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

"Rattlesnake" Randy is Back with More Gold Panning Tips and Tricks

Welcome again folks! My first tip for gold panning is hard to put into words.  Discussing gold pannning techniques can be a lttle difficult considering the nature of the activity, but I do have some pointers for you.

Gold panning is really a hands-on learning process.  I highly recommend a vist to Big Thunder Gold Mine and have one of our experience guides teach you the step-by-step procudeures.  They will not only teach you how to identify the difference between real gold and fool's gold (Iron Pyrite) or find some of the gold in your pan, they'll teach you how to find ALL of the gold in your pan.  Gold panning is a hard way to get rich, but it's a great outdoor hobby.

You never know - you may strike a pocket of gold or even a nice nugget!  Keep your expectations low, so that any gold you do find is special.  Also, keep in mind that even a couple of flakes is better than nothing.  Remember: when you find gold, you're the first to ever see it, otherwise someone else would already have it!

As always,
Keep your pan in the water.

"Rattlesnake" Randy

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