Forrest Fenn Treasure Notes: The Nine Clues (4-6 April 2013)

The following is a continuation of notes I have taken on the thousands of comments made on Dal Neitzel’s site.  For those of you who are new to the hunt, right after Forrest Fenn first appeared on the Today Show in February 2013, Dal’s site became a gathering place for many people to share thoughts.  Dal has kept an archive of those made on his site listed under the category Nine Clues.  I have included highlights on parts four through six below.

Even though (like mentioned in the first Forrest Fenn Treasure Notes (1-3)), I think it is best to peruse these threads yourself (because various wordings spark different thoughts), I share the notes I have taken for those interested.  It should be mentioned, however, I haven’t researched some ideas to know if they are accurate are not.  They are basic notes to be considered and researched later.

It had been awhile since I read the comments and I had to laugh at the start of them.  Dating back to April (the hunt had only begun for many) there were comments of, “I want my life back!”  It is now August, and the treasure remains hidden. I wonder what they are thinking now. The treasure hunt actually began in the fall of 2010, and for some this might seem like a long time. But, there are some hunts, like Unicornis or The Secret, which are over 30 years old and continue to be worked on. There are even many searches which last lifetimes or even centuries.

I have always remembered a comment made by one of the Maranatha hunt authors in regards that some things must be experienced to appreciate its true value.   “Is this lesson not echoed in the legends of the grail-questing knights?  The treasure didn’t fall to their feet, some accounts speak of decades of suffering and searching?  How greater would the reward be if you actually lifted the veil to the Holy Grail, rather than someone simply holding it in procession?  How could you feel the deep awesome sensation if it was passed to you as easily as a cup of coffee?  Would you treasure it as much?”  Although the previous quote concerned the search for the Grail, it can relate to the search for Fenn’s Treasure too.  If needed, take a break, but don’t give up.

For most of us, there is no turning back or getting our old life back.  The thrill has captured us, and we will be with the chase to the end, or to ours.  Lol. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Okay, the notes:

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

First stanza seen by many to be an introduction, and no specific clues to the actual hiding place of treasure.

Others see it as a clue towards New Mexico, saying ‘Fenn went alone in his vault’ and decided to hide it near his home (riches of new and old).

Went to location alone with his treasures and now hints to this ‘secret place’ of a place where he found treasure once before?  To find it, begin WWWH…

Bold not only means ‘courageous’ but ‘flashy, striking, conspicuous to the eye’


Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

(Warm Waters Halt ideas)-

Hints towards a cold trout stream

Cold water sinks in a dammed lake, warm water at top, so begin at top?

Examples of WWWH shared by Dal: start of the gorge at the Rio Grande on NM border, Agua Fria Mountain, Red Rock Pass, Hebgen Dam Lake, Yellowstone National Park, eastern front of Rockies; Stephanie shared, dam at Cimarron and other nearby locations.

A wonderful comment by Dal about his first thoughts (since changed) on wwwh was made:  “…..I read a beautiful essay by Tony Hillerman about the Rio Grande. I learned how important that river was to the wildlife, agriculture, ranching and residents of NM. It’s a beautiful piece. In that essay Tony described how the waters of the Rio Grande through the San Juan Valley in lower CO were too warm and too languid to support a trout fishery. But then something wonderful and exciting happens almost exactly at the NM line. The Rio begins its descent into the “gorge”. It falls and rushes and is fed by cold water springs and in little more than a mile it becomes one of the premiere trout fisheries in NM.The gorge deepens and is so lovely that the place is a National Wild and Scenic River. That essay convinced me that I had stumbled onto the most important place in New Mexico where warm water halted. Below that place where warm water changed to cold water was a long and deep gorge, called the box. Its 800 to a thousand feet down. No place for the meek. The cold and rushing Rio Grande is at the bottom. My “canyon down”.”


Possibly refers to an endorheic basin, a glacier, or snow melt

It’s warm waters, but then water high-(plural and singular water)- referring to two or more bodies of water in the first use, and then one in the last?

Warm waters as ‘Tears’; possible connection with The Trail of Tears or a place of mourning

Warm waterS- plural as in confluence (like Rio Grande and Red River); tributary system, or implies two or more locations close to each other, like where ‘two waters’ are damned (example: the El Vado Reservoir and Heron Reservoir). Could be waters is all inclusive, and means ‘cold water’, like Agua Fria or Cold Water Creek, or ‘hot water’, like Boiling River.  (warm halts both ways- cold and hot)

Ojo Caliente in Yellowstone

Agua Caliente (warm waters); name of stream in NM

Rio Chama

Snow could be ‘warm waters halted’, so begin where there is snow?

Halt definition in Bible- used as an expression to indicate uncertain gait- going one way, then the next.  This could support that the word ‘waters’ halts at the letter S.  Hint at Snake River?

Cloud Peak in the Bighorns, with a warm springs creek canyon?


(Too far to walk ideas)-

Walk in Spanish is caminar- maybe clue towards Mesa del Camino

Too far to walk?  Does that mean ‘hiking trail’ or be prepared to hike in general?  Hike-longer distance than a short ‘walk’?

Some have interpreted this to imply a ‘vertical drop’, too far to walk/step, similar to a drop or fall.  Then because leaves turn ‘brown in the fall’, put in below the home of Brown, could refer to below the ‘drop/fall’…even possible waterfall.


(Home of Brown ideas)-

Big Brown Bat is a type of bat, could then ‘home of Brown’ refer to put in below a ‘cave’ or dark crevice (a place where bat’s live)

Brown’s Park/Brown’s Hole is associated Great Divide Basin- around Rawlings WY

A brown stone?  Agate or something and in a rock

A petroglyph, depicting a home (and is the color brown)

Pueblo Pardo (Home of Brown): name of ruins in NM (Tiwa Indians)

Molly Brown house museum of Denver- so put in below Denver, north of santa fe. OR could imply ‘museum’ in general or be a location of treasured items.

Molly Brown summer house called Avoca (outside of Denver); named after poem of Sir Thomas Moore called ‘the meeting of the waters’.


From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

Some feel meek would be capitalized if it referred to a person’s name since Forrest is respectful and would show this even in his poem.

St. Elmo, Colorado- ghost town and known for haunting (not for meek and connection to blaze? st elmo’s fire)

Christ in the desert

Ghost Ranch

Beartooth Highway, Gallatin Highway, and other passes are not places for the meek

Thought on YOUR creek shared: “To paddle up a creek means you are in trouble and your situation is hopeless. So in his phrase, he is actually saying “it isn’t a situation you can’t get out of. Have hope.

Bridge for rail cars (heavy loads)

Heavy loads refers to the ‘treasure’-it weighs 42 pounds and is next to ‘water high’?

Thoughts that areas of Northern NM, Colorado, (and Utah) are considered High Deserts…connection to water high?

Just heavy loads and water high—because of ‘fly fishing terms’ can relate, this could refer to ‘fly fishing spot’ (heavy=weight of line, load=flex of rod while casting, water high=upstream)

High Water often refer to ‘rapids’

Rio Arriba=upper river=water high?


If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

Blaze=a named trail (a wise name?)

Route 66 used to be ‘the blaze’ or trail…. So blaze could refer to an old historical path/road/trail for someone-trail for the wise? (three wise men followed a star?)

Tree called Autumn Blaze, or Red Willows, quaking Aspen would like a ‘blaze’

An opening through rock where the sun shines through and the rays point to the spot, like the light dagger at fajada butte in Chaco canyon-

Been wise, like an owl, and found the blaze.  Bird’s eye view.  Need to look down on something that resembles a ‘blaze’

Why did Forrest choose ‘wise’….is it for an ‘owl’ connection?  Woodsy owl of the National Forest Service…is then the blaze a signpost of the service in the area you are looking?

Blaze refers to actual chest.

Maybe only able to see the ‘blaze’ at a certain time of day?  Reason for ‘end is ever drawing nigh’ to indicate sunset’  OR..early to rise, makes person healthy, wealthy and Wise connection to ‘sunrise’.

Look quickly down- If blaze is a trail, then could look quickly down the trail and find a wood somewhere

Quickly down- meaning ‘duck’ or look low in order to see the spot.  Duck down and look up?

Angel Fire because of the Glenna Goodacre- Vietnam Veteran’s state memorial park—here there is a grave of a soldier named Brown

Tarry scant with marvel gaze—hurry up and get out there and enjoy life

Marvel, Colorado?  Can you see Marvel from where the treasure is hidden?

Would Fenn say ‘hurry up/meaning of tarry scant’, if the chest is in a remote location?  Does ‘Tarry scant’ then imply something different?

The poem had 9 clues to give 9 precise directions to take you to the spot.  Now take it and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

Ice Caves

Burr trail

The Burr trail crosses The Gulch, historically called Alone Creek? The link with Steep Creek is about a quarter mile north of the Burr Trail. (Brrrrr it’s cold) Burr trail(brave the cold) Alone Creek (as I have gone Alone in there) Steep creek (not for the meek) connections?”

La Madera (the wood); there is a La Madera, NM, north of Santa Fe

Brave=Valiente; there is a Rio Vallecitos east of La Madera.



Poem to be taken both literal and metaphorical.

Possibility that the poem starts and ends at, or near the same spot (like a horseshoe? Omega?).  It could take you in a circular direction.

Forrest has been known to say, ‘show the poem to kids’, possibly implying ‘don’t over think it’.

A few posts agreeing that they feel the treasure is close to Santa fe (or in NM)

In regards to searchers being within 500 ft: Were they searching for it when they were that close or just driving along the road which the chest is 500 ft. away from?

In regard to the comment made by Mr. Fenn saying searchers had gotten the first two clues correct and then went right by the other 7.  This seems to suggest consecutive order and the possibility clues are in close range to each other.  The actual quote was- “Several months ago some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing that they had been so close. Alas, and dame fortune, so often a fickle and seductive wench, never spun her wheel to lure them back.”

A word from goofyoldguy-“the difference between a wonderful day and absolute disaster is a fine line”- saying BE CAREFUL out there

In the WGN radio interview Forrest did say, ‘I was 79/80 when I BURIED it’, but later he would comment, ‘I never said I buried it.  It is ‘hidden’.

Don’t change the poem—With Brown and meek

The omega was a symbol of the resistance against the Vietnam era draft

The first clues take you to a particular spot, next ones describe the place, last ones tell you what to do once there.

The key to solving the poem is to understand Forrest Fenn; learning how he thinks and how he would have thought best to construct the poem.  He is a multi-millionaire, former AF pilot, who fought and was shot down, clever businessman, collector and researcher of various items and cultures.  Because of this (and many other things not mentioned), he thinks differently than most, and yet always remember, he is still a person.   Forrest spent a week or two in Sheridan, Wyoming

Yellowstone Lake is largest lake above 7000 feet in North Amercia—Fenn camped near Fishing Bridge

Forrest was born and raised Baptist in Temple, Texas.  However, it would seem he doesn’t belong to any ‘organized’ religion today.

Forrest has said the place is ‘special’ to him…could be from childhood memories, a place he found a ‘special’ treasure, or other.

Photo of Fenn sent to Dal showing him parked at the Hebgen Lake near the hot springs that are located at the end of Grayling creek

Emerson Quote- “Do not go where a path may lead you, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail”

Thoughts about certain time needed to spot the ‘blaze’—with 6 stanzas and 24 lines…could be June, 24th

6 stanza, 4 lines each- highway 64?


Advice on Traveling:
(comment made by user Ironmeteor in part five)

“The times for a total and complete melt (on the hiking trails and assuming no freak blizzard) in Wy/Mon are mid May for 6K, late may/early June for 7K, mid June for 8K and early July for 9K. I know this from experience and even a random snow shower in June will melt within days at 6-7K. So it’s not an issue then. Obviously the roads will be nice and clear much sooner as the pavement is plowed and the asphalt absorbs the heat. But the trails under the trees don’t get the same sunlight and take much longer. The problem gets much worse at higher altitudes like the NE corner where the main hwy gets up to 11K. It still has some snow until early July and it’s window is mid-July to Oct. “

“In Yellowstone area, Memorial day is not even close to okay at 8K-9K, yes, the roads are all open and perfect, but high trails are still 1-2 ft deep in snow and last year at 8-9K, I struggled to walk through it in mid-June.

Colorado is no problem as I lived in the Springs at 7500 ft there for many years. But anything north of there is a real problem and the proof is the water flows. Check the water gauges for the Madison, Yellowstone and Gallatin and you see peak flow starts in June and in 2011, the peak was in early July. That peaks means snow melt and the peak occurs when there is still lots of snow. A few years back, I couldn’t even visit the park in early June as the roads were closed except for Gardner entrance. You can normally go for a hike at 8K in mid June, but no way can you search off trail.

I honestly believe June 30th is the best start date for Yellowstone and the Gallatin area because the snow is now mostly gone and also the bears now have plentiful food to eat and now sleep all day. It also ends the Park’s bear management season and ALL trails are open after June 30th. After that, short of the highest areas, you can freely search anywhere you want.”





(link to reservoirs in New Mexico)

(link where Fenn specifically states Rockies)

(fly fishing terms)

(Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado)



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11 Responses

  1. brizoes says:

    If I tell you where the treasure is, will you split the treasure with me?

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  3. James Elmore says:

    There is Paddle fish in New Mexico but maybe not in some creeks

  4. Ton says:

    “Several months ago some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing that they had been so close. Alas, and dame fortune, so often a fickle and seductive wench, never spun her wheel to lure them back.”

  5. JL says:

    “dame fortune”………….here hold my beer and watch this.

  6. Big B says:

    And by the way-there is no way you are going to stumble across it.

  7. Big B says:

    One last clue you may not deserve-one might say it’s well preserved.

  1. August 24, 2013

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