Ascent of Panorama Point on 2017-09-08

Climber: David Odenwalder

Date:Friday, September 8, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Panorama Point
    Elevation:5429 ft / 1654 m

Ascent Trip Report

Tagged this easy drive up onto my 2017 post-Labor Day excursion. The details are spelled out in my Mt Elbert report. Late Thursday night, I flew into Denver, rented a car, and set out immediately for a "quick trip" to capture the state capitol in Cheyenne. En route, I realized that I would be only about an hour from Nebraska's high point, so why not catch it as well? (I had previously planned to do KS, NE, SD, and ND all in a single future trip.) After driving around Cheyenne, I headed for the plains of Nebraska. Stopped for the night just east Pine Bluff, since Panorama Point was known to be on private land, and didn't think it would likely be accessible until morning. Caught some sleep in the car - then early in the morning headed back to Pine Bluff, as that was the easy access to the high point. The road south through Wyoming is paved until the Colorado state line. You sort of have to drive a loop around (like an involute) from WY to CO to NE. The high point is a mile or two from the tri-corner point, which you pass as the road becomes a graded rural road. Decent condition, not problem for passenger cars. In all, the route is probably about 15-20 miles off of I-80. Panorama Point is indeed in the middle of working bison ranch. There is a sign noting the turnoff, with a box for envelopes and a second box to insert the envelope with the $3 access fee - honor system. The sign strictly prohibits walking to the high point, probably owing to the presence of bison. You drive in, maybe a mile or so, to a fenced in area where accoutrements of the high point are found. There was an old office desk, but no register (I left my name on a scrap of paper). Bison grazing a few hundred yards away, but with the fence, I wasn't too concerned about a stampede. Pretty dry barren country, with little to see. There was a large flat area - about the size of a football field - any point which could have been comparably high to the smaller area fenced off as the official "high point". The road in was a farm road - not real great, but again passable in good weather for any kind of car, I believe. On the way out (retracing the involute to Pine Bluff and I-80, I stopped at the tri-state point as well. A cement marker in the corner of a field. That access road - only a fraction of a mile - is for tractors. You'd probably get stuck in wet weather. The access road just has a piece of cord across it, and is marked at the state line. Not the most exciting places that I've been, but just the same, I'm grateful to the farmers/ranchers that allow access for high pointers.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:partly cloudy, light haze

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