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“I'm a very straight up guy!”

Big Thunder Gold Mine
Ranked #3 of 23 things to do in Keystone
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I'm a very straight up guy!”
Reviewed July 5, 2012 via mobile

I have read some of the negative reviews and it actually made me want to check the mine out. My family of 6 went to the mine in July 5th 2012 and I must say the people working tere are GREAT! So great that I signed up to go panning on their claim... There was I think 10 of us working with Aron and Taylor at the claim. We found a good amount of gold! They split it up between us and I must say EVERYONE had a great time. Each time I come back to the Keystone area I WILL. Is it the mine and the workers there. Keep up the great job!

Tony from Centennial Colorado

1 Thank Dot4510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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604 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Southwest Missouri
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Not worth the money”
Reviewed July 4, 2012

The tour guide was nice and informative, the tour is short. The tour was not what I was expecting from all the advertising you see for "Big Thunder Gold Mine" and for the price of a ticket. For more money you can pan for gold... again not worth it. The only gold at this mine is what they are making from tourist. Price for the ice cream was $2 a scoop!

Visited June 2012
Thank JKN_tourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hopewell, Virginia
Level Contributor
242 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“A fun Experience”
Reviewed July 4, 2012

It was an interesting site. Tours are rather pricey. They do have daily grab bag specials that are well worth it. For $5 I got three T-shirts worth $20. For $5 I got about $50 worth of assorted jewelry. Well worth a stop just for the grab bags.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank hilda102320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Wing, Minnesota
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Gold panning - didn't get it”
Reviewed June 24, 2012

We took 3 kids gold panning and it might have just been us, but we really didn't get it. Kids get a "pan" that is guaranteed to have some real gold in it, but also has fools gold. Someone does a very quick 3 minute demonstration and then disappears. There was 5-6 people trying to pan and none of us understood how to do it....so the kids ended up just picking out cool little rocks from the pan. $10 per pan. Might be fun for some folks, but wasn't in our top things to do and wouldn't do again if we were in town. They were swamped trying to manage panning and gold mine tours from the same desk which may have been part of the problem. Not sure if they usually hang around to help the kids do it right or not.

Visited June 2012
Thank Waddzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Dakota
Level Contributor
146 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Tour was blah, gold panning was cool.”
Reviewed June 22, 2012

I don't remember our tour guide's name but he was kind of a buffoon. The mine is pretty much just a tunnel that goes straight into the mountain with some mining props and tools along the way. *spoiler alert* The story is some guys started the mine. They kept getting the tell-tale signs that gold was near but they never found gold. They kept digging and digging until they hit an iron deposit and had to stop. Oh, and the "Big Thunder" is a huge iron plate in the tunnel. The tour guide will bang it on the wall and it makes a sound loud enough to wake the dead. In the end, you'll walk out with a headache and a lighter wallet. The thing that was cool was gold panning. One thing our guide knew a lot about is panning for gold. Once you find a few flakes, you can feel the gold fever. I could probably spend a whole day doing it. I wouldn't suggest the tour but, like I said, the gold panning was cool. I feel sorry for the people that said the mine was the highlight of their trip. I think our stop at the Spam Museum in Minnesota was more interesting.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Sunshine81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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