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Review Highlights
Super fun

We stopped here to pan for gold, did not do the tour. Our kids (10 & 8) enjoyed the experience a... read more

Reviewed November 13, 2018
Beth B
,
Wisconsin, United States
Amazing Experience Claim Digging

This was adventurous and fun. Our guide Trenton was great. He gave us lots of history and... read more

Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Reviewed October 8, 2018
rjing111
,
North Port, Florida
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  • Excellent56%
  • Very good27%
  • Average12%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible2%
Travelers talk about
“our tour guide”(122 reviews)
“hard hats”(14 reviews)
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...more
Contact
604 Blair Street, Keystone, SD
Website
+1 605-666-4847
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All reviews our tour guide rattlesnake randy hard hats fun experience great guide gift shop a lot of fun whole family black hills panning mining flaky trenton flecks jennifer sluice panned
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Reviewed November 13, 2018

We stopped here to pan for gold, did not do the tour. Our kids (10 & 8) enjoyed the experience a lot. The staff was very nice and helpful. They explained the history and were hands-on when needed. I would highly recommend Big Thunder!

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Beth B
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much for the wonderful review. We appreciate your business so much! Sandi

Reviewed October 8, 2018

This was adventurous and fun. Our guide Trenton was great. He gave us lots of history and explanation about the mine, the claim, the land, and the whole process. It was hard work lugging buckets of dirt and sluicing it, but it was fun to...More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: September 2018
Thank rjing111
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

We are so glad you could come! It is very wonderful and a true experience of the Black Hills. Sandi A monumental review!

Reviewed October 5, 2018 via mobile

Gives a great tour of the gold mine. Very educational. Provids hard hats, which are definitely needed as part of the mine has a low ceiling. At the end, we learned about how the gold was retrieved from the ore and delivered, too.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank klim0702
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for the excellent review, we would love to have you return and see us again! Sandi

Reviewed September 23, 2018

The gift shop did have some cool items that I had not seen at other shops in the area. However the lady inside was not very welcoming. We brought up our item and informed her we had bought panning tickets online and then she got...More

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank Mary B
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

I am sorry that your experience was not a good experience. Do you remember the name of the individual who helped you. I am guessing that it was a day that we were short help which happens frequently in the off season. I apologize that...More

Reviewed September 22, 2018

The history is interesting and the mining process is informative. The mine shaft is easily walkable but you do need to wear that hard hat. Teen guide could have been much better.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank TexasBJ
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

I apologize for your experience, do come back again and see us, I promise your experience will be much better. It is not what we usually do! Do you remember the name of the teen. Sandi

Reviewed September 18, 2018

We had a great time with the half day claim gold panning. Ross was our guide, and he was great. He assisted with every step of the process, and he even gave us the history of both gold panning and some of the more historic...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank meganmV8471BS
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for the monumental review, do come and see us when you return to SD. Sandi

Reviewed September 18, 2018

This was the greatest tour and hands on Gold Panning we have ever done! They are VERY knowledgeable about they're facts, history, area. The prices are quite affordable! They let you pan for as long as they are open. The people are so nice and...More

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank DLCraven
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for the 5 star review! Comw back and see us again! Sandi

Reviewed September 17, 2018

This is very much a tourist trap, but if you like history I was recommend doing it. The tour part of the mine was ok, but the history about the area and early mining was very interesting to me.More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Allan P
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for your opinion. We cater to tourists, and families. I don't like to call it a tourist trap but having fun learning history. It is a hands on experience. Our audiences are a wide spectrum of people, I am glad you loved the...More

Reviewed September 16, 2018

Exceptional customer service. The entire staff is very courteous and helpful. Claim panning is an awesome experience, getting out into nature and digging for gold like the original prospectors.

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank bstussy1
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for the monumental 5 star review! Sandi

Reviewed September 14, 2018

We were a group of adults on vacation and found this experience to be much more situated for kids than adults. If you have kids they would probably enjoy the silliness of the tour guides animated stories and splashing through water looking for cold. We...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Michael M
mclaisan, Owner at Big Thunder Gold Mine, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Sorry your group was not satisfied with the tour. Unfortunately we have all ages of people in the group. Sometimes it takes patience when kids are on the tour. It usually amounts to plan B. That shouldn't take away the tour. If you become too...More

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Kelsey M
January 16, 2019|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Suzanne O | Reviewed this property |
We found flakes, but my kids - ages 14, 13 loved it and had a great time. There is a separate bag you can buy to pan for gems.
0
Votes
pjholv
February 5, 2018|
Answer
Response from Roberta K | Reviewed this property |
Groupon rates
0
Votes
pjholv
February 5, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Roberta K | Reviewed this property |
Not sure either since we travel as a couple. You could call them, and they would answer your question. We purchased a Groupon, and I'm not sure if they have any left or not but you might want to look there to see if you... More
0
Votes
Travel Forum Posts
parentsof5
Wichita, Kansas
anyone planning a stop at Big Thunder Gold Mine soon? (7 Replies)
Please let me know if you are and would be willing to look for a book they have in their gift shop. I meant to go back and look at it after the tour and totally forgot!
July 16, 2012|
Response fromparentsof5|
I just want the title.
Bdjdadjd
Broken Boot or Big Thunder Gold Mine (2 Replies)
We are making a trip out West and would like to take the kids to a gold mine. We are trying to decide between Broken Boot or Big Thunder Gold mine. Our kids are 8 and 12. Any suggestions?
June 05, 2014|
Response fromMomMobile5|
I haven't been to Broken Boot. Our kids liked Big Thunder, but they weren't as old as yours. Consider what parts of the Black Hills you're visiting. Broken Boot is in the northern Hills. If you're not going up there to see anything else, than Big Thunder would be the better choice. Big Thunder is closer to Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore. If you're going to the northern Hills to do Spearfish Canyon or Deadwood, then Broken Boot would make sense.
Soony_Girl
Chicago, IL
Should we visit a gold mill? (4 Replies)
My husband and I (no kids) will be visiting the Black Hills mid September. We have lots of hiking and exploring planned at the parks as well as time at historic sites a few museums / archeological sites and a cave or two. Is it worth our time to visit Big Thunder Gold Mine or another gold mine - or are they pretty touristy? If we won't get a lot out of a mine tour I would rather spend more time at our other activities. Panning really doesn't interest us - we are more interested in the...More
August 14, 2009|
Response fromslrtravelplanner|
Hi Soony, We have been to Big Thunder Gold Mine. It does have an interesting historical background. Our then 8 year old daughter thought the tour was "lame," but it really wasn't that bad. Kids can be tough! All this being said, if you have time, you can include it. It doesn't take long to tour (not even an hour if I remember right), and it's open until 6 at that time of the year, so you could see it after dinner, perhaps before the Rushmore lighting ceremony if you go. However, if you...More