Forrest Fenn, an author and art dealer, hid a treasure chest filled with gold, jewelry, and other valuables. He then wrote a book describing where treasure hunters can find their fortune. Whoever will find the $2 million worth of treasure can keep it for themselves. In 2020, a treasure hunter found the chest in Wyoming.
There are other treasures hidden in Wyoming; you can find them all if you know where to start. We bring you the best places to treasure hunt in Wyoming.
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Among the list is:
- Guernsey State Park
- Bear River State Park
- Curt Gowdy State Park
- Sinks Canyon State Park
- Edness K. Wilkins State Park
- Gardner River
- Bechler River
- Gibbon River
- Flaming Gorge Reservoir
- Lake Alice
- Grand Encampment
- Point Of Rocks Stage Station
- South Pass City
- Atlantic City
1. Guernsey State Park – Platte County
This state park is home to the Guernsey Reservoir, a good spot for boating and fishing. The Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites’ Bureau of Reclamation manages the state park’s facilities, such as the boat ramps and campgrounds. On the other hand, the Civilian Conservation Corps established the park’s structures in the 1930s.
Apart from fishing and camping, visitors can visit the Guernsey State Park Museum to learn the natural and cultural history of the park.
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2. Bear River State Park – Uinta County
Bear River State Park is a 324-acre public recreation land with recreational activities like picnicking and cross-country skiing. Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites established this state park in 1991. Additionally, this park is at the eastern end of the Bear River Greenway trail system. This trail system connects Bear River State Park with Downtown Evanston.
This state park is a good place for wildlife viewing and hiking. It also holds an annual Bear River Rendezvous that people can enjoy.
3. Curt Gowdy State Park – Albany and Laramie Counties
This public recreation area covers 3,395 acres of land that stretches from Albany County to Laramie County. The state park is famous for its activities, including fishing and hiking on its long trail system. If you want to stay in the state park for the night, you can rent a room in Hynds Lodge, a part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Since this park has extensive trails, visitors have a massive area for biking, horseback riding, and hiking. There is also a water area for boating, fishing, and canoeing.
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4. Sinks Canyon State Park – Fremont County
This state park lies in the Wind River Mountains, the south of Lander, Wyoming. Sinks Canyon State Park got its name from “the Sinks,” a limestone cavern part of the Popo Agie River.
The canyon is a perfect spot for people who want to get close to nature. A wide variety of plants and trees surround the park. Considering the amount of plant life in the area, it is essential to be careful when treasure hunting. You have to ensure that you will not destroy any plant.
5. Edness K. Wilkins State Park – Natrona County
The location of Edness K. Wilkins State Park is a former rock quarry that Wyoming purchased in 1981. The park’s name came from Edness Kimball Wilkins, a resident who served in the state’s legislature for 25 years. With an area measuring 362 acres, the state park is a good spot for boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
Additionally, the Audubon Society declared this state park a critical bird area as many common birds stay there during spring and fall migration.
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6. Gardner River – Park County
The Gardner River is Yellowstone River’s tributary. It stretches for approximately 25 miles, with one end in northwestern Wyoming and the other in south-central Montana. You can find this river at the Yellow Stone National Park.
This river got its name after an early 19th-century explorer who lived in the wilds – Johnson Gardner. Anglers can fish for as many rainbow and brown trout as they want as the entire river falls under the Native Trout Conservation area. However, they cannot take any Yellowstone cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish.
7. Bechler River – Teton County
This river sits entirely within the Yellowstone National Park. The Bechler River is a major body of water that meets with the Fall River, which is also in the said national park. Frank Bradley, an 1872 Hayden Geological Survey member, gave this river its name. Bradley named the river after Gustavus R. Bechler, the survey’s chief surveyor and mapmaker. According to Bradley and another survey member named Henry Gannett, Bechler discovered the river.
8. Gibbon River – Yellowstone National Park
This river is the major tributary of the Madison River, flowing east of Yellowstone National Park’s Continental Divide.
The Gibbon River is a famous spot for trout fishing. However, the fishes found on the river, such as rainbow trout, brook trout, and grayling, are pretty small. But the fish’s size should not be a problem as you can take as many trout as possible.
Accessing the upper part of the river can also be a real challenge as thick forests cover them. Gibbon River google maps link.
9. Flaming Gorge Reservoir – Sweetwater County
Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a dam constructed from 1958 to 1964. This reservoir sits 6,040 feet above sea level and stores 3,788,900 acre-feet of water. Around the pool is a steep and narrow canyon consisting of quartzites, sandstones, shales, argillites, and siltstones.
If you plan to visit Flaming Gorge Reservoir, the activities you can enjoy are boating, windsurfing, and fishing. Ground activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, and snowmobiling.
10. Lake Alice – Lincoln County
It is the largest natural lake you can find in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Lake Alice emerged when a massive landslide occurred at the Lake Mountain, damming Poker Creek with its debris. The landslide created and isolated Lake Alice from other bodies of water. As a result, it is the only place where you can find the pure lake strain of Bonneville cutthroat trout; a once thought extinct.
Moreover, Lake Alice is a good place for primitive camping.
11. Grand Encampment – Carbon County
According to the 2010 census, the Grand Encampment in Carbon County has a population of 450. Back then, this town was famous for its copper abundance, which prompted people to turn it into a copper mining and smelting site. It was also the longest steam-powered tramway in the world during its time of prosperity.
However, a drop in copper prices caused the mining company to close. The mining operations in the area stopped in the early 20th century. Today, Grand Encampment is a small community where hunters can dig for treasures.
12. Point Of Rocks Stage Station – Stretches throughout Kansas, Colorado, And Wyoming
The Point of Rocks Stage Station is the only fully-intact trail on the Overland Trail. It lies on the south of the Point of Rock’s Interstate 80. Visiting this trail station can explore buildings and fenced gravesites established in the 19th century.
Moreover, the Point of Rocks Stage Station lies next to Bitter Creek, a valley surrounded by cliffs.
13. South Pass City – Fremont County
South Pass City is an unincorporated community listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the gold mines in the area seized their operation, this community turned into a ghost town. But today, some people have started inhabiting South Pass City again.
During the 1850s, this community rapidly became a telegraph and stage station on the Oregon Trail. In 1866, people discovered gold within the area, prompting gold prospecting to happen after a year of the discovery. As a result, the population of South Pass City increased to 2,000. However, the miners’ expected amount of gold failed to materialize, so the community’s population decreased as time passed.
14. Kirwin – Park County
Kirwin is another unincorporated community. In Park County, Kirwin was once a mining site with 200 residents and 38 buildings in the 1890s. Many people who once lived in this community migrated here when the gold and silver mine in the area prospered.
In 1907, Kirwin’s mining industry began to deteriorate. The reason is that a massive snowstorm resulted in an avalanche, taking the lives of three individuals. Kirwin became a part of the Double Dee Guest Ranch in the 1930s. Amelia Earhart had a cabin constructed in the area before he disappeared in 1937.
15. Atlantic City – Fremont County
This city in Fremont County had a population of 37 people in 2010. It is a census-designated place and a small mining settlement near South Pass, Wyoming.
Atlantic City was established as a mining camp after people discovered massive gold in the area in 1867. However, the end of the gold rush caused the town’s livelihood and population to decline in the 1870s. Despite the decline, the city continued to exist, thanks to the technology people used for gold extraction.
Today, Atlantic City is a rustic town with a small population. There are still establishments like stores and restaurants. So, it would be best if you were respectful and careful when metal detecting so as not to disturb anyone in the area.
Treasure In Wyoming
There are quite a few lost treasures in Wyoming, but one of the most popular proven locations for treasure is the South Pass City, famous as the City of Gold. It was the site of the first gold rush in Wyoming, where gold prospectors found a vein of gold ore which they called the Coriso Load.
This discovery caused the South Pass City’s population and mining sites to increase. (source)
Metal detecting is legal in Wyoming. However, you need to follow certain restrictions and rules to prevent yourself from getting into trouble. While these rules may be a bit overwhelming at first glance, they are easy to understand.
One of the most common recreational hunting areas is state parks. While using a metal detector in the state parks of Wyoming is legal, you must obtain a written permit from the park’s management beforehand. The same rule goes for recreational areas.
Metal detecting in Wyoming rivers, ghost towns, and abandoned trails is also permitted. However, it would be best if you did not disturb or remove animal and plant matters like eggs, nests, fruits, and flowers in the area.
Moreover, treasure hunting is illegal in archeological and cultural sites. Read more HERE
There are no particular restrictions about what items you can and cannot keep when metal detecting. But the clear thing is that you cannot keep any man-made items believed to be more than 100 years old. Such items may have a historical value, so you need to report if you found such items to the authorities. (source)
- A 32-year-old medical student Jack Stuef found Forrest Fenn’s hidden stash of gold and valuables worth $2 million in Wyoming. (source)
- A treasure hunter named Rodrick Dow Craythorn was charged for allegedly digging and damaging the Fort Yellowstone Cemetery while trying to find the Fenn Treasure. (source)
- Jack Stuef, the finder of the Forrest Fenn treasure, does not want to reveal the exact location of the treasure as he does not want the place to turn into a tourist attraction. (source)
According to this story, an old prospector was seen driving his burro. A traveler noticed that the burro had several bags hanging on it and found that they contained gold dust. When he asked the prospector where he found the gold, he answered, “over there.” Years after this story happened, gold prospectors are still yet to see where the said gold mine is. (source)
Two soldiers got separated from their companions when they were strolling around. One of the soldiers found an ancient pick and spade at the base of a low ledge. They investigated what they saw and found a massive amount of quartz on the ledge. There was also gold chipping off of the ledge as if somebody went there and melted it in a frying pan.
The soldiers kept what they found a secret so they could return and harvest the fortune. However, a battle with the Indians killed one of the soldiers. The other one became sick, but he could tell the story to his companion before he died. Today, hunters are still trying to find the ledge where the treasure allegedly is. (source)
This legend revolves around looking for a rich pocket of gold ore. Three prospectors who explored Sweetwater’s headwaters returned with their saddlebags filled with gold, gold, ore, and yellow minerals. Not long after, two prospectors tried coming back to the site to harvest gold again, but the Indians caught and killed them. To this day, no one knows the exact location of the gold mine in Sweetwater County. (source)
Gold: A Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists (Wyoming and Nearby Regions) – W. Dan Hausel and Eric J. Hausel
This book serves as a guide for metal detector enthusiasts in finding the right places where they can dig gold. If you are a treasure hunter, this book will also teach you how to find gold by reading the geology and rock outcrops. (source)
More Commander’s Lost Treasures You Can Find In Wyoming: Follow the Clues and Find Your Fortunes! – Commander Pulitzer and Jovan Hutton Pulitzer
This book contains the popular treasure stories from Wyoming. If you are up for the challenge of looking for the lost fortune in this state, this book will help you find out where to start. (source)
How to Research for Treasure Hunting and Metal Detecting: From Lead Generation to Vetting – Otto von Helsing
This book teaches treasure hunters how to look for cold and other treasures. It teaches recreational hunters how to find virgin coin-hunting spots and harvest fortunes using proper research. (source)
Learning How to Use Your Metal Detector Can Be Tough, But I’ve Got You Covered with These Articles
- How does a Metal Detecting Coil Work?– What is that round thing on the end of the metal detector?
- Can you Metal Detect in the Winter – Yes but read this article to learn the tips and tricks.
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools Complete Guide – Digging is part of metal detecting get the tools to do it right.
- Wyoming PBS. City of Gold, South Pass City – Main Street, Wyoming. YouTube Video. 1:36. Posted by Wyoming PBS. June 20, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL-0irwrmhA
- State Park Links and State Park Metal Detecting Laws & Regulations. MDHTALK Metal Detecting State Law. https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=WY#:~:text=(c)%20The%20use%20of%20any,%C2%A7%20327.14%20Public%20property.
- Neil Vigdor. Man Who Found Hidden Treasure in the Rocky Mountains Is Revealed. New York Times. December 9, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/us/forrest-fenn-treasure-chest.html.
- Phil Helsel. Treasure-Seeker Charged With Damaging Yellowstone During Hunt For Forrest Fenn Prize. NBC News. October 23, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/treasure-seeker-charged-damaging-yellowstone-during-hunt-forrest-fenn-prize-n1244409.
- The Hunt For Forrest Fenn’s Treasure. CBS News. December 22, 2021. https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/forrest-fenn-treasure-hunt/.
- Federal Writers’ Project. Wyoming Folklore: Reminiscences, Folktales, Beliefs, Customs, and Folk Speech. University of Nebraska Press, 2010. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=7upleIcExbcC&pg=PA53&dq=treasure++legends+in+wyoming&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjt1eGD4Mf4AhVBglYBHenWCgsQ6AF6BAgEEAI#v=onepage&q=treasure%20%20legends%20in%20wyoming&f=false.
- Gold: A Field Guide for Prospectors and Geologists (Wyoming and Nearby Regions). Amazon. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Prospectors-Geologists-Wyoming-Regions/dp/1463692625/ref=sr_1_10?crid=2YHBJ1PKXEEXX&keywords=treasure+hunting+in+wyoming&qid=1656136126&sprefix=treasure+hunting+in+wyomi%2Caps%2C271&sr=8-10.
- More Commander’s Lost Treasures You Can Find In Wyoming: Follow the Clues and Find Your Fortunes! (Volume 2). Amazon. Accessed June 24, 2022. amazon.com/More-Commanders-Lost-Treasures-Wyoming/dp/1495950468/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2YHBJ1PKXEEXX&keywords=treasure+hunting+in+wyoming&qid=1656136126&sprefix=treasure+hunting+in+wyomi%2Caps%2C271&sr=8-2.
- How to Research for Treasure Hunting and Metal Detecting: From Lead Generation to Vetting. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Research-Treasure-Hunting-Metal-Detecting/dp/1480186775/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2C9YAAVOXWXCI&keywords=metal+detecting+books&qid=1656137335&sprefix=metal+detecting+books%2Caps%2C270&sr=8-4.