Mar 062013

Although not the first line of Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt poem, ‘Begin it where warm waters halt’ seems to be the place most people are starting.  And for good reason.  In the Feb. 27th, 2013, Today Show interview, it is where Mr. Fenn himself began to read, and where puzzlers have stated he has said to start.

This is not to say the previous 4 lines don’t hold value towards the finding of the treasure, but, the actual outdoor search seems to begin with understanding exactly  ‘where’ warm waters halt.

Where can ‘warm waters halt,’ though?’  The poem is like a riddle and so thinking about the different meanings of the phrase, and how it provides direction, is important.  There are actually many interpretations, and therefore possibilities.  Until a person finds Forrest Fenn’s hidden bronze treasure chest, all thoughts have at least some validity.


The following are possible interpretations/thoughts for WWWH:

  • Warm, referring to temperatures of the waters.  Some feel this suggests beginning where there is a ‘hot spring’ or where the water is considered warmer than normal, and ‘halts’.  For example, it could even imply where the ‘warmer waters’ of mountain springs halt, and enter rivers.


  • Warm, referring to color.  Since Forrest is an art dealer, it is not a stretch at all to think ‘warm’ suggests a ‘warm color’.  For example, red is a warm color, so ‘Red’ river … could be ‘warm’ waters.  Where it stops, churn backwards, or rests, could be where a searcher begins.   Any other ‘river, lake, stream’ with a ‘warm’ color in its name would fit, as well.


  • Warm Waters, referring to a specific ‘warm waters’ name of a place, like Firehole.  Taken further, any name of anything, which could be considered ‘warm waters’, like a road named ‘Red Creek (red creek road) or a town’s name which is interpreted to imply ‘warm waters’, like ‘Warm River’.  Wherever these places ‘halt’ then, like the town’s borders, or end of the road, could be where a person begins.


  • Warm Waters, referring to ‘unfrozen’ or ‘melting’.  In the spring/summer, many mountainsides begin to shed their white.  Lakes form at the bottom from the snowmelt; from these warm waters could be a place to begin.


  • Warm Waters halt, similar to the above, but referring to a dam, reservoir, or something of the sort.

Addition/Update: On Dal’s site, scrapbook 68, is the following quote.  It informs us that WWWH (where warm waters halt) of the poem does NOT relate to any dam.

“Many searchers have thought that warm waters halt at a dam because water being released through flues near the bottom of the dam is much colder than water on the surface of the lake.  I have discussed around that subject with several people in the last few days and am concerned that not all searchers are aware of what has been said.  So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.”  ff


  • Warm as in ‘heartfelt, peaceful, cozy’.  In the book, Forrest talks about places he has fished with his family and alone.  He mentions how they are ‘great places’, how others are now fishing there, and he writes;  “I hope they feel the reverence that I once did and now still do.”  These ‘fishing holes’ hold a ‘warm’ spot for Forrest.  Could they be the ‘warm waters?’  Could it begin at a fishing hole which ‘halts’ a person. (Forrest stopped to fish).  Or something like what is mentioned in the ‘Too Far to Walk’ post.


  • Many people have played the game of ‘hide and seek’.  A player says ‘you’re warm’ if you are ‘close’ and cold, if far away.  Could this meaning of ‘warm’ (close waters) halting in some way lead to a place to begin?


Update/Addition:  On 8/12/2014 Forrest answered a question about ‘where warm waters halt in ‘Featured Questions: Warm Waters and Geography’.  He said, “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”



Please know the above are only ideas. I am sure there are many more ways to look at ‘where warm waters halt’ and the above examples should get your mind ‘warmed’ up.   I will continue to add to them.  Feel free to add your own ideas, if wanted, in the comments below.  The poem is vague and so can lead to many different places, all over the Rocky Mountains.  Forrest has said it is difficult to find, but not impossible, so….

Best of luck to you all!

(photo credit:  wikimedia: Brocken Inaglory)


 March 6, 2013  Posted by  The Thrill of the Chase  Add comments

  24 Responses to “Forrest Fenn’s Where Warm Waters Halt”

Comments (24)
  1. mamouth springs seems to be where warm waters halt if you read a little on Yellowstone Park, I would like the bracelet if you find it due to my speculations here, maybe he shoved it in the side of fort buildings like a cellar window and it blends in,but traveltine rock wood or stone area, don’t have a book just using poem, Mr. Fenn could give me a holler if I was close. Daniel

  2. Sorry Dan, Forrest has stated that He wants the bracelet back if found, and he will even pay for it. Myself, I would just give it back. :) Happy Hunting.

  3. Home of brown university Rhode Island
    So warm waters has to be in Rhode Island
    Or state below that.

  4. Home Of Molly Brown. Perhaps that will start you off.

  5. Kelly is right. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream end near Rhode Island, Home of Brown University.

    • Yea right, because Rhode Island is more that 300 miles west of Toledo! But its not Nevada:)
      If I find this treasure I will hide the bracelet and send Forrest a dear ole’ riddle for him to find..

  6. I’ve seen it mention that the treasure is in the Rockies somewhere. I have been trying to find where forrest says its in the Rockies but I can’t! Can anyone point me in the right direction

  7. Dals wondering around NM…GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!!

    Why doesn’t anyone ever consider Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge??? Its in the Rocky Mountains. Warm waters halt in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir (if anyone ever did their research, the Wyoming vs Utah Side). Oh wait…follow the canyon down not too far but too far to walk, again I believe Browns Park is about 15 miles away. NEXT!

    Now it just gets too damn easy. No place for the meek. Do you turds know what’s below Browns Park? That’s right, a little hideout for outlaws back in the day named Fort Misery, aka Davey Crocket! And who would hold up there in the winter (uhm, effort worth the cold) Joe MEEK! Why only winter. Look it up knuckleheads, its floods in the summer (water high). So, cold yes, paddle up your creek, NO! NEXT!

    Who else hungout there. I believe a guy named Cassidy and his buddy the Kid. I think in his book Forrest rambles about an air rifle he got and liked to pretend to be Cassidy. There’s a clue sprinkled in the stories for you. Also, sounds like a Forrest thing to do, admire the type that thru up a middle finger to the law. NEXT!

    Just kidding, I’ve literally guided you to with 50 ft of his treasure….good luck and if you find it it means Forrest Fenn’s Poem took me approximately 4 hrs to decipher, NEXT:)

  8. Why not New Mexico, the rocky mts. Start there and I read forrest was into history… Has anyone heard of Henry brown? He was an outlaw and lawman and associated with billy the kid? History started in Texas! Very interesting but my money is on Northern New Mexico. If not found by next year, my kids and I are going to travel there, as soon as I can save some money! Start at the bottom, work your way up the Rockies!

  9. Why does halt not ryhme with walk?

  10. Jenny, regarding Brown Park___I’m with you! Brown Park was named for the fur trapper Baptiste Brown also known as Jean-Baptiste Chalifoux (a French Candian Trapper from Taos, New Mexico). He homesteaded down river from Brown Park (his namesake) at the confluence of Vermillion Creek and the Green River that gets it flow upstream from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. I have called the local ranger stations to locate historical markers (blaze) in the area but to no avail. Missing in that location is Heavy Loads, but maybe you could find something I’m not seeing. I flew to Colorado from N. Cal to Steamboat Springs looking at another location. $2,000 later… I will keep to Google Earth untill new expected dollars come in. Good luck to you all.

  11. Warm water halt? Evaporation? Halts at the clouds?

  12. Every clue will be revealed exact at 1st June 2015. If Interested to know the facts with proofs than search FB for 1st June 2015 Forrest-Fenns-Treasure-Hunt….. it will solve the mystery & one person to find the treasure exact at that date.

  13. Home of the brown seems to likey mean home of the brown trout. Meaning its in a river or creek. Which also makes sense based on the other clues in the poem. Rocky mountain national park has tons of brown trout and lots of valleys and trails that are too far to walk to their destination… at least in a day or two Haha.

  14. I have also concluded Browns Park Colorado, but if WWWH is not Flaming Gorge, then what other starting points fit?


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