Claim Panning

Gold Panning On-Site Gold Panning

Claim Panning

Spend the day (or half-day) exploring a genuine Black Hills gold claim while learning to pan for gold in the same gold-rich streams that brought early miners to the Black Hills in the 1800’s.

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What’s a Claim?

In the United States, claims grants 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.

Reservations for claim panning must be at least 24 hours in advance. Please call us to make your claim panning reservation today!


Half Day Claim Panning:

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Full Day Claim Panning:

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Our claim panning takes place just four miles down the road. You’ll follow our guide in your own vehicle. The claim is on a National Forest Service Claim.

We will be in the Black Hills wilderness, so...

  • Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Make sure your shoes have good traction because they can get wet
  • Make sure that your pants and shorts can be easily rolled up so they can stay dry
  • Make sure to bring bug spray, sunscreen, water and snacks

Claim Panning Tour Times

We offer two claim panning experiences for a chance to find real Black Hills gold. Our half-day claim panning tour lasts 4 hours, and our full-day claim panning tour lasts 8 hours and we provide lunch.

During the tour, you’ll do some digging into the earth and classify different rocks. You’ll also do some sluicing and gold panning directly in the creek. Don’t worry, we’ll provide all of the panning equipment on your claim panning tour.

Half Day

 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Full Day

8:00 am – 4:00 pm


  Half Day (4 hours)Full Day (8 hours)
Children (ages 6-16) $40.00 $60.00
Adults $55.00 $80.00

*Reservations for claim panning must be at least 24 hours in advance.
**Tours book up fast, so we suggest making your reservation a few days in advance.

There’s a saying in the Black Hills: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Weather in the Black Hills can be very unpredictable, which is why All Claim Panning Tours Are Weather Permitting and can be Cancelled At The Last Minute For Safety Reasons. Refunds only availble for documented medical reasons or we cancel due to weather.