Top 10 Interesting Facts on Forrest Fenn’s The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt and Poem

treasure hunt the thrill of the chase by forrest fenn

The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt book

The treasure hunt for Forrest Fenn’s chest of gold and other incredible artifacts, hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, continues on.  The search for this treasure began with the release of Forrest Fenn’s memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, in the fall of 2010.  The book contained a poem which will lead a person to Forrest’s special spot and hidden treasure.

If you can find this secreted location, you can keep the million dollar prize.

As with any goal, it is wise to be full aware of the path being traveled, and check yourself from time to time to see if you’ve strayed off track from important details.  Spring is around the corner, and it won’t be long before searchers head out into the unknown places.

It’s good to ask, ‘Does the place you are planning to search contradict the following facts known about the treasure?’  If so, you might want to think again about your solution.

Below are 10 facts about Forrest Fenn’s Poem and Treasure:

thrill of the chase treasure hunt map

Poem and Treasure Map

1) The treasure is located 5000 feet above sea level and below 10,200 feet.

2) The chest is hidden in the Rocky Mountains, at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe, and in either New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana.   It is not in Canada or in any of the other states.

3) From Forrest answering the following questions, the treasure is not in a dangerous location or where one must walk miles to reach.  Forrest, who was  80 years old, was able to hide the treasure in one afternoon, and he walked from his parked Sedan, with the heavy treasure, to the special spot, twice, to do so.

Question posted 6/9/2014:

Forrest, You said in the past that the chest is not in a dangerous place; yet searchers are searching along Cliffside’s, raging water, and other seemingly dangerous places. Could you please elaborate or qualify your statement in which you said” The chest is not in a dangerous place” Thanks Edward

Edward, thanks for the question.
The treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place in the normal definition of the word, realizing that there probably is no place on this planet that is safe under all conditions. Bloggers have quoted me as saying that a child could walk up to the treasure. I don’t think that’s an accurate quote because a three year old girl would have a problem without some help. Remember, I was about 80 when I hid the chest, and had to make two trips.f


Dear Forrest, may I ask what type of car you used to go into the mountains to hide the Treasure Chest. ~ Bill

Yes Bill, it was a sedan. f


Mr. Fenn,
When you made the two trips from your car to hide the chest and the gold, did you carry it openly in your hands or in some type of bag or backpack? x

I did both. It was a special time of fulfillment for me and I can still sense now, the elation I felt then. It’s the only time I recall laughing out loud at myself. Hiding that treasure chest full of gold and jewels was fundamental to how I feel about living life to its stretched best, and it emphasizes my aversion to seeing anyone be a spectator to today’s opportunities.f


4) The treasure is not hidden in a mine, a graveyard, or hidden in a place associated with any structures (like an outhouse).

thrill of the chase treasure chest

The Hidden Treasure Chest

5) Only the nine clues, in consecutive order, in the Poem, when understood and followed, leads a person precisely to the chest.  The chest is a 10x10x5 antique bronze Romanesque lock box, and weighs about 42 lbs.  The treasure consists of gold, valuable gems, ancient artifacts, and at least one surprise.

“….there is one thing in the chest that I have not talked about except to say I don’t want to talk about it. It is something saved especially for the person who solves the clues. I think that person will be pleased when she sees it. f”


6) From the following question and answer posted on Dal’s site (here) and additional statement added below (here), the location of the hidden treasure can be solved, and found, without extravagant, complex methods:

Question: Can hunters really get to the treasure location with just a good map, the poem, and a decent knowledge of words?

Forrest’s Answer: I wrote the book for everyone who feels a sense of wanderlust. In your last question if you change the last word to geography, my answer would be yes.

And added statement offered by Forrest in April 2014:

“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.” f


7) From Forrest answering the following question, the location has to be in a place of some sort of isolation. At least quiet enough for a person to believe he could die/turn to dust there, and not be disturbed or immediately found.

Question posted 6/14/2014:

“Are you willing to say whether the place of the treasure chest is the same as the one where you had previously plotted to have your bones rest forever?”~anonymous

Dear Anon,
I feel somewhat disadvantaged since you chose to not identify yourself but I will answer your question anyway.
Yes it is. f

Question posted 7/7/2014:

(Although the question was previously asked if the treasure location remained the same as the one Forrest had plotted to have his bones rest beside (and the answer was YES), this searcher wanted to know if it was the EXACT same spot. Forrest shares a bit more on these thoughts)

Is the chest hidden in the (exact) same spot that you would like your bones to be found, or is it a short distance away for reasons beyond your control? ~ Phil

The spot is the same, but in less than two months I’ll be 84 and that means many of the things to which I once aspired are no longer available to me. I still anticipate, but I may be unable to grasp such a transient pleasure before my trail shows signs of growing too weary for the journey. To make that success would be the boldest move I ever made and to that end I just want it all the more.f


the thrill of the chase8) The treasure is to be found by ONLY following the clues, and won’t be leisurely happened upon (said in Six Questions). More support for this fact is Forrest has also said the first two clues have even been realized, but searchers who mentioned them walked right by the treasure; AND he has said that searchers have been within 200 feet of the treasure without knowing so.


Dear Forrest,
Now that the 2014 search season has ended, can you summarize the results? Ie: is anyone close to the treasure chest? Has anyone given you a solve? Thanks, puttputt.

I know of a few searchers who have been reasonably close to the treasure puttputt, but there is no indication that they knew it. No one has given me the correct solve past the first two clues.f

From post on Dal’s Site:

– Last month, you indicated that still nobody has correctly solved beyond the first two clues. Is this correct? Still nobody has solved beyond the first two clues?

FF: Very few people tell me exactly where they are searching so there is no way for me to know. Some searchers have been within 200 feet.

Question posted 7/1/2014:

Mr. Fenn: In the past when you have said that several people had figured out the first two clues and then went right past the other clues, would you say that they got lucky and just happened to go to the correct starting area, not fully understanding the poem, or would you say that they did indeed solve the first two clues by understanding the poem and clues? C

Searchers have routinely revealed where they think the treasure was hidden and walked me through the process that took them on that course. That’s how I know a few have identified the first two clues. Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem. Playing a hunch is not worth much in the search and those who start out by looking for the blaze, are wasting their time.f


9)Searchers must begin with the first clue, and follow along the poem from there.

10) There isn’t a human trail in ‘close proximity’ of the treasure chest

Question posted 6/28/2014:

Your words and actions say you are a friend and lover of the environment “more than most.” Do you follow Leave No Trace and did you while hiding the chest? ie stay on established trails. ~Buddy

Buddy, I think you’re trying to get me in trouble but that’s where I am most of the time anyway, so I’ll answer your questions.

You may as well ask me if I love the air. I don’t know but, I certainly am an appreciator of nature. “Leave no trace” is a rhetorical statement not intended to be taken literally. For instance it is not feasible for you to not leave a footprint somewhere or a dry fly snagged high on a tree limb, left by your back cast. But I agree with the philosophy of the phrase. I dislike seeing beer cans scattered around when I am fantasizing that I am the only person who has ever been in that spot.

Generally speaking, there are places where one should stay on established trails; Yellowstone is one. However, it reminds me of the worn-out axiom, “If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.” When I am in the mountains or in the desert, the last place I want to be is on a trail. Ain’t no adventure in that for me. There isn’t a human trail in very close proximaty to where I hid the treasure.f


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


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37 Responses

  1. JDA says:

    Thanks Jenny and Forrest for the reminders. It is always a good idea to take a “Refresher Course” in FENN-ology every now and again. JDA

  2. jl says:

    There’s that dirty word again “proximaty”, this just shivers of alarm bells down my spine. I wish he would spend a little time on clearing up his poor spelling!

  3. Homely Girl says:

    Refresher course. Exactly.
    Thanks again, f & j

  4. Ron Ricker says:

    Refresher course?
    Most of that information is three years old. Though some facts would remain the same, it would be refreshing to hear the updated answers to some of those questions.

  5. Passenger says:

    “Are you willing to say whether the place of the treasure chest is the same as the one where you had previously plotted to have your bones rest forever?”~anonymous

    Hmmm… This “anonymous” question appears to be written by Forrest himself.


  6. HeadedDown says:

    Thanks Jenny for posting this! Those are great facts. My number 1 interesting fact is that Mr. Fenn did this whole thing by himself. Pretty impressive. He must really have an unyielding dedication to something or someone.

    Should we fear that which goes bump in the night? Lol. 🙂

  7. pdenver says:

    Thank you, Jenny. I’ve enjoyed rereading these questions, and responses.

  8. Muset says:

    Great post Jenny.

    I am a bit skeptical about the wording of #5 and the assertion that only the nine clues in the poem lead to the chest. In the book, Forrest wrote “.. So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure: … ”

    The nine clues lead to the end of Forrest’s rainbow… and the treasure… but possibly after the end of the rainbow is found… meaning there might be another clue to solve at the end of the rainbow.

    Maybe my logic is flawed.. but I wouldn’t totally discount a 10th clue somewhere. Or maybe we can find other source material to positively confirm there are only nine clues in the poem to solve before finding the treasure.. I will keep it in mind if I find something.

  9. pdenver says:

    Enjoyed your “Featured Photo,” Jackson H..

  10. tighterfocus says:

    The clues, if followed precisely, can lead a person to an area to be carefully searched. The area is much
    larger than the TC. More specifically, about a half-acre area (say, 75 feet x 150 feet, approximately).
    It could take a person about 2 hours to effectively search, but it’s not very difficult.

    The hike to and from this area is a bit challenging and time-consuming, but not especially dangerous (statistically). It is in a place where a bear has been less than a year ago — I saw tracks and scat, but
    the place isn’t generally considered a high-danger area for hikers, regarding bears. Don’t ask me how
    I know . . . but I did my due-diligence research about this. I don’t advise anyone to hike alone.

  11. JDA says:

    Whem I first read the post, I kinda gave it no mind…Just a rehash of the same old stuff. And then I read, and re-read the post. Not only did this list include places to look, and a few that touched on how to look for the treasure, but a couple that indicated where NOT to look, and that can be as important as WHERE to look.

    For some reason, out of the ten, I find myself gravitating to #4, #8, and #10.

    I can not tell you why, but these stick out in my mind. I hope that I now understand what they all mean.

    Thanks again Jenny and Dall for this refresher course in FENN-ology. JDA

    • jl says:

      #10 JD, check into doing more research on that one, paying close attention to the spelling. Things have a way of changing around here.

      • JDA says:

        Yes, I noticed the changes in spelling. I also noted line one says “close proximity” and the last line says “Very close provimaty” Seems to me the last one is the way it was originally quoted. JDA

  12. Inohury says:

    More beautiful Wriglet’s from gucci and Walmart. Thanks Jenny and forrest!

  13. Ramona says:

    Thanks for this Jenny & Forrest 🙂

  14. BW says:

    Jenny, you have devoted so much time and effort into this post. To simply say thank you makes me feel like a cheater….not giving enough for what I receive……but all good deeds eventually are justly rewarded.

    Perfect post for Read across America day. Thank you!

  15. VGBOSS says:

    My thoughts on this:
    (Go to 6:46 mark in video)

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