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604 Blair Street | Keystone, SD 57751 - (605) 666-4847
Walk ins are always welcome on the same day, if you have any questions just stop in or call.
Please note our online booking software does not book same day tours and panning.
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Is Big Thunder Gold Mine a real Black Hills Gold Mine?

Yes! Big Thunder Gold Mine is an authentic Black Hills Gold Mine which was excavated during the Black Hills Gold Rush of the late 1800’s. Head over to our History page to learn more about our unique history.

Is Big Thunder Gold Mine Underground?

Many visitors ask us the same common question when preparing for an upcoming visit to Big Thunder Gold Mine: Is Big Thunder Gold Mine underground? Carved into the side of hill, our authentic gold mine is indeed underground. However, modern innovations have allowed our mine to offer a comfortable experience that we like to compare to walking down a hall in your house. We don't have any treacherous stairs for you to climb, rather a smooth, flat surface that meanders a few hundred feet into our mine, making for an easy-going experience, no matter the tour group size.

How Far Away is Big Thunder Gold Mine From Other Local Attractions?

We receive many inquiries about our proximity to other popular attractions in the Black Hills region. Here’s a helpful listing of our distance from these attractions.

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial: 3.2 miles, or an 8 minute drive
  • Crazy Horse Memorial: 20.5 Miles, or a 42 minute drive
  • Custer State Park: 16.2 Miles, or a 35 minute drive
  • Sylvan Lake: 29 miles, or a 48 minute drive
  • Rapid City, SD: 20.8 miles, or a 27 minute drive
  • Custer, SD: 22.8 miles, or a 36 minute drive
  • Hill City, SD: 10.9 miles, or a 25 minute drive
  • Deadwood, SD: 47.4 miles, or a 1 hour, 11 minute drive
  • Spearfish, SD: 68.9 miles, or a 1 hour, 11 minute drive
  • Badlands National Park: 72.1 miles, or a 1 hour, 17 minute drive
  • Wall Drug Store: 74.3 miles, or a 1 hour, 15 minute drive
  • Wind Cave National Park: 25.8 miles, or a 53 minute drive

What is your Cancellation Policy?

Refund Policy:

We understand that we’re at the beck and call of Mother Nature here at Big Thunder Gold Mine, which is why we offer refunds on Mine Tours/Claim Panning Adventures should the weather choose to not cooperate on the date of your intended visit to the Mine. We also offer refunds for those who are unable to attend their tour given documented medical circumstances. Should you be in need of a refund or need to change the date of your tour, kindly call us at 605-666-4847 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Is Big Thunder Gold Mine Pet-Friendly?

Yes! Big Thunder Gold Mine is a pet-friendly attraction. We allow pets to partake in Mine Tours, Claim Panning, Gold Panning and more. We believe no pets should be left in the vehicle unattended, especially on those warm summer days, which is why we're glad to welcome them to join in the fun. (Don't worry, we won't charge your pet for a tour!) Should you have any allergies to pets, we kindly ask that you let our staff know to ensure the smoothest experience possible for you.

What’s a Claim?

In the United States, claims grant the discoverer of valuable minerals that might be found in loose material like sand or gravel the right to mine and keep the minerals. Typically, in the United States, the valuable mineral in a claim is almost always gold. At Big Thunder Gold Mine, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a real gold claim. We offer groups and individuals the opportunity to try their hand at claim panning. You’ll have the chance to go out with one of our experienced gold panners and go claim panning for real Black Hills gold.

How Should I Prepare for my Claim Panning Adventure?

Big Thunder Gold Mine’s Claim Panning Adventures take place at real gold claim in the Black Hills wilderness. To ensure you have the most comfortable experience during your four hour adventure, we recommend the following:

  • Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Make sure your shoes have good traction as they may get wet throughout the day
  • Make sure that your pants and shorts can be easily rolled up so they can stay dry
  • Make sure to pack bug spray, sunscreen, water, and snacks
  • When in doubt, arrive early!

Can’t find an answer to your question about Big Thunder Gold Mine? Visit our Contact page to get in touch with us.

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