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Things To Do At Mount Rushmore, SD: Big Thunder Gold Mine

Aug 17, 2007
Located at the foot of Mount Rushmore is the tiny town of Keystone. Here you can eat, stay, get your souvenirs and take advantage of some of the local tourist attractions. One of which is the Big Thunder Gold Mine.

Big Thunder Gold Mine, originally named the Gold Hill Lode, was discovered in 1893. The mining work was done by two German immigrants, W.B. Krupp and J.A. Engle. Mr. Engle owned several mines in the Keystone, four of which remain on the Big Thunder property. Current exploration shows positive potential for future gold mining in Keystone. Exploration companies have been working in the area and have leased mineral rights on the Big Thunder property.

A visit to the mine allows you to tour an authentic gold mine and have tour guides take you on an adventure which includes Black Hills gold mining history, geology, museum displays, and the opportunity to take home your own gold ore sample.

Placer mining is the retrieval of free-gold from the sand and gravel of the creeks. That is how the first gold was discovered in the Black Hills. Big Thunder Gold Mine offers individualized gold panning lessons next to Battle Creek, where gold was originally discovered on historic Reeds Placer Claim during the 1880s. The Big Thunder gold mine panning experience is guaranteed for you to leave with genuine 24k gold!

The mine also contains a museum which is a replica of the Tycoon Gold Mill built in 1895 on the Big Thunder Property. The museum contains one of the largest displays of original gold mining equipment in the Black Hills. See a Stamp Mill, Crushers, Winches, Assay Office, Cooper and Wilfrey tables, and hundreds of artifacts. Discover the method of how gold is processed from hard rock.

The museum is cool, but the best part of the visit is panning for real gold that you get to take home.

I remember when we went to Alaska for our honeymoon one of the excursions on the cruise was the ability to pan for gold. We did not choose it, because it was way too expensive. But at this mine, you are guaranteed to find something. That is the best part.

The mine also started a new tour where they take you on a candlelight tour of the mine. They are not sure if it is haunted or not, but it sure is creepy. Walking through a bunch of cave like passageways in the dark with nothing but a candle to protect you is not for the faint of heart. But it sure is fun.

The mine also has a couple gift shops, and a restaurant where you can get a quick lunch, or pick up a box lunch for a picnic nearby. If you are staying at Keystone for a few days, this is one place you should check out
About the Author
Mrs. Kamadia is currently traveling the country while working as a travel nurse. Most of her expenses are paid for and she only works 3 days a week. To learn how visit her travel nursing website.
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