Peak(s):  Panorama Point - 5429
Date Posted:  08/03/2015
Date Climbed:   07/27/2015
Author:  globreal
 Nebraska Highpoint Adventure   

Monday, 27 July, 2015
Trailhead: High Point Bison Ranch
Route: I-80 to Pine Bluff, NE, Hwy 164, and some dirt roads
Partners: solo (I know, I know....I usually don't go solo!)
Total Elevation: -1 foot (stepping out of the vehicle)

Going after the state high points has become quite the fun scavenger hunt! Just prior to this trip, I was climbing Gannett Peak, the Wyoming State Highpoint, with Shaun Wulff, Roger Wendell, and Mark Zimmer in the Wind River Range. That trip was a huge success. You can read the TR here:

After coming out of the Winds, the drive from Pinedale to Laramie was 5 hours alone, and it got late. So I spent the night with Shaun and his family there in Laramie. The next morning I would be driving back home to Colorado Springs.... with a detour! I wanted to get the Nebraska state highpoint on the way. (This was a repeat attempt for me. I was unsuccessful on my first try. Back in April, 2013, I tried to get Panorama Point, but it was right after a big snow storm. Even though I was in a 4x4, I was turned back on a unplowed snowy road. Argh!)

This return trip to Wyoming was now my opportunity for a repeat attempt...without snow!

Shortly after 8am, I found myself east bound on I-80, driving the posted speed limit of 80mph , and the outside air temperature was 80 degrees!
Interstate 80 east of Cheyenne, WY

Sometime after 9am I was in Pine Bluffs in the lower right corner of Nebraska in Pine Bluffs. I think this may be where the name comes from...pines on a bluff.
pines on a bluff!

Since I was coming from Laramie, my route to Panorama Point was to take Hwy 164 south out of Pine Bluffs. You've got to exit off of I-80 at exit 401, go north under the freeway to 8th Street where you turn right/east, and then turn right/south on Beech Ave/Hwy 164.
Highway 164, heading south out of Pine Bluffs is paved

After a little over nine miles, there is a turn left/east on County Road 203. This road takes you into Nebraska after a jog south and then a job back east.
Road 203 takes you from Wyoming into Nebraska

Once in Nebraska, the County Rd 203 becomes County Rd 6. Soon, you come to a turn. Turn south. (There is no turn north.) This road is also dirt, but as you can see here, they seem to keep it maintained. I passed a guy on a road grader working on it.
County Road 5 heading south

All of the usually scenery for cowland came into view...
Windmill and sunflowers in Nebraska

Until this! I know that the wind blows harshly from west to east across Cheyenne, Wyoming. Looks like somebody decided to take advantage of it.
Modern day windmills!

After about 2 miles, the private property for this state highpoint arrives on the right (west) side of County Road 5, Here is the sign at the entrance.

The sign explains the "High Point Bison." I thought the name was going to be Panorama Point. But the sign calls it High Point Bison. I am not sure if this was the name of the ranch or the name of the highpoint. And I'm not sure if the animals are named bison or buffalo. All these uncertainties!
notes on bison

Regardless, the request of the land owners is to pay a $3.00 entrance fee. I obliged as I didn't want to be considered as a poacher.
fork it over!

The westbound road crossed over a "cattle" guard...or in this case a "bison" guard. Even thought, I never saw a singe bison...or buffalo, or antelope, or goats on this property.
bison guard

The short drive is 1.3 miles from the gate to the highpoint. We are required to drive, not hike. (Just the opposite from my next highpoint (Illinois) where you are required to hike up the property, not drive.)
the road turns north

At the turn from west to north, the sign makes it very obvious what to do.
there's the name! Panorama Point

Once heading back north, the highpoint appears off in the distance. I don't seem to be blocked by any bison!
success is in view!

There is a stone marker so you know you have arrived. Time for the selfie to prove I made it.

The views are "stupendous" as the vertical drop down off of this summit is staggering!

I maintained my composure and went back to the task at hand...
summit register in the desk drawer

Since this highpoint had something to sign, I did my duty and scratched in the notebook.
I'm in!

For those than are interested, there is a special offer for those who brave the elements, and have successfully made this summit.
call for your certificate

As I have now found on numerous state highpoints, there is a bench to sit and take a rest upon.
Highpointers bench

If there isn't a history placard at the summit, then occasionally there is a plaque put on the bench as is the case here.


After completing this hard fought for summit, I returned to the property entrance and turn south on County Road 5. After a short ways I found this sign for what I can only assume is the landowners homestead.
Ranch entrance south of the highpoint entrance

I didn't get to see or meet the landowners to tell them a hearty "thank you" for allowing the high pointing public to visit their land and where we can check off another state highpoint. And I didn't get to see any bison/buffalo to marvel at these unique creatures...even through there was a fence to keep them in...or is it keeping them out?
electric fence

However, there was evidence that those bison had at one time visited this HIGHPOINT BASIN.
evidence of bison!

This photo was on It shows a drawing of a map, that I actually found to be quite useful.

If you have read any of my past trip reports, you may have noticed that I will occasionally end the report with a quote from the Bible. Well, how about this one which is a question from Genesis 37:15

a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, "What are you looking for?"

In this case, my answer would be..."the state highpoint!"

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Comments or Questions

08/03/2015 11:29
Steve Climber and I saw bison when we went in March! Here’s our trip report in blog form:–your–bluff–a–grassland–day–trip–adventure/


08/03/2015 12:44
Going solo AND no helmet? What were you thinking??

Nice one, Britt! I think you might be ready to do Hawkeye Point in Iowa... Unless you’ve already done that one.

Keep these great reports coming.


Way to Martinize it
08/03/2015 13:36
So that’s what it looks like...
It was much more boring in the dark. We needed a GPS just to be sure we stepped out in the right spot.


In the desk...
08/03/2015 13:39 that a dead squirrel, an empty can of Busch, and a prescription bottle? Do people just leave random items in there?
Great TR, looks like a fun little detour!


Doesn’t count
08/03/2015 22:06
3,000 ft rule was not followed

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