Big Thunder Gold Mine is open as usual but times are modified and some procedures. The following are in effect:

  • Masks are highly suggested for the tours.
  • We have 2 tours per hour one every 30 minutes so they do not pass each other in the mine (social distancing).
  • Tours may consist of up to 20 people per tour.
  • Only 1 and 1/2 feet is needed for social distancing during individual tours.
  • We put 2 capfulls of bleach in the troughs to eliminate any virus. Gloves can be used if you are allergic.
  • We practice the 6 foot distance at all troughs for gold panning and gem panning. Every other trough is used.
  • Masks are worn by all guides in the mine for your protection and theirs.
  • The claim experience is in nature by the creek and plenty of space and beauty. 24 hour reservations required.
  • We have a drive thru espresso with sneeze guard.
  • Our restaurant which opened on May 16 will have limited in door seating of 30, outdoor seating on a deck, pick up and delivery available.
  • Consistent sanitizing of all facility.
  • Our hours currently are 8-8 last tour at 3:50.
  • We are very responsible as to making sure every thing is safe for all of our customers. Reservations may be implemented depending on the crowds for the tours. Panning is immediate.

We would love to have you come. Beauty and space is our game and I know you would love it!

See you soon,
Sandi McLain

Open Daily

Open In March Thursdays - Sundays
April 1st
- October 31st  Open Daily
Hours & rates

Join us for Rattlesnake Randy's 2nd Annual Speed Panning Championship

It’s that time of year again!  Big Thunder Gold Mine presents “Rattlesnake” Randy’s 2nd Annual Speed Panning Championship 2016.  The speed panning championship is a great way for lovers of gold panning to come together and show off their skills. 

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The 2nd Annual Speed Panning Championship will be held Saturday, September 10th from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

There are three different categories for the Speed Panning Championship:

Adult Skilled – Anyone 18 and older and has entered a previous competition or one who considers themselves a good panner. $15.00 entry fee

Youth – Children 17 and younger. $10.00 entry fee

Beginners – Anyone 18 and older who has never been entered in a panning competition. $10.00 entry fee




As with any championship, there are some rules and regulations that entrants will have to abide by:

  1. Each participant in all categories may bring his/her own pan, but pan is not allowed to be more than 14 inches in diameter.
  2. Gravel and Gold will be provided.
  3. Must find all Gold provided and fastest times will advance.
  4. Sign-in and panning to qualify for semi-finals from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  5. Top 6 semi-finalists will advance to finals.
  6. Finals will run from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  7. The top 3 finalists win.

We’ll be handing out medals, prizes, and awards at the end of the finals.  We’ll also provide detailed rules at the beginning of the competition.  Call us at 605-666-4847 for more information!  Good Luck!
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