Forrest Fenn started a treasure hunt in 2010 for a chest full of gold. In June 2020, Forrest announced that the chest had been found and retrieved. Jack Stuef came forward as the finder. December 2022, the chest contents were sold at auction. Jack has still not described where the chest was found, and sadly Forrest has passed away.
Evidence of the location has been uncovered from tangential lawsuits, FOIAs, and recovered message board archives. This evidence supports the conclusion that the chest was found in Yellowstone National Park at Forrest's favorite fishing hole, Nine Mile Hole.
This page aims to provide those who heard about Forrest Fenn's hunt with peace of mind regarding the ending of the hunt. Visiting this location yourself is not a good idea. The river is wild and can be dangerous to cross, dangerous animals frequent the area, and too many visitors to any location in the woods can lead to damage. The precise location is unremarkable and difficult to recognize, and visiting it might even be against park rules.
The area's best views can be had right from the parking pullout. Forrest liked this location because of the fishing hole, not because of the place in the woods nearby. Enjoy the photos (1, 2, 3) and videos (1, 2, 3, 4) already available online instead of attempting to visit the site yourself.
The General Location
Jack SearchED NinE Mile Hole
Jack repeatedly wrote to Forrest in 2018 and 2019 about his searches of Nine Mile Hole. The emails were revealed in the McCracken trial (YouTube). Examples:
"I'm certain you hid your treasure at Nine-Mile Hole [...]"
"I wrote you a long email about my searches at Nine-Mile Hole."
"[I'm] now ready to discuss with you what I found at Nine-Mile Hole last month"
"Did you fish with any of them at Nine Mile Hole?"
"Yes, my home of brown was the actual hole at the Nine-Mile Hole."
"If someone wanted to go below the hole at Nine-Mile Hole, what would you consider the end of the hole?"
"[...] in the 22 days I have searched at Nine-Mile Hole in Yellowstone [...]"
"I know my track record at Nine-Mile Hole has been abysmal [...]"
"I wrote up some lyrics to the Nine Mile Hole Days of Christmas in case you're in a caroling mood about your special spot."
The photo of Nine Mile Hole Jack sent to Forrest in December 2019
Emails from Yellowstone NPS
Forrest and Jack revealed the treasure location via Zoom to Yellowstone Chief Ranger Sarah Davis and Deputy Ranger Chris Flesch on Aug 17, 2020.
This meeting was described by Sarah Davis in the court injunction and also shown on her FOIA'd calendar.
Two separate FOIAs were sent for NPS emails.
Emails discussing the Forrest Fenn Treasure.
Emails discussing Nine Mile Hole.
As it turns out, discussion of these two topics occurred simultaneously on two dates 16 months apart. This suggests these topics are related.
A map was made under an urgent request for an environmental impact report for increased visitation Dec 2, 2020.
On November 25, 2020, a subpoena was issued that would cause the Fenn estate to disclose Jack's identity. Shortly after, on December 1, 2020, there was a flurry of NPS emails about the treasure and an urgent environmental impact report asking how Nine Mile Hole would be impacted by increased visitation due to a risk that could not be named.
Sixteen months later, on March 30, 2022, Jack received a notice of deposition. Shortly after, in the week of April 4, 2022, there was another flurry of emails by the NPS, some discussing the treasure and some discussing Nine Mile Hole using the same diagram prepared in 2020.
On April 22, 2022, the DOI intervened to prevent Jack from speaking in the probate trial with a deposition by Sarah Davis describing how increased visitation would impact the location in similar language to the 2020 request about Nine Mile Hole. The motion was denied.
Finally, on May 13th, the treasure location coordinates were publicly posted. That same day, in a single NPS email, staff are ordered not to discuss either Nine Mile Hole or the Forrest Fenn Treasure.
Yellowstone Western District Ranger Mark Eckert sent this email on May 13, 2022 (emphasis added)
The Specific Location
Photos Of The Spot
The chest in place, just uncovered. It appears that the chest was fully underneath the dirt/debris. A log can be seen just above the chest, and a stump in the upper left-hand corner.
The chest was dug out (1, 2), then placed in a second position (3, 4). These photos are compared in detail below.
Finding the Spot
Jack discarded the stick pictured in the center of the chest,
"I took those photos at the spot [...]. I didn’t notice the twig until after I pressed the button to take the photo, then tossed it aside [...]"
Remarkably, the stick in the treasure chest photo has been found. It was indeed resting at the treasure site at Nine-Mile Hole.
Comparison of the stick found on-site and the stick in the chest photo.
The First Position
The chest was found in this position, partially under a log and covered with debris. The approximate camera angle is shown.
Jack's chest photo.
Many common features are recognizable. The blue area is where the photo was split/aligned to make comparing the two photos possible on either side of the crack.
The Second Position
The chest's second position was nearby the first. As Jack described his photo (below) on Medium, "The treasure, a couple of feet from the nook in which it had been placed." The approximate camera angle is shown.
The second chest position. Jack's photo is overlaid on a photo from Nine Mile Hole. The matching log feature is highlighted.
Second chest position. Another Jack photo overlaid on the same photo from Nine Mile Hole. The matching log feature is highlighted.
The Poem Solution
This site is not affiliated with Forrest Fenn, the Fenn Estate, the Fenn Family, or Jack Stuef. The creators of this site have no direct knowledge of facts related to this hunt. The conclusions are solely based on the evidence presented.
Unfortunately, Forrest didn't communicate with the searcher community much after the find. Many questions remain about what happened at the end of this hunt.
This page is meant to be a reasonably complete collection of tangible evidence with regard to the location where the chest was found. If you come across any new evidence or see any problems, please let us know, and we'd be happy to update: Contact Us