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Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone

4.1
#5 of 25 in Things to do in Keystone
Mine · Tourist Spot
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Grab your pick and a pan and head to Big Thunder Gold Mine for some old-fashioned fun underground. Take a tour of the gold mine, which operated from 1882 to 1914, and learn about the history of the mine from informed guides. Discover from guides how the miners extracted gold from the mined ore, and, as you walk through dark and narrow shafts, learn how the miners created the shafts with only candlelight to guide them. At the museum you'll discover a large collection of mining equipment, including a stamp mill and blacksmithing equipment. Finally, take a turn at panning for gold or gems in the stream on the property. All areas of the tour and site are wheelchair accessible. Plan to see Big Thunder Gold Mine and other attractions that appeal to you using our Keystone journey maker.
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Big Thunder Gold Mine reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,199 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The guide was very knowledgeable and he made the experience more enjoyable. Ive done the half day panning on a before and both times I had a great time. Came away with a couple of little pickers! 
    The guide was very knowledgeable and he made the experience more enjoyable. Ive done the half day panning on a before and both times I had a great time. Came away with a couple of little pickers!  more »
  • Very knowledgeable guide - excellent afternoon - learned the history of gold mining in the Black Hills. Guide was very friendly and made the experience worthwhile! 
    Very knowledgeable guide - excellent afternoon - learned the history of gold mining in the Black Hills. Guide was very friendly and made the experience worthwhile!  more »
Google
  • We loved this place. The tour of the mine tells you the incredible history of the mine. It will also give you perspective. There are several cool things inside the mine itself that you'll want pictures of. There is also a barn outside the station with gold processing equipment from the time period. Afterward, you'll definitely want to do the panning experience. The technique is relatively simple, and you're very likely to find some flakes of gold. Again, this helps paint a picture of what some people went through in their search for fortune.
  • The half day claim panning excursion was incredible. Expect to get wet and dirty, as you dig for your own flakes and nuggets and the guide teaches you how to run it through the hand sluice and pans. Lots of walking back and forth over rough terrain. But we came home with about 30 gold flakes in a vial, and learned a ton of information about panning, gold, and geology in general from our guide, Ross. Worthwhile if you want an authentic Black Hills prospecting experience!

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