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“Go skeptical, come back happy”

Big Thunder Gold Mine
Ranked #4 of 23 things to do in Keystone
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed July 17, 2012

It looks kind of tourist trappy, and to some extent it is, but give it a chance and you might be pleasantly surprised. More fun than I thought and an interesting view of the history of the area.
Worth a stop.

1  Thank Philbert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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693 - 697 of 754 reviews

Reviewed July 15, 2012

This was a great activity to do with our 6 & 4 year old. You can tour the mine which our kids thought was great and the girl who did the tour was very knowledgeable and made if very interesting. After we panned for gold. As a family with two young children we would have only paid for 2 instead of 4 because they lost interest in it very quickly. They had more fun just playing in the water while we panned for gold. The tour guide shows you a quick demonstration of how to do it but we needed to have her come and show us if we were find gold or not. I think instead of doing a group demonstration a demonstration at each stand would be better to ensure everyone really knows what they are doing and looking for. As well she showed us the trick of getting the tiny piece of gold into the the little bottle they give you. Fill it with water till you get a bubble on top then you just have to touch it with the gold and it sucks it off your finger.

1  Thank RumseyTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Two families traveling together. Four parents, 30's and 40's, 4 kids ages 5-17. We chose to try panning for gold while we waited our turn to go on the mine tour. It is $7.50 to pan, but you can share a pan for as long as you like. We got two pans. I will say, it isn't enough pan time to keep it fun for the kids when sharing too many per pan, but I would probably not have done it any differnent for cost reasons. When they had the pan, they had a good time trying. We did find some flakes-which of course made it funner. We were told the next tour was at 10:30, I believe, and we could pan until then. They said they would announce the next tour. It was a surprise when we saw the next tour going and they had not announced it. Evidently enough people came through and just waited by the tour entrance that it was full and they never called for the next tour time. So we just paid more attention for the next one that was to go in 20 minutes. I really enjoyed the tour and the teenager that led it told great stories. He did a very good job of envolving the children and engaging them.

1  Thank parentsof5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

My daughter who is 6 years old enjoyed the tour of the mine and panning fo gold. Our tour guide made sure the kids participated in the tour of the mine. We learned a lot about the history of the mine and showed us the proper way to pan for gold. I thought the price of the tour was a bit spendy...

Tour Cost: Adults $9.25, Children (Ages 6-12) $6.25, Under 6 - FREE
Gold Panning cost: $9.25 per pan (may share pan) $7.25 with Mine Tour

Hours spent: 2 Hours

Thank crzymallard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

We had a great time here on the tour and panning for gold. Clean, friendly, etc.

Thank tdtraveler060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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