Go back in time in South Dakota this summer at the Big Thunder Gold Mine, where you can enjoy a thorough tour of a gold mine, learn the processes and techniques of the miners that worked there and try your hand at panning for gold. The Big Thunder Gold Mine offers a unique and comprehensive mining experience in the Black Hills, and is the perfect vacation destination for you and your family.
Gold Hill Lode (now Big Thunder Gold Mine) was discovered back in 1882. Two German immigrants, Krupp and Engle, came to the mine to dig and search for gold. The miners had never met before, but their language brought them together and the two became partners. Krupp and Engle dug in hopes of intercepting the vein leading into the Lucky Boy Mine. There, the miners were able to drive into the hill and intercept the ore body flowing into the mine.
Big Thunder is one of the safest mines in the surrounding area. The rocks are extremely stable, which would allow the miners to use little to no timbering. In times of war, the mine was even used as a bomb shelter. Throughout the years, the mine has been maintained to stay as close to its original form. Its safety and maintenance have made it a center of exploration. Inside, a wide variety of rocks, structures and minerals – the widest variety in the area – can be found. When you visit the Big Thunder, you can take a tour and explore the beauty and the originality of the mine.
Visit the Mining Museum as well during your visit. The museum is a replica of the Tykoon Gold Mill, which was built in 1895 right on the Big Thunder property. Admission into the museum is free, and inside you will find a stamp mill, a bell crusher and a jaw crusher, winches, blacksmith equipment and more. Go back to the days when the mine was still operated.
Then, try your hand at panning gold. You’re guaranteed to find a prize with this exercise, which allows you to make your own historical adventure. Pan for gold in the stream in this unique and exciting experience. It’s one the whole family can enjoy.
While you’re visiting the mine, make sure you stay nearby all of the action. The Best Western Four Presidents Lodge is less than two miles away and offers you all of the amenities you need while on vacation, including a pool, hot tub, continental breakfast, room service and more. Stay in luxury, without going over budget, at this exceptional hotel.
Big Thunder Gold Mine is the perfect destination for your family vacation. With exciting activities, safe and clean touring opportunities and the chance to all but literally go back in time, your vacation is bound to be one filled with action, adventure and memories.