads) and Bridges were installed along the trail do to the excessive snow melt that made creek crossing difficult (water high). This mountain range is called the Collegiate peaks and given the tradition of collegiate paddles given for ceremonious reason in college and Fraternal societies (be no paddle up your creek)

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze (the trail head is at 10,000 ft, and at exactly 10200, rest a hard to find Longfellow Mine Claim (200 ft above trail head and 500 ft from the main trail). Longfellow being an often quoted and favored poet by Mr. Fenn and given that mine Claims are per mining law marked with “blazes” was certainly plausible. So much in fact we flew from Baton Rouge to Buena Vista to find out.)

Needless to say when we got there we stayed at the Rainbow Lake resort just 3 miles down the road… (the treasure at the end of his Rainbow).
The name on the mine claim is Carl Hicks,
(his foundry friend mentioned in the book is Tommy C Hicks)
Also Longfellow has several poems – with similarities to the treasure poem, “Brave and in the wood” -The Revenge of Rain-in-the-Face.

It just so happened that Co Rd 306 was being resurfaced and access was blocked for the month we happen to be there. Nothing doing my wife and decided to park the rental and hike in. About a quarter of a mile from the trial head, the foreman stop us and told us we had to turn back do to the excavation that was happening. Out came up with a story about my friend Forrest who’s ashes were just inside the trail and that we’d come a long way to bring him a sandwich and a flash light. So he let us ride with him to the trail head and he gave us twenty minutes to pay our respects… We ran all over the area where the mine claim should be but just didn’t have enough time to give a good look. Nonetheless, this was some of the most beautiful country this Cajun has ever seen and we spent the rest of the week having an absolute blast.

Thanks Forrest

-by Chris

Additional Trip Pics from Chris HERE





Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty Nine…




Does Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Really Exist?

I met Forest Fenn one day in the early 1970’s while visiting family in Lubbock, Texas.  I was around 10 years old and with my dad who had an interest in everything and anything art.  It’s all a blur now.  I had no real idea of where we were or what we were doing at the warehouse in what seemed to be an industrial side of town.

My dad had learned of a foundry and a caster of bronze who was moving to Santa Fe to set up a foundry. We found him and he made time for us. Dad asked Mr. Fenn many questions that day about the lost wax method of casting bronze sculptures.  I was fascinated by the discussion and was even more interested when Mr. Fenn handed me a small piece of dark brown casting wax and told me that if I sculpted something out of it he would cast it for me.

I naively took this man at his word. I lost no time and quickly sculpted a rather crude horse figure, placed it in a box and sent it back to Lubbock. Several months past and the horse crossed my mind a number of times. But back in those “no internet’, “no over-night shipping” days we had a healthy patience about expectations and waiting.

Sometime later a small box bearing weight arrived by mail and I recognized the name on the return address  – Forrest Fenn – Santa Fe, New Mexico. I hurriedly open the box and unwrapped the packaging and there it was, my little wax horse exactly as I had sculpted it, only now it was in solid bronze. I was amazed. A sculpture that I had created with my hands now was in a form that was as permanent as it could possibly be. I felt like a real artist!

Looking back on all of this, there was no gain in it for Mr. Fenn.  He had to fabricate a mold, and then melt the wax out of the mold followed by sweat and the extremely high temperature of a foundry. He took on the risk of pouring the molten bronze into the mold, followed by the finishing work and a patina applied perfectly – even to an insignificant piece of “art”. He did all of this while keeping up with the address of a boy he would probably never see again. And, Mr. Fenn never asked for anything in return.

The horse is almost comical looking and it sits today in my living room. And although very few people notice it, when I do, I think of a young boy and a man who did not know each other but made a promise with each other. And that promise was kept.

Many people are searching for the famous treasure. I feel a responsibility to tell all, that, I already found the real Forrest Fenn treasure -over 45 years ago!

By the way, Mr. Fenn, Thank you. 

Natchitoches, La.






I Think The Chest is Here…



Many searchers have decided the chest is in a general area…maybe even a specific area of the known universe of the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe. So this is the place where we can talk about where we, as individuals, think the chest is at…Don’t give away too much though… 🙂


The Poem Married to a Map…


BY CharlieM


I started my search for the treasure in July of 2017, after a pastor was found dead along the Rio Grande River. I did do a physical search in the very first part of August 2017, which turned out to be unsuccessful. I did leave the poem at the “home of Brown” only because Forrest Fenn had set the elevation limit at 10,200 feet, Also, at the time I went I was searching through remains of structures that could be considered wood. However Forrest said the treasure was not associated to a structure, which I learned after I had returned from my first search. As it turns out that I had what I believe was the correct, “where warm waters halt,” and the correct, “home of Brown.” From that point on I was way off base with “below”, preceding the home of Brown and the rest of the poem.

I tried to visit the area where I thought that the treasure was hidden, June 11, 2018. The road in was closed because of the closure into the wilderness due to the 416 fire north of Durango. This resulted in the closure of the San Juan National Forest the same day that I would have liked to search with my wife along. We stayed at the Grand View Hotel in Silverton, Colorado that evening and toured the town. For those that have been following Dal’s blog, I said I couldn’t get into the search area because a culvert in the road had been washed out. I said that only to misdirect and not give away where I wanted to search, just call me paranoid.

One week later my close friend and I had planned a second attempt to go, but the road between Silverton and Ouray had a mud slide and damaged part of the road, which was later one lane was opened. So we planned another trip a week later, then we found out two days before we were to go that the road outside of Fairplay was closed because of a flash flood, fortunately we could make a small detour around.

It surely seemed that the cards were stacked against me and trying to prevent me from getting to the area I wanted to search. Finally I and my friend were able to go to the area where I believed the treasure was hidden on June 18, 2018 with beautiful weather for the full trip and back. 

The following marriage of the poem to a map and my reasoning for finding what I considered a good location of the treasure. The tools that I used to find the treasure is; the book, The Thrill of the Chase, because it contained the Poem and for the life of me I couldn’t find subtle hints. I also used Google Maps along with Google Maps, just to check the elevation and to obtain the grid coordinates. I am a poem purist and did not look for hidden meanings, as I believe Forrest at his word when he said something to the effect; the poem is straight forward and in plain English.

So here I go through the poem to explain how my path became to be. I believe my path would be hard to dispute and because the poem fits very easily to a map, without being forced. The path I took was using a map until where parked to go on foot.

As I have gone alone in there (I is to mean Forrest Fenn and in there is the Rocky Mountains)

And with my treasures bold, (the chest and its contents being mostly of gold)

I can keep a secret where,

And hint of riches new and old. (Forrest is saying there are hints throughout the poem. The riches new and old, is the very old and newer contents of the Chest, including the chest.)

Begin it, where warm waters halt, (I believe, Begin it, to mean the Chase, the search or start. I have heard over the years the references to the warm waters of the Rio Grande River. The river truly does halt at the headwaters after the snow melts off of the mountains during the summer. Also one could consider following the river up to its end where it halts at the headwaters. The Rio Grande River was put out of bounds for searching by Forrest because of the loss of lives. The rest of the Poem is not near nor follows the river.)  

And take it in the canyon down, (take it, to me means the search or your search. From the headwaters there is basically one way to go and that’s because the river is off limits and the other is because there is really no place to go. So I took the canyon down toward Howardsville. At the headwaters down to the road, there is no road or path to take, but you can use Google Maps.

Not far, but too far to walk. (In the era that we live in 5 to 20 miles is not far and for me 7 miles is too far to walk. It just so happens that from the headwaters to put in is approximately 10 miles, which is not far, but it is too far to walk.) 

Put in below the home of Brown. (If I had not been to Silverton, I would have not known that the elevation continues to drop through the town to the put in spot, which is where you would meet Hwy 550. If you were to take the canyon up to Brown Mountain, the home of Brown, just outside of town you would be immediately beyond 10,200 feet, so the Silverton area is truly below Brown Mountain. You merely passed through Silverton to the put in spot. So far nothing is associated to a structure.

From there it’s no place for the meek, (This is where I struggled, if I had not gone through from Silverton to Ouray, I would have not known it was no place for the meek. From the put in spot you head north on highway 550 from Silverton is the Million Dollar Highway, which ends in Ouray. When you view the hwy from Google Maps it shows the road to be the Million Dollar Hwy. I thought what a subtle hint, at the time when Forrest hid the treasure, it was valued at a million dollars. The route between Silverton and Ouray the road has many steep hairpin turns with very little to no shoulders and follows a very steep rocky canyon. This area is definitely no place for the meek whether driving or on foot. In talking with people that have visited the area, they say they preferred not to drive the highway which has less than a handful of guard rails. To fully appreciate this area as no place for the meek, one needs to visit the area. I need to note that when viewing the road from Google Maps doesn’t help in determining the road and area as no place for the meek.

The 2 images below show part of the canyon that the Million Dollar Highway goes through. The image on the left, in the middle is the Million Dollar Highway. The image on the right shows the steep the canyon.


The end is ever drawing nigh; (Just out of Silverton, going north slightly west, approximately. 2 miles towards “no place for the meek”, there is the dirt road 558. Viewing the entire length of the road from Google Maps, the road continues slowly drawing to the left from highway 550 to the very end of the dirt road 558. Down the road about 4 miles in is the search area.  Road 558 has campgrounds along the way by the South Fork of Mineral Creek.)

There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (The no paddle creek is Clear Creek, just above the last campground, which it is very narrow and starts up high at a natural lake which is Clear Lake. There is no trail up the creek and it is steep).

Just heavy loads and water high, (The only way up the creek is “just” using a vehicle which is “heavy loads”. “Just” up the creek is Clear Lake, which is “water high”.)

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, (There is a trailhead just above the last campground it is the Ice Lake Trail which quickly goes above the altitude limit of 10,200 feet. The blaze for the trail is not the blaze, because, looking quickly down, is the upper campground. If you look at the road up to Clear Lake from Google Maps, the zigzagging of the road makes a mark on the mountain side. I believe the road is the Blaze. One cannot see the entire blaze (Clear Lake Road), from the base or from the top, while being physically on site. To go up the four wheel road it quickly is above the elevation limit)

Look quickly down, (this is from the base of Clear Lake Road, the blaze, looking quickly down from Google Maps, is the South fork of Mineral Creek. One cannot see the creek below from the blaze while on site because of tall Booth’s Willows all along the valley. You however can see all from the “big picture”, Google Maps. Google Maps is created by snapshots from the satellite and all those are combined to make a big continuous picture.)

your quest to cease, (Now you can see the area by looking quickly down this is the area that may contain the treasure in the wood.)

But tarry scant with marvel gaze, (For me, means to not dawdle and don’t be late gazing at the marvelous find.)

Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? (I believe the reason why Forrest Fenn is primarily trying to get people off of their duffs and enjoy what nature and the mountains have to offer. Secondly there was the recession where people where struggling financially and he was hoping to share his fortune to help someone out, especially those with families.)

The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak. (This sentence is just what it says, he did it tired and now he is weak from hiding the treasure.)

So hear me all and listen good, (Pay close attention to the following)

Your effort will be worth the cold. (I believe this is reference to cold water, (South Fork of Mineral Creek), the water you may be in to retrieve the chest.)

If you are brave and in the wood, (There is a pile of washed down tree trunks that is partially blocking the water flow. You would need to be brave and careful while searching through the wood. In the effort to search the wood you will be in water, hence your efforts will be worth the cold. On one end of the pile of wood is what could be considered an island covered with willows, this could also be considered wood. I thought of Gardner’s island when I saw the island.)

I give you title to the gold.

I may be wrong, but who knows I might be right. I may have missed something, but I feel this is a very good solution. Another thing came to my mind, its ten miles down the canyon to put in, its two miles towards no place for the meek and approximately miles four miles to the search area. Remember Dr Pepper, 10-2-4, what a coincident, just saying.  

Below is a image of the search area which is tied to stanza six of the poem.

Below are two images of the route taken that the poem is referencing. I followed the directions given in the poem to find the treasure. However I did physically drive to the parking spot and then I walked to what I believed the immediate area of the chest. I did not drive the entire path of the Poem to the treasure, but I did follow the poem married to a map in effort to retrieve the treasure.

It was a good thing that I took my best friend along to help me search. I am a below the knee amputee and going through the willows with a walking stick was a good thing to help maintain balance. The willows were very hard to navigate through for me as well as my friend. Our feet kept getting tangled at times. My friend went down and had a hard time getting up because there really wasn’t anything sturdy to hang onto except for the walking sticks. An 80 year old could walk from his car and through the willows. Don’t let the two images above fool you, as they dated back to 2007 and the area has changed since then.

You couldn’t see the area where I believed the treasure was hidden from the road because of the tall willows. No one could see us working through the wood to find the treasure. We went through the logs from the upstream side as the water was more shallow compared to the downstream side. We removed branches and silt that were mixed in while searching, from the topside of the wood, down to the water was very damp. We searched in every nook and cranny from end to end and even used a flashlight to see under the wood in the water, just by the mere chance the treasure was dislodged. We were wet all the way up to our shoulders and at times covered with debris. A large majority of the wood is above water, keep in mind Forrest said that the treasure wasn’t underwater and that it was wet. We didn’t take pictures of the wood and the immediate surroundings as we were trying to maintain balance and not to step into deep holes in the water, along with the excitement. We worked through the wood for about three and a half hours. We also did a very thorough search of the island with all its willows and along the banks on the other side. We also search through more wood upstream and downstream from the wood we initially searched.

Where I believed the treasure was hidden one could clearly see that this location would not be stumbled upon, nor would anyone have an interest in going through the willows. If I were to die in the location I would not be found for a very long time. Who in their right mind would want to fight through the willows even to go fishing? We did see bear scat and deer tracks and absolutely no one was around even though the campgrounds and the parking areas were busy. The biggest aggravation was those tiny flies that bite; it’s like flies all over a carcass. No treasure was found, but I and my friend enjoyed every minute of the excursion.

For those that are interested, the grid coordinates are 37 degrees, 48’19.28”N Longitude, 107 degrees 45’48.95”W Latitude, at an elevation of 9800 feet.

Below is a photo taken from the tailgate of the truck looking over the willows where we parked. The entire area is absolutely gorgeous and a perfect place to hide the treasure and rest forever.

  by CharlieM –



Watching Phillystone……


BY FORREST and Kieran


Kieran is about to embark on a great adventure. He’s going to be posting updates on his Instagram (@k.w.shields) as he travels and he’d love it if other treasure hunters could follow him and maybe even meet some of them along the way. Here’s an email I received from him. Good luck Kieran, and please stay safe on the road and in the mountains. f

Hello Forrest!

My name is Kieran Shields and I’ve solved your riddle. I’m sure you know where you hid your own treasure so I won’t bother trying to explain your own clues to you but your poem was so beautifully crafted! I’m 19 and I’m from just outside Philadelphia Pennsylvania; I don’t have a car so my friend and I are setting out on an adventure to ride our bikes from Philly to Yellowstone to retrieve the treasure. Right now we’re trying to get some supplies together so our bikes don’t fall apart while we’re rushing to the park but we would love to meet you in Yellowstone and go to the treasure with you! If you can’t make it we’re planning on retrieving the treasure and riding our bikes to Sante Fe to meet you. Even if I’m wrong about the treasures location I want to thank you for inspiring me to go on this crazy adventure!!

Thanks for being an adventurer, Kieran.

Search Results Near Yellowstone……

by Ron Conley

I recently got back from a week in the Yellowstone area with my son, son-in- law and 3 grandsons.  We had a great time despite the rainy weather some of the time.  We did horseback riding, white water rafting, fly fishing in Yellowstone, spent two days searching for the treasure and toured Yellowstone for a full day at the end of the week.  We each had our bear spray, satellite SOS device, walkie-talkies, and even a hunting knife as the weapon of last resort -yeah, like that would have really worked.  We even had a doctor with us.  My Son is an Emergency Room doctor that has served in Haiti after the earthquake and as Head of the Mass Trauma Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  We were prepared!!

 This will make four days that I have searched this area including when my wife and I did an initial recon last October for two days and this past week’s search.  In our Chevy Suburban (4WD) rental, we began at WWWH, drove past the “Home of Brown”, past where there’s “no place for the Meek”, parked our car just like Fenn would have done and trekked into the “wood”, up a creek without a “paddle” and with heavy loads above.  Nearly 78 years young and with a 20-pound backpack on, I limited it to where Fenn could have gone twice in an afternoon.  Between the six of us, we covered a lot of area.  If I recall, Fenn once said that children would likely have a better chance of finding the treasure than an adult.  Humm, is that a clue?  Well, I can tell you that the area we searched was a kid’s playground.

No, we did not find it, but it sure looked like the most likely place Fenn would hide a treasure.  It was an area where I would lay my bones.  As Fenn said, “the mountains are my church”.  The sun came out the second day and everything was gorgeous.  Alpine meadows of wild blue flowers sprinkled with yellow set against the tall green pines and grey boulders under a clear blue sky.  Everything seemed so brilliant and full of life.

All six of us climbed up nearly 6 or 7 hundred feet the first day and determined that even though it was a fantastic day in the mountains with unbelievable views, it wasn’t a place where Fenn would have gone twice in the afternoon.  So, after the six of us had thoroughly scoured the mountain side and with my strength beginning to wane, we ruled out that area and zeroed in on the most promising area for the second day.  After a long and treacherous drive over heavily rutted and muddy roads back to our motel, we all sat down to diner and discussed what we would do the next day.  Everybody slept soundly that night.

At a lower altitude on the second day we climbed over boulders and tree stumps for hours looking for the treasure.  It seemed that around every turn there was a place where the chest could have been hidden.  So many places begged an invitation for inspection.  If I had been a teenager in the 40’s and my Father was fishing nearby, I would have explored every nook and cranny of this place with my brother.  We could have easily walked right by the treasure and not known that it was within a few yards.  I was a little worried that we might encounter snakes or other nasty critters when looking into dark crevices, but luckily none appeared.  The boys used their flashlights and poked into small places with their walking sticks that they fashioned from fallen limbs.  The most dangerous animal we encountered was a chipmunk as it ran across our path.

We did find a recent kill by a bear.  By the looks of it, my son said that it was probably a few days old.  It was hard to tell what kind of an animal it was since it was scattered and torn up so much.  We didn’t investigate too closely or hang around that spot too long.  We “tarried scant”.  The area was littered with sheep and elk droppings as well as animal bones scattered in a few places.  Some of the bones were pretty big but looked suspiciously placed.  Almost as if someone had put them there.  Anyway, the kids got a kick out of that.

We actually found a “Blaze”, but not the type that I thought it could be.  We were looking for some kind of blaze coloring on a rock or some kind of Indian petroglyph that Fenn would have found.  Then my Son called me over and pointed it out to me.  I said, “Wow, yeah that could be it”, but there was no treasure box to be seen unless we just overlooked it.  There were a hundred nearby places where the treasure could have been hidden.  The blaze will still be there in a hundred or more years unless someone destroys it.

There have been two things in life that seem to have fascinated Fenn – Indians & Fish.  This area seemed to satisfy both.  I encouraged the boys to look for arrow heads, but none were found.

There was one spot that could have fit the “worth the cold” clue.  We found a downward, opening recess in the side of a hill big enough for a person to enter.  It led sharply down for just a short distance (not a cave) where we could go in and inspect with our flashlights.  But the interesting aspect was that the air must have been at least 20 degrees (or more) colder.  Humm.  Anyway, there was nothing that we could see that looked like a chest.

I don’t think at this time that I will return, but just in case that the bug gets to me in the future, I’m keeping my solve to myself.  In the meantime, I’m going to closely review all my photos and videos to see if anything shows up.  I even flew a drone over the area and recorded some nice scenes; but the bottom line with a drone is that it is useless in finding the treasure.  It might make an entertaining video on UTube, but that’s about all.

At the end of the second day, I discretely deposited between a couple of rocks some fake gold coins and colored glass beads that I had carried with me.  I then called the boys over and declared that I found something.  The boys came over, looked at me and said, “are you kidding.  Did you just put them there?”.  So much for my surprise.

My first attempt with the drone on day 1 was less that professional.  I tried to use the DJI Goggles with my Phantom 4 Pro Plus, but the goggles locked up on me after a minute and I had to rely on the remote built in viewing screen.  At one point I thought I lost it and couldn’t visually locate the drone.  I then initiated an automated “Return to Home” sequence.  The drone was out of sight, approaching 400 ft altitude and maybe a half mile away.  Then, the drone failed to respond, and it wasn’t coming home.  Well, I could feel panic beginning to set in.  The drone was nowhere to be seen and it wasn’t doing what I expected or at least what the manual said would happen.  I could see that this was a recipe for disaster and mucho bucks down the drain.  If you have ever piloted a plane, then you know that it’s easy to get lost if you’re only VFR qualified and can’t see any recognizable landmarks.  Try that while looking at a 5-inch screen on the remote controller and the only thing you can see are acres of green trees.  Then superior navigational skills kicked in and I maneuvered the drone so I could see a few landmarks and managed to safely land it back to where it initially took off.  The second day I was much more with it.  Goggles and drone worked flawlessly. I did discover one thing.  If you ever fly one of these drones with the DJI goggles, use the gimbal tracking mode that will slew the drone as you turn your head.  Using the camera gimbal mode as I initially did can be confusing since the drone direction and camera are not in sync.  Using the gimbal tracking mode is more like driving the drone.  It goes where you point your head.

I did make a movie about my recon last October, but it’s for family only since it reveals my search location.  Everyone got a kick out of it.  Maybe the Grandchildren will look on it in future years and remember Papa and Nana.

I often ask people “what is your most valuable asset?”.  Few know the answer.  I then tell them “Time is you most precious asset.  Time is like water.  Some people just let it run through their fingers while others try to drink every drop.”
I’ve included a few photos of our trip.

Good hunting, Ron Conley