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

Strike Gold with Gold Panning Tips from “Rattlesnake” Randy

Hello Folks!  Well, I am now a member of the world-wide  blogging community!  I hope through this I can explain to you the fun and thrill of gold panning and sluicing in the outdoors.

We at Big Thunder Gold Mine in Keystone, South Dakota make it our mission to teach basic gold panning and sluicing in both our troughs at the gold mine, and down river at our off-site mining claim.  We specialize in placer mining – which means gold that has eroded from the hills and washed down into the rivers and creeks.

What I enjoy most is being outdoors, good exercise, nature, and the scenery of the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.  When I do find gold, it’s simply a bonus.

I’ll be writing on this blog regularly this season.  I hope my information and techniques will be helpful in your search for gold.  Have a great day and, as always, “Keep your pan in the water.”

“Rattlesnake Randy”

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