Hidden deep within the wilderness of the Colorado Rockies lays perhaps the most important treasure in American history. For hundreds of years it’s been rumored that various groups of French soldiers, explorers, and miners, buried vast amounts of gold treasure in some of most extreme areas of the San Juan and Rio Grande wilderness. They were continually fighting off Indians, enduring diseases, malnutrition, and the elements. But this did not stop them. The goal was to eventually take the enormous treasure back to France!
Researchers claim this massive undertaking occurred between 1756-1803. Some groups were rumored to have as many as 350 men and 450 horses. The largest group of French were said to have left from New Orleans between 1790-1799. This group was rumored to be secretly financed by Napoleon Bonaparte himself. They mined and processed the ore in gold camps they setup for the task. These camps were spread out from Wolf Creek Pass to the headwaters of Arkansas River near current day Leadville. They possibly mined into the Gunnison valley. The gold was then buried in 3 locations for later retrieval. Perhaps the most fascinating rumor was during the mid 1700’s, a large battalion of French soldiers reportedly left Canada hauling vast amounts of gold into this area. Their destination was a presidio near Santa Fe, New Mexico!
Virtually every version of this legend ends with the demise of these groups. Stories differ, but the end brings gruesome details of slaughter, starvation, death from the elements, and even horrific cannibalism.
Estimates about the amount of gold vary. But over a 3-5 year period of time, it has been claimed they processed approximately 3 1/2 tons of gold! Others say it was 3,516 20 ounce ingots. Only research will reveal the truth. Regardless, it has never been documented that the gold has ever been found or recovered!
Different authors, historians, and treasure hunters have all speculated on the location of the elusive stash. There are numerous stories, rumors, and opinions. Many believe the legend simply could not be true. However, others speculate and search for it’s location to this very day. What is known – the details of this legend inevitably intersect at Treasure Mountain.
This website is dedicated to the research of “The Lost French Gold.” It is the record of our trials and tribulations over the past 17 years. Ultimately, we believe that this legend is real. There is enormous amounts of detail that our group has documented while searching for the locations. Our motto has always been Dare to Dream!
Below is one of our ongoing projects. We are directly comparing the most famous versions of the story in an attempt to assist in the hunt. Perhaps we can help each other? We also encourage you to join our group via the Forum that we created for this project.