You’ll Never Forget A Trip Through This Old Gold Mine In South Dakota
The little town of Keystone has a rich mining history, and this fun little mine lets you in on some of the action. Take a look!
Big Thunder Gold Mine is located at 604 Blair Street in Keystone. The mine closed its operations in 1914, but now you can tour the mine and even pan for gold...and they guarantee you'll find some.
Start with a visit to the museum, where you'll see extraction equipment and learn all about how miners got the gold out of the ore. The museum is a replica of the actual Tykoon Gold Mill that was built on the property in 1895.
After you visit the museum, put on your hard hat and head into the mine for a tour.
You'll get to explore the caverns on a brief walk. The entire tour is handicapped accessible and suitable for just about everyone.
You'll see old mining implements and learn about how miners worked here in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
After your tour, you can pan for gold. You'll start with a gold-panning lesson that lasts anywhere from 15-45 minutes.
Spend as much time as you'd like panning. You can stay all day if you want!
Everyone who pans for gold is guaranteed to find at least a small amount of 24 karat gold. Though most people just find a bit of gold dust, some find small nuggets. They'll put your gold in a tiny vial for you to take home and treasure.
If you'd like a more intense gold-panning experience, take the half-day or full-day Claim Panning Tour. You'll travel four miles downstream to a real gold claim, then spend the afternoon (or the whole day) panning in the river with Rattlesnake Randy - an actual gold miner!
Visit Big Thunder Gold Mine every day from 8 AM to 8 PM.
Tours cost $10.95 for adults; $6.95 for children ages 6-12. Admission is free for children 5 and younger. Onsite gold panning is $10.95, or $8.95 when combined with a mine tour. Claim Panning Tours range from $35 - $70, depending on age and whether you choose the half day or full day tour.
Save a little money by searching for a Groupon discount!
For more information, or to book a tour, visit
Big Thunder Gold Mine’s website. Have you ever taken the tour at Big Thunder Gold Mine? Tell us what you thought!
Want to do some more exploring? Take a look at the
Jewel Cave National Monument tours.
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