What is the importance of adventure? Of getting out into nature to not only survive but also enjoy all it has to offer? These are the very things that spurred Forrest Fenn, an avid history enthusiast, mountain man buff, and thrill seeker to encourage many to go into nature to literally find the "wealth" it had to offer.
Forrest Fenn has been a collector of ancient treasures for a good part of his life. His love of history and appreciation for the wonders of getting out in nature compelled him to hide a significant part of his collection, reportedly worth millions of dollars, somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
A real modern day treasure hunt. For some the thought alone is heart racing. Coupled with the draw to be out in nature, enjoying sights many may have never seen before...all with the prospect of perhaps, PERHAPS becoming a millionaire. The world went wild.
For a few years now many adventurers have been seeking this thrill, this adventure, this chest, this treasure. Some quitting their jobs, taking weeks, months off to conquer this quest. Forrest cleverly wrote two auto-biographies that are filled with stories of his childhood and life, these stories along with an encrypted poem, filled with riddles and clues, give the reader more information that may just point them in the right direction of the treasure.
The poem is as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You may be wondering...has it been found?
NO it has not.
Forrest releases different clues every so often spurring the public to not lose hope, keep looking, someone, someday shall be the victor. To follow the thrill of the hunt, view updates from searchers and recent clues visit this site.
The story behind the treasure hunt is an interesting one for those who can relate to Forrest's love of the land and maybe even the frustration of modern day living that keeps people from truly immersing themselves in this land. Because of this we felt we needed to get in touch with him, this was of course the same thing many of the mountain men felt once they made the mountains their lives.
We e-mailed Fenn and he promptly (to our delight and surprise!!) not only e-mailed us back but agreed to do a little write up for us AND sent us his two books, free of charge for our Museum's library.
Below is a write-up Forrest graciously did for the website:
"We are a sedentary society today. Our younger population spends too much time playing with the gadgets that modern technologies offer. I could write a book about the natural history that is to be found just by rolling over a rotten log. I was born a hundred years too late and if I could, I would to rewind the calendar to a time when there were no man-made trails in the Rocky Mountains. So many times I have found myself in a remote place in the mountains and know that I was the first human to stand in that exact spot. That is so exhilarating to me.” - Forrest Fenn
Me and the Mountains
When I was a kid my family spent the summer months each year in West Yellowstone. The five of us were crammed into a one room cabin that had no running water or go-away plumbing. I loved roughing it and maybe that’s why I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and Jeremiah Johnson.
I especially felt a relationship to him, and we almost could’ve been friends. After all, he died only thirty years before I was born.
In my dreams, as the two of us rode through the meadows and chamisa brakes, my Dadley Russell stood alert in its sheath at my side and my Hawken rifle was always held at the ready.
The mountain laurel and columbines painted the landscape bright colors of yellow and blue, and ponderosas and lodgepole pine mixed dark green into the flavor. Momma grizzlies and their cubs stepped aside and let us pass as we moved to better beaver and muskrat water. The peaceful Indians warmly shared their teepee firesides and elk steaks with us, and we smoked Kinnikinnick with the Blackfeet. It was faraway to the limits of my imagination.
Later, as a young teen, I learned why Jeremiah’s name was colloquially changed to Liver-Eating Johnson and that the flowers had a short blooming season. As I studied the fur trappers some of my dreams were broadened into reality, and I suspected that momma griz and her cubs didn’t do much stepping aside. I still have strong feelings for Jeremiah, Bill Williams, James Beckworth, and the others. Maybe I was born a hundred years too late.
I wish all young people could experience the pull of the mountains. That’s why I hid an antique bronze chest full of gold nuggets, gold coins, and precious gems. It’s in the Rockies somewhere north of Santa Fe and south of Canada. Here’s a clue: it’s hidden less than 680 miles of the Mountain Man Museum.
So There you have it, The Museum of the Mountain Man can be a starting place in your treasure hunt for the famous Forrest Fenn Treasure. So come to Pinedale, Wyoming...bring your poem...get out into those mountains...you may just find it. Or at least another clue.
Speaking of which...was Forrest here at the Museum?!!?!? We keep some chalk out on the patio for visitors to write where they are from...we stumbled upon this mid-day. Was this really him? Or an avid searcher/fan?? Oh Forrest you are so mysterious :)