Fenn’s Poem

This is the poem Fenn wrote and included in his first memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase.” He claims there are nine clues in the poem, that if followed precisely, will lead to the treasure he hid somewhere in the mountains North of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2010. In an interview with New Zealand (Public) Radio in in 2013 he said “…the first clue is ‘Begin it where warm waters halt…'” Take him at his word.

This is how the poem looks on page 132 in the book. This image was scanned from one of my copies of the book, and includes the notes that led me to my first recon of the Rio Chama in 2013. You can see the photos from that recon here.

My first notes, written directly onto the “poem page” of Fenn’s “The Thrill of the Chase.” September, 2013. You can see photos of that first recon by clicking on the “Photo Albums” page in the menu above.


The poem consists of 166 words divided into six four line stanzas. Fenn never gave the poem a name.

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.


Intriguingly, there are nine complete sentences in the poem:

  1. 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.
  2. Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.
  3. Put in below the home of Brown.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?
  7. The answers I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
  8. So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.
  9. If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold.

For a different, informative and entertaining take on the treasure Forrest Fenn hid somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe:
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