Big Thunder Gold Mine
Big Thunder Gold Mine
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Big Thunder Gold Mine has an original tour which lasts 45-55 minutes and was founded in 1892. You see the largest display of mining equipment in the Black Hills and learn the history of the gold rush in 1876. We have two forms of panning: one is our commercial panning right on site. Guides will demonstrate theskill of panning, no time limit and we guarentee you will find gold. We also have claim panning where you will pan directly our of the creek 4 miles down the road on Forest Service property. Those exist in 4 hour trips.
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4.5
1,253 reviews
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305
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131
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36

Route101
Lehi, UT39 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
Keystone was still pretty much a ghost town (most places closed for winter still or only open on the weekend). Big Thunder Gold Mine was open 9-5 and we were able to make a reservation the day before. It was snowing a little that morning and really cold/windy the day of the tour. Their regular guide wasn’t able to make it in due to the storm so Bryan the Grounds/Facility manager was doing the tours and he was fantastic. He was entertaining and very engaging with our entire family, especially our kids (17, 15, 10 and 8). He did a great job explaining the history of the mine itself and the Keystone area in general. He was very knowledgeable and you could tell he had spent a lot of time learning about the history of the property he cares for and maintains. The artifacts in the mine are museum were amazing. We paid a little extra to let the kids pan for gold in some troughs on the front porch of the Gift Shop and each of them got to come home with their own little vial with flakes they had extracted/panned themselves. This was right up there as a favorite part of the trip along with seeing Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse! We would highly recommend the experience to anyone looking for some hands on fun!
Written April 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abby A
15 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
We took the Gold Mine tour; panned for gold; and gem stones. Dan, our tour guide was funny, knowledgeable, and patient. Our family ended up panning for gold & gem stones before our tour and spent 30 minutes doing that; our tour lasted just about an hour 15 min ending with Dan giving a demonstration on how to best pan for gold. We ended up not staying for that as we had already done it. We arrived first thing in the morning and were able to do both things without lots of people being there. The gift/ticket shop is small and full of souvenirs. It has a lot for little kids to get into to or knock over by accident. Instead of having one register work on ticket sales and the other work on gifts, we had to ask the cashier if she could check us out instead of her asking to help us. Very minor but when you have a full store of guests waiting for tickets and souvenirs, they needed to read their crowd.
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

O A
1 contribution
May 2022 • Family
We wanted to have a unique birthday celebration for our son and the Big Thunder exceeded all expectations. We did a tour and panning in the morning then Big Thunder team surprised us with a cake with candles and then we did a half a day claim experience. All team members are awesome! Trevor, during morning tour, told us many interesting stories about the history of the mine and Trent, during afternoon claim experience, was amazingly knowledgeable about gold panning and helpful with the whole process and we were pleasantly surprised that he even panned gold for us at the end.They don’t kid when they say you keep everything you get. Furthermore, their shop has a great selection of various gifts and souvenirs for any age.
The Big Thunder mine is a must visit place when visiting Keystone.
Written May 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

intrepidtravelor14
United States41 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
This was the worst tour I've ever paid for. Our guide Ann Marie I believe her name was, made it very clear she knew nothing about the mine, and really we were interrupting her snap chatting or whatever else she wanted to be doing instead and could this all be over puuhlease.

She began the tour with having everyone put on hard helmets, except for herself and I kid you not she wore a rhinstone tiara. The most bizarre thing I've seen in awhile. When asked why she didnt need a hard hat like the rest of us she mumbled something about not needing it.

She rushed through the tour mumbling and speaking incredibly fast. When asked reasonable questions like how deep the mine was, how old the people started it were-heck even their names, she didn't know or clearly guessed. It was awful. I left with little knowledge, she didn't cover 1906 on, luckily their website did so I learned there.

Gold panning was fun, although again no thanks to her, she gave a less than 1 minute demonstration. Another guide took pity on a family from our tour and we eavesdropped some tips.

Bottom line, check out your tour guide. There appears to be some good ones, but definitely not ours!! Or just read the website and pay to gold pan, which is what I wish we had done.
Written August 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie K
Marquette, MI154 contributions
Jun 2021
Big Thunder Gold Mine is really easy to find! We only did the gold panning, as this was an event we decided to do right before we left home. We booked our tickets online, and were not able to book for a mine tour online, but they were being offered when we got there.
The room to register for all of the events is very small and crowded. We waited for a while in line while the women talked up front instead of helping the next people in line. This was a little annoying as it was small and cramped and hot.
The actual gold panning is done at these big tubs of water. You go through a little session (probably 5 minutes) on how to actually do the panning. You pay per pan and you can do the process to get the gold as many times as you;d like. When I originally booked it, I thought we were only going to be able to do it once, with just one pan full, but this was not the case. Overall it was a fun, quick experience if you're stretched for time.
Written July 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Megan
Malinta, OH84 contributions
Jun 2020
We were looking to fill some time and decided on the mine tour. It was $12 per adult and the tour was only about 40 minutes. If you get cold, I'd bring a sweatshirt or jacket, as it is chilly down there. Make sure to wear close toed shoes as well, as the ground is uneven and is muddy/dirty. Panning for gold is extra money in addition to the tour. It's definitely commercialized, but still was a fun experience for my husband and I.

We learned a lot of new things, but I don't feel the workers were very professional. Our tour guide was in the gift shop before our tour goofing off with the other workers, on their phones, etc. Due to COVID there were no seats or anything to sit in outside so we just wandered the very small gift shop for the 30 minutes before our tour started and I wasn't impressed with the professionalism shown.

In regards to COVID- the workers did have masks on, but our guide kept playing with his. The helmets provided are sanitized after every guest and you can smell the cleaner used (smelled like cinnamon!) so it made me feel better knowing they were clean. The mining areas have bleach in the water to sanitize, so wear old clothes and bring gloves if you plan to pan for gold in the public troughs.
Written July 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hbazyk
Aberdeen, MD1 contribution
Jul 2021 • Family
We booked the half day claim panning for 3 adults and 2 kids (6 & 3). Trent was our guide and was awesome, very friendly and informative and answered all of our questions. Our only complaint is that we assumed each paying person would receive a shovel, but we’re only given 2 shovels. At $50 per person, we assumed that we wouldn’t all be sharing. Had I known this ahead of time, I would have booked our tickets separately so that we each could have had a shovel (minus the 3 year old). But over all, a great experience and lots of fun!
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

766gold
1 contribution
Jul 2021 • Family
I regret providing this company with my email address. They have been sending me emails every day since my visit, begging for a review. And when trying to unsubscribe from the email there's a message stating that the web page is missing. There's no reason either to book this online. I thought I'd save time by booking this online but when I got there I still had to stand in line behind people who were buying same day. I asked staff about it and got blank stares. Gold panning was huge disappointment, found maybe 1 speck. Not worth the time and money. Best way to describe the place is that's it's being run by people who have no stake and interest in seeing the company do well because the owners are far away and not involved.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AprilH12376
1 contribution
Jun 2021 • Family
Our 11 and 7 year old had lots of fun. Bring a long sleeved shirt, it's chilly in there (54 degrees) and the tour lasts about 45 min. I would give it 5 stars but the day we went they had no clue how many people they were putting in tour groups. Our group was so big we could never see what the guide was talking about. We also pre-registered online and when we got there the ladies up front were pretty confused almost as though we were the first to have done this. Little hiccups but I would still definitely recommend.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Olga K
2 contributions
Jun 2022 • Family
We had a fantastic time! Our guide Trenton was very knowledgeable about the geology and history of the area and he was very informative. He explained each step of the process very carefully to make sure that everyone understood. We recommend panning for gold with Trenton to anyone visiting keystone
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Big Thunder Gold Mine (Keystone) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Big Thunder Gold Mine is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM



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