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Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone

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#4 of 14 in Things to do in Keystone
Tourist Spot Mine
Grab your pick and a pan and head to Big Thunder Gold Mine for some old-fashioned fun underground. Take a tour of the gold mine, which operated from 1882 to 1914, and learn about the history of the mine from informed guides. Discover from guides how the miners extracted gold from the mined ore, and, as you walk through dark and narrow shafts, learn how the miners created the shafts with only candlelight to guide them. At the museum you'll discover a large collection of mining equipment, including a stamp mill and blacksmithing equipment. Finally, take a turn at panning for gold or gems in the stream on the property. All areas of the tour and site are wheelchair accessible. To visit Big Thunder Gold Mine on your holiday in Keystone, and find out what else Keystone has to offer, use our Keystone itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
714 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We had a lot of fun doing the mine tour and panning for gold afterwards. Very educational and informational. Our tour guide was really great-his name may have been John. Stopped here our way out of Mt...  more »
  • My wife and took the tour, it was very informative and the history lesson you receive while on the tour is very interesting. I'm sorry that I can't remember the name of our guide but she was amazing w...  more »
  • We did the basic tour of the mine with gold panning afterwards. The tour was very informative and we went very deep into the mountain and made several stops along the way. Our guide was rather soft sp...  more »
Google
  • I bought a Groupon for a tour for four and panning for two, which was perfect, so my husband and I could help our kids. The tour guide was Alana, who was super enthusiastic and really informative. She answered questions politely (with kids) and made it really fun for them. It was nice and chilly in the cave, and she gave us a ton of history about mining, minerals, and milling the ore. We really enjoyed ourselves. Then, we got to do some panning with Rattlesnake Randy, and we found several flakes, as well as quite a few garnets. We absolutely enjoyed ourselves, and would really recommend this for families. It was a great way to spend 2 hours!
  • Last year I had a black hills badlands VIP pass and had never heard of this place so we decided to check it out. It was super fun and interesting! I hope to make it out to gold thunder mine again this year with the family as we had a lot of fun touring the cave and panning for gold! It's a great place to just cool off on a hot day as it's chilly in the cave. I recommend anyone to go. People that live around here and tourists should go check it out!
  • We came here because my son is a huge mining/mine fan. Our guide, Alana, was simply amazing. She was not only knowledgeable about the mine, how everything worked, history of it, and all the minerals- she was enthusiastic excited about what she does. Even after the tour she was talking to us and letting us know about the different minerals- and then she came back (at closing time) and stayed around to help the kids figure out the panning and do better at it. Everyone here was so nice and friendly. I highly recommend this place, and Alana in particular. Fantastic experience! (Alana mid- tour, picture)
  • We had a great experience while there. Our tour guide Jake was awesome, very intelligent young man. Would definitely come back again and do the half day tour.
  • We had a great experience with Alana. Would highly recommend this as a family stop. Ask or wait for Alana. She is knowledgeable and makes it fun for everyone.

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Where to stay in Keystone

As a resort town, Keystone has far more guest beds than residents, and you have your choice of lodging type. Stay right in town in simple, clean hotels and motels, or opt for lodges, cabins, and bed and breakfasts that take advantage of the natural beauty of the Black Hills surrounding Keystone. You'll find a few campgrounds and RV parks in the area. A handful of restaurants reside inside the town, so choose accommodation in Keystone if you want easy access to a wider array of dining options.
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