Date: July 16, 2015
Distance: Drive up
Elevation: 5,429 feet
Bathrooms: None, private property
Hours of driving brought us to the final approach: 11 miles of dirt road mixed with heavy gravel. Stones constantly pelting the car, I could measure time by them – one every second. The hard part of reaching Panorama Point is not physical exertion, but the scavenger hunt nature of locating it. As with every highpoint lately, I came prepared on this journey with my standard GPS, directions on my phone, print outs from Google Maps, and Don Holmes’ Highpointing book. With four resources, I feel confident that if one fails, I have solid backup. Not the case with Nebraska.
My regular GPS could never find Panorama Point, so it only was able to bring us to the general area. My phone lost its satellite signal and Don Holmes and Google Maps seemed to differ slightly. We were on the correct road, looking for the sign, but we blew past it. It wasn’t until several miles later at the junction of Route 5 and Route 6 that we realized Panorama Point was behind us. After debating whether or not to turn into a farm, we finally saw the proper turn. It was no wonder we’d missed it – the sign is for a private farm called High Point Bison.
After paying the $3/person donation to the owners of the property, we proceeded down the road toward the marker. On the way in and out, we saw a jack rabbit, which added excitement and was unique to this highpoint for us.
Also different was the deposit of an empty beer can in the register box. Nice work, visitors of Panorama Point.
Flies swarmed everywhere – the highpoint monument, the field, into the car during the brief time doors were open. It didn’t matter, though. We had just enough time to sign the register and snap a few photos before a heavy hail storm rolled in with a fury.
The Nebraska/Colorado/Wyoming tri-state marker is nearby, which I was interested in seeing. Unfortunately, with the hail, low visibility, gravel road mix, and a few hours of driving left to get to Wyoming for the night, we reluctantly opted not to see it.
After your visit, contact the Kimball, NE Chamber of Commerce for a certificate of completion.