Forrest Fenn was diagnosed with cancer in 1988. He came up with the idea during this illness to secret a bronze chest full of treasure for anyone to go find. He filled the chest with "treasure" containing gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry and gemstones, along with a jar holding his autobiography. He intended to hide it and die in the wilderness, with the treasure as a legacy. However, he survived his illness and waited until he was 79 or 80 to hide the treasure.
In March 2013, he revealed that the treasure was hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe and 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea-level.
On March 27, 2013 Forrest Fenn's 11th clue was revealed. “No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.” 
On May 3, 2013, Fenn was interviewed to reveal "The treasure is not in a graveyard." This was in response to an arrest of a treasure seeker the previous month.
In September 2013, Fenn announced the publication of a new book, Too Far to Walk, containing a pullout map of the area surrounding the treasure. The book has since been published and is available for purchase.
This poem written by Forrest Fenn contains nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of his rainbow and the treasure. Happy Hunting!
Forrest says when he wrote the poem he wasn’t playing any games. The poem is straightforward. He also said it took him 15 years to write it, and changed it many times. He felt like he was an architect writing the poem and each word is deliberate.
Four years ago, Forrest Fenn, a Santa Fe bazllionaire, hid a treasure chest full of booty including priceless ancient artifacts, gold nuggets and precious jewels estimated at $3 million. The treasure is still waiting to be found, but is now rumored to be worth as much as $5 million. Because Forrest Fenn is such an incredible character (think Will Rogers stirred in with Indiana Jones), I went back to Santa Fe to see what new information he'd volunteer about the treasure.
The treasure has not yet been found. Says Fenn, "It's difficult so it won't be found right away, but it's easy enough so that it's not impossible to find it." Fenn chuckles and says, "I want sweaty bodies out there looking for my treasure -- they just have to find the clues." The clues can be found in Fenn's self-published memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, available only at Collected Works Bookstore in downtown Santa Fe ($35).