Fenn's O/B Treasure

Fenns OB Treasure


Remember Forrest Fenn's famous treasure? Two million bucks in gold nuggets and old coins, hidden somewhere in the Rockies, with a cryptic poem as a treasure map. It was finally discovered in June of 2020, and Fenn died not long after. In his honor, we've assembled our own treasure chest, loaded with outdoor gear and apparel, and our own "map in verse." So read the poem, solve the riddle, and score the loot. Good luck!

Southwest Montana’s outdoors abound,
With many treasures to be found.
Mountains, landscapes, sights to see—
Places we all long to be.
At one of these, we’ve placed a treasure.
For a dozen or so years we’ve had the pleasure.
Point your car away from town,
Not far away, you’ll find this crown.
There is no “X” to mark the spot,
But it is a fine distance to trot.
Recreationists here are found year-round,
Likely with their off-leash hounds.
A sparkling creek flows cold and clear,
To cool the skin and rinse one’s gear.
Bike, climb, run, or stroll—
Never fear, there is no troll.
Found the chest and need the key?
Think twice before dialing O/B.

The treasure has been found. Where you ask? Chestnut Mountain, of course! Here are the clues, explained.

"For a dozen or so years we've had the pleasure": Chestnut Mountain Trail was completed in 2011, therefore designated as a public trail 13 years ago. Not to be confused with GVLT's conservation easement in 2001 (the public did not have access yet). 

"Point your car away from town": The Chestnut Mountain Trailhead is a 10-12 minute drive from downtown Bozeman.

"There is no 'X' to mark the spot, but it is a fine distance to trot": Chestnut Mountain is about 10 (Roman numeral: X) miles round-trip.

"Recreationists here are found year-round": Chestnut is popular for biking, hiking, and trail-running in the summer; it is also an area used for hunting in the fall, and cross-country skiing in the winter. 

"Likely with their off-leash hounds": Off-leash dogs can be found everywhere in Bozeman. However, at Chestnut, there are no signs requiring leashes. 

"A sparkling creek flows cold and clear": Rocky Creek flows below the bridge at the start of the trailhead. 

"Bike, climb, run, or stroll": Frog Rock climbing is accessed via the Chestnut Mountain Trail. Biking is allowed. 

"Never fear, there is no troll.": Fenn's treasure was hidden underneath the bridge near the trailhead. 

"Think twice before dialing O/B.": There was a lock keeping the treasure chest closed. The 4-digit code to unlock it was the last four digits of the O/B office phone number. 

Good work, folks! Stay tuned for our next contest.

Video by
Jamie Rankin