Front of Big Thunder Gold Mine in the Black Hills

Black Hills Gold Mine

The Black Hills in South Dakota experienced a gold rush in the late 1800’s. When planning our Black Hills vacation, I knew I wanted to take a tour of one of the historic Black Hills gold mines in the area.

Black Hills Gold Mine Shaft

We selected the Big Thunder Gold Mine.

Front of Big Thunder Gold Mine in the Black Hills

The Big Thunder Gold Mine is located in the town of Keystone, South Dakota. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and other attractions (including Mount Rushmore) nearby.

Black Hills Gold Mine Tour

The Big Thunder Gold Mine tour began with a hard hat and a story.

Black Hills Gold Mine Entrance

During the tour, we heard the story of two men from Germany who sought their fortune in the Black Hills in the Big Thunder Mine.

Black Hills Gold Mine Shaft

As we traveled through the mine we heard about their mining techniques and saw their hard work first hand.

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Once we reached the end of the shaft, we had an opportunity to climb in an mining cart and take pictures.

Black Hills Gold Mine Cart

After the mine, we visited a replica of an gold processing plant from the late 1800s.

Stamp Mill at the Big Thunder Gold Mine

The Big Thunder Gold Mine offers gold panning. So, we panned for gold after the tour. We did find gold. Unfortunately, it was not enough for retirement. But, it made a great souvenir.

Black Hills Gold Mine Gold Panning

All in all, this Black Hills gold mine was a lot of fun. It was a great experience for both kids and adults. And, you’ll just have to visit it for yourself to find out what happened to the two immigrants who came to the South Dakota to find gold.

Black Hills Trip Tip: I’m a big believer in traveling with a paper map on road trips in rural areas since you never know when cell signal will be a problem. Here is the Black Hills map we used.

For more information for your South Dakota vacation, check this out:

Picture of Mount Rushmore with the words South Dakota on top.

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