Advice from Forrest Fenn on How to Find his Treasure Chest and Solve his Poem: Top Twenty Quotes

Since the release of The Thrill of the Chase in the fall of 2010, Forrest Fenn has offered some advice on how to find his hidden treasure or solve his poem.  The following video gathers some of his most notable remarks together on this matter.  Many of them are from Questions with Forrest here on this site.

It is similar to Forrest Fenn Treasure Facts, in that it shares statements made only by Forrest and not others. It is what Forrest Fenn says about how to find his treasure chest- not how others think you should.

For ourselves, we like reading/listening to his advice again—every now and then- to help keep us on track in case we stray.   We hope it helps you do the same!  Please enjoy the Top Twenty Quotes about how to find his treasure chest.

Watch the Video Below, or Read the Quotes that we used in the Video below it:

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Top Twenty Quotes of Forrest Fenn on How to Find his Treasure Chest

  • Dear Forrest, What’s more important in solving the search, a greater knowledge (“knowlege”) of Toponymy or Geography? ~Chris

I don’t know how Toponymy can help you at all Chris (I had to look that word up). But if you knew the geographic location of each clue it would be a map to the treasure. f  (Questions w Forrest 2017)


  • Dear Mr. Fenn, You say the clues in the poem are to be followed in consecutive order. You have also said the book holds sublte hints.  Are these ‘subtle hints’ in consecutive order (in relation to how they help with clues in the poem) too? ~ Thank you, joseph

That’s right joseph, you should start with the first clue and follow the others consecutively to the treasure. Hints in the book are not that organized.f  (2014)


  • 1Q) Even today, after more than six years of people searching, and after all the news coverage, articles, and stories written about your secreted treasure, some people are just learning about your Thrill of the Chase treasure hunt and getting involved. It continues to inspire. Do you have any advice for these new people? How should they begin the search six years after so many others? Do you feel they are at any disadvantage?

No, fresh eyes and new thinking might provoke a winning idea. I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a place on a map. It seems like the longer one thinks about the search the more they complicate the problem.f (Six Questions)


Other things Forrest Fenn has said about finding his treasure chest:


“The person who finds the treasure will have studied the poem over and over, and thought, and analyzed and moved with confidence. Nothing about it will be accidental. T. S. Eliot said:

We shall not cease from our exploration

And at the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time”   (Six Questions)


“… the clues in the book and thread a tract through the wiles of nature and circumstance to the treasure.  If you can find it, you can have it.  I warned the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.” (Flap on map in Too Far to Walk)


What Forrest Fenn say is the First Clue in his Poem and other Suggestions:


“The first clue in the poem is ‘Begin it where warm waters halt’.  That’s the first clue.  If you can’t figure that clue out, you don’t have anything.”  (New Zealand Interview with Forrest)


What surprises me is that so many ignore the first clue in the poem. Without it all the searcher has is the memory of a nice vacation. Although many have tried, I doubt that anyone will find the blaze before they have figured out the first clue. f (Questions with Forrest)


 “The most common mistake that I see searchers make is that they underestimate the importance of the first clue. If you don’t have that one nailed down you might as well stay home and play Canasta.” (Questions with Fenn)

Most of the searchers are very bright and make intelligent comments, either by email or on the blogs, but there seems to be more attention paid to the blaze than to the first clue. Perhaps that’s why the treasure hasn’t been found. f  (Questions with Forrest 2016)


Forrest has made the following comments about the poem and clues in general:


“The Clues should be followed in order.” f (Questions with Forrest)


The poem is straight forward with no subterfuge in sight. (Questions with Forrest)

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?

A)“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.”  (Questions with Forrest)


There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. 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. f   (2014 Questions with Forrest)


“It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper.”  (Dal’s Blog/Scrapbook)


“Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.” (Dal’s Blog/ Scrapbook)


“All that will be needed are the clues, some resolve, a little imagination………..” (dust jacket of The Thrill of the Chase)


“If a person reads the poem over and over…and are able to decipher the first few clues in the poem, they can find the treasure chest. It may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. I could go right straight to it.” (Collected Works video)

Some ending comments:

“All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search.”


A polite-like email from Kristie, who admits to being a desk person, prompts me to say that if you are walking long distances in search of the treasure, you’re walking too far. f  (Random Words 2016)


 “Nobody is going to happen on that treasure chest. You’re gonna have to figure out the clues in the poem and go to it.” (Moby Dickens video, Nov.2, 2013)



Best of luck with all that you seek!  Always Treasure the Adventure!


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73 Responses

  1. Nice job! Thanks jenny

  2. Pointfoot says:

    Thank you Jenny!

    Those all seem important if one intends to solve this puzzle. The one that stands out most to me is “It seems the longer one thinks about the search the more they complicate the problem.” I can say without a doubt that has certainly been true for me. I’m decidedly keeping it simple this next season.

    After my first spontaneous search with my family in 2015 I would never have dreamed I would be eagerly waiting to head out again nearly four years later. But wait eagerly I do for the spring thaw. I’m definitely hooked.

    And while I wait I sit watching the History channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island” where I can watch other obsessed treasure hunters with really deep pockets. My new favorite though is the “Alone” series where I get to watch people do amazing things trying to survive by themselves out in the wilderness. These people literally have to figure out how to catch their food in order to eat.

    Ah the things we do to pass the time…until the spring.

    Thank you Forrest for the most amazing adventure!

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Thanks Pointfoot…..I think all treasure hunting, of all types, are so fascinating and exciting! It’s wonderful to know treasures do exist and are out there to find! Forrest’s is one of the best of course…:)

      • Pointfoot says:

        I agree. One thing I love about “The Chase” is you just need to gather your family, jump in a vehicle, grab a tent and go. It doesn’t require any big investment to participate. What an amazing gift. And the journey itself and the places “The Chase” can take you are so amazing. Don’t forget to stop and soak in the experiences and the memories. Those are the real treasures.

  3. Jenny Kile says:

    Thanks IllinoisGhost… How you’ve been?

  4. Stade says:

    Nice compilation Jenny. Thanks for all you do to assist searchers and Forrest.

  5. Kristie says:

    I made the cut! Thanks Jenny for a great video!!!

  6. pdenver says:

    Thank you, Jenny. I greatly appreciate this.

  7. JC1117 says:

    Thanks, Jenny.

    I especially like Forrest’s comment clearly stating that he “could go right straight to it”. lol.

    I guess I must be going wrong straight to it. 🙂

  8. Pen Ghost says:

    Thanks, Jenny

  9. ron ricker says:

    it is key. IMO
    ff says it will lead you, follow it, marry it, if you can find it you can have it, without it…..he goes on and on about it.
    try this..
    (esp. tesla shane)
    connect all the its in the poem, even the its within words.
    so why is it? been wise?
    connect all the y’s in the poem (grouping important i think)
    and what if ff went alone in, and put in…yup…
    connect the groups of ins in the poem.
    and what you have other than in-fin-it-y, perhaps the word that is key, is a map of a river a creek a rainbow….more
    its the little words that count in poem as a map and all the words most searchers dwell on are only fluff.
    ‘the things you think are precious i cant understand.” steely dan
    however not in other layers
    take this map of the poem from ttotc, overlay it in the right spot, follow the eight contiguous its downstream, find the ninth it or ending clue, and boom….beautiful bronze box.

  10. crimsonblazeblog says:

    Sounds like the top twenty countdown on Saturday morning for Forrest Fenn quotes, so next week instead of singing the number 1 we will be running around like crazy people muttering quotes noone understands.

  11. Chesney says:

    I am getting bored! Snow, snow, go away! I think it’s time for a ski trip down the “bunny hill”! I have Cabin Fever!

  12. Crimsonblaze says:

    Farmers almanac calls for a very long wet spring with so much snow on the cold bunny hill it may be the beginnings of another ice age.

  13. Strawshadow says:

    Thanks Jenny for the twenty and a nice compilation for a needed simplification.

  14. Jenny Kile says:

    Thanks all…..

  15. pdenver says:

    Hello Jenny. I LOVE your winter time fun video! It looks like everyone had so much fun! I remember being a kid and going down a steep hill in the backyard. Luckily, I was belly down because I landed right in the middle of brambles. Nothing like having to work myself backwards out of that mess. My Mom, two sisters, and I use to slide down on our nylon jackets, or sheets of cardboard during the other seasons. Gosh, we had so much fun.

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Thanks pdenver….. we did have lots of fun.

      And it sounds like you know how to have it too! Wonderful times and memories!

      I have great memories of playing in the snow with my brothers and sisters when I was younger too… Hope my kids will have the same….

      I love all the seasons….they all hold their treasures to find…

  16. Chris says:

    Wow, my question made it to the top of the list at #1! If anybody finds the treasure, keep me in mind! Thanks for keeping the search fresh, Jenny!

    • Jenny Kile says:

      It was a great Question and Answer, Chris. Of course it did! lol…

      But it really helps in thinking the clues are to be read like a map— by relating them to geographic locations….

      thanks again for your Q to MW …. I feel the fact that Forrest knows the answers will be shared with all, allows him to say more or be more open. That’s the purpose of Questions with Forrest on MW….

  17. Chesney says:

    “Remember the tale of the dog that finally caught the rabbit”?

  18. OH! says:

    Forrest has used the word “geography” twice in Jenny’s pick of 20. I believe there is reference to one more scattered within his comments. He also uses the word “geography” twice in “The Thrill of The Chase” book on pages 81 & 91. Add the spelled numbers up on page 81 in the single paragraph where the word “geography” is then study the surrounding words.

  19. Iceman says:

    Iceman’s Reading and Reference List …
    -The Thrill of the Chase
    -Too Far to Walk
    -Journal of a Trapper
    -Seventeen Dollars a Square Inch
    -Fighter Pilot
    -The Secrets od San Lazaro Pueblo
    -Google Dictionary/Thesaurus

    • Pen Ghost says:

      Wow – impressive reading list. You are fortunate to have those books. I have The Thrill of the Chase and a dictionary and on occasion the Internet–which I seldom trust for true value. Would love to borrow–if you were close by. 🙂

  20. Iceman says:

    … almost forgot ….
    Once Upon a While!

  21. Iceman says:

    My advice … if you want to “decipher” the poem, you’ll need to discover the rules … Fenn’s rules. Anything less will lead to confusion. My opinion.

  22. C says:

    I wanted to know if Forrest would like to keep ‘the solve’ a secret after the chest is found. It is most tempting to reveal the genius behind it. But for me, I would rather keep the spirit of the hunt alive. Therefore, I would reveal the find as well as the chest, but not the solve. I might even leave at least part of the treasure to be found by the next person. Would ff rather see the same or would he rather seize the opportunity to throw the veil?

    • Iceman says:

      Good question to as Forrest Fenn, Jenny. Or it is purely a strategy option of the finder? Me, I might want to publish three plausible solves and leave everyone guessing. But that’s just me.

      • Pen Ghost says:

        Not sure for me. I don’t think I would say much at all which is fine because I am an outcast from most everything and blocked from blogs. I would leave it totally up to ff to disclose whatever he wants. I am a fun-loving person who isn’t into much media attention–however, the last interviewer seemed different and I wouldn’t mind interacting with him. He appeared more fun and less interested in serious probing. Seems like my kind of ‘friend’. In the end, I would leave all of it to ff or his representative (unless ff requests something). Besides, I don’t think I am creative enough to put together three plausible solves 🙂 You are interesting, Iceman.

  23. Iceman says:

    If you are serious about the Fenn treasure hunt, you are more likely to get carpal tunnel than a bear bite.

    • Stade says:

      Ha! Good one iceman!

    • half a pecan says:

      A notice from last March’s “Nuts’n’Bear-ies Monthly, a Publication By Griz’s for Griz’s”:
      “Beware, Fenn Treasure hunters are expected to be out early this year. Take all precautions as they are unpredictable and temperamental.”
      “Precautions include awareness of your surroundings and a pic-a-nic basket.”
      “Pic-a-nic basket instructions: Pack with a can of Budweiser, three frogs, a can of Underwood Deviled Ham, and a loaf of bread. A jar of mayo is optional but a plus.”
      “When you get to your destination, place the pic-a-nic basket in a prominent spot and remove the can of Budweiser and the three frogs.
      Place on top. Gently prod the frogs until they start singing “Bud-Wei-Ser”. This will attract the attention of the Fenn treasure seekers as they are noted to be somewhat tunnel visioned. This will distract them and allow quick escape.”
      “Drink the beer at your own risk.”

    • JC1117 says:

      Good one, Iceman.

      “If you are serious about the Fenn treasure hunt, you are more likely to get carpal tunnel than a bear bite.”

      What about TYPOTHERMIA?

    • Pen Ghost says:

      Just back pain for me. So, Iceman, did you get carpal tunnel?

  24. Spallies says:

    Thanks for putting all of these in one place Jenny… So we are looking for a place on a map using some resolve while keeping an ear out for what they whisper…. true story I sprayed resolve on the map. 🙂

  25. Chesney says:

    MUD on the chest.? Is that an acronym? My Unique Design? Mud never dries, it is always mud!

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