Forrest Fenn Treasure Found— Poem That Sparked Decade-Long Hunt Revealed Chest Location in Nine Clues

A treasure chest hidden by author and artifacts dealer Forrest Fenn has been found following a decade-long treasure hunt.

Santa Fe-based Fenn hid the chest, worth at least $1 million, in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, 10 years ago.

In his 2010 book, Thrill of the Chase, Fenn, now 89, published a poem that included nine clues on where to find the treasure. The cryptic poem revealed a starting point and consecutive directions that would lead whoever could figure it out to a chest full of gold and jewels.

The second stanza of the poem is: "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," which revealed where the treasure hunters should begin their search.

Fenn said that the 12th-century bronze chest weighs 20 pounds and its contents, which include gold coins, gold nuggets, and other valuables, weigh another 22 pounds.

Thousands of people have been searching for the treasure for years, sharing theories and hints about what the clues could mean on social media and in online forums. Fenn has said that some people solved a few of the clues and had been within 200 feet of the treasure.

Gold Coins Treasure
A hoard of Roman coins from AD 160 on display at the British Museum in London, England. Forrest Fenn's treasure chest is said to contain gold and artifacts worth more than $1 million. Robert Alexander/Getty

At least four people are believed to have died in their search for the treasure, according to multiple news sources.

But now the hunt is over, as an anonymous man from "back East," Fenn said, revealed that he had found the chest by sending a photograph of it to the author.

Writing on the Thrill of the Chase blog, Fenn said: "The treasure has been found. It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains, and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago. I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.

"I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope they will continue to be drawn by the promise of other discoveries. So the search is over. Look for more information and photos in the coming days."

Treasure hunters who have dedicated years to the search have said that they are sad that the chest has been found because it means that the chase is over. Part of the reason Fenn wanted to bury the treasure and why he named his book The Thrill of the Chase was because the hunt was as important as the treasure itself, he said.

In 2016, the author explained: "The hope of finding the treasure is one thing, of course, but there's a sense of adventure when you get out in the mountains and in the sunshine and the fresh air. One of my motives was to get the kids off the couch and away from the game machine."

Fenn clearly achieved his goal, as treasure hunter Ruben Sanchez told FOX31: "I couldn't believe that it was over. I know I definitely shed a tear over it. It was emotional, especially when you're so involved with it. I thought this day would come but I thought I'd be the one finding the treasure.

"There's no way, no way without this chase that I would have ever done the stuff I have done. You can't take away those adventures and experiences that we had."