|ADVISORY: Signs now prohibit hiking from the highpoint to the Tri-State marker. The route crosses private property occupied by a buffalo herd!|
This was our 3-month golden retriever's 2nd highpoint (his name is Zephyr). He managed to find bones on the summit (apparently from somebody who didn't pay the $1 entrance fee).
The summit is owned by the High Point Bison Ranch.
Click here for a 3D anaglyph of the ranch.
Kimball-Banner County Chamber of Commerce
Panorama Point, Nebraska, 5,424 feet
We climbed Panorama Point on September 13, 1999.
It was about 3 hours north of Denver. We exited I-80 at Pine Bluff (the pine bluffs do rise up quite suddenly from the vast prairie).
Stopping at the Conoco Station (on the north side of I-80), they pulled out a page from Paul Zumwalt's guidebbook (which in the edition they had referred to the previous name of "Contstable Hill" named for the previous owners).
We also got directions a mile down the road to Pine Bluffs' biggest attraction -- a giant shrine to the Virgin Mary which overlooks I-80.
We turned west on the street just south of the Conoco station intersecting the town's main north-south street (Beech Street) before heading south (under I-80) and then ascending the town's Cemetery Hill which is where the name Pine Bluffs comes from.
The rest of the directions are listed below. We passed several antelope before arriving at the cattle guard at the entrance to the summit.
Panorama Point is on private property. A sign requested a $1/person donation. For $5/person you could tour the property -- High Point Bison Ranch which is just south of the turnoff (in Colorado). I was gratified to see that there were several $5 and $10 bills in the cannister.
The summit was up a slight hill and did have a nice prairie view. Among the recent entries in the registry was one wondering exactly what the couple was doing in the van next to them after bagging the peak. Whoops!
We headed southwest for a fairly vigorous walk across the fields (crossing two fences) to the Tri-State marker for Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming (a landmark to get your bearings is a gas pumping station -- the marker is actually in from the road).
You can also reach the spot by driving south from the turnoff, and then bearing right (west and then north) at the next 2 intersections (approximately 3 miles from the summit). A sign points to the dirt road to the Tri-State marker.
We returned the same way back to Pine Bluff (you can drive on to Kimball by heading south from the summit into Colorado and then bearing left (east and north) at each intersection.
Everybody has spoken highly of the Kimball, Nebraska, Chamber of Commerce hospitality (you get a certificate for climbing the summit). T-shirts and postcards are available (along with an amusing flyer showing a woman rapelling off the monument carrying a Nebraska University flag).
With the usual staff out, the woman told us the history of Kimball (peace has been hard on the community which has dwindled from 25,000 to just a few thousand today after the government pulled out the intercontinental missiles in the past few years). A missile graces a town park.
A certificate of completion was in my mail when I returned home.
A highlight if you stay on I-80 is the Cabella's Outdoor outfitters in Sidney which is the county's big employer. We headed north passing Chimney Rock historic monument (a landmark that told pioneers they had arrived in the West).