Fenn’s Poem

Understanding Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Poem

Fenn claims, that if correctly interpreted, his poem will lead directly to the treasure. There are six stanzas in the poem, each of four lines. There are also nine complete sentences in the poem. Fenn tells us there are nine clues in the poem, that the first is “Begin it where warm waters halt,” and that it is also the most important clue. There are 166 words in the poem, and it uses every letter of the alphabet except “x.” Apparently, he saved it to mark the proverbial spot.


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 failed recon by clicking here: Rio Chama Recon.


Fenn has often said that all you need is the poem and his first memoir. We think all you need is the poem. Here is the poem, as written in “The Thrill of the Chase.” The highlighted lines are those we believe contain the nine clues.

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.


The poem contains 9 sentences. When divided by sentence structure, it looks like this:

  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 answer 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.

In this video, we discuss what Fenn has said about the poem.


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One thought on “Fenn’s Poem

  1. Enjoy reading you blog Toby. The podcast is a great idea. Hope it works out well. Will be back here now and again. Keep it going.

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