Panorama Point – 5429’ – Nebraska Highpoint

This highpoint is a drive up, and something I did on the tail end of hiking the highest points in North Dakota and South Dakota.  I hiked Black Elk Peak in South Dakota that morning, then drove to Panorama Point in Nebraska. 

The drive was simple, until I made it to the cattle guard / gate that gains you access to the actual high point. Here’s what the gate looks like:

They have a very informative sign at the entrance.  Read it before you go in, and pay the $3 per person fee (there were no envelopes, so I just put 3 dollars into the slot). Also, in case you missed it, NO FOOT TRAFFIC. 

There were warnings of bison, but at this time of year they must have been in another area.  There was a lot of evidence they’re here regularly however, in the form of established game trails and lots of bison chips.

I passed the gate and put my truck into 4WD:  there wasn’t a lot of snow in the area, but all of it seemed to be drifting directly on the dirt road.  At this point I wasn’t sure if there were bison present or not, and I didn’t want to get stuck with no way to get back.

I drove along the road for a mile to the highpoint (circled in red).   

There isn’t much around here but open grassland and windmill farms

Here’s the ‘summit’

I got out of my truck, left a sticker in the register, and took a few pictures

Panorama Point:

It was windy and I really wanted to get back home after a lot of driving in the past 2 days, so I turned around and drove back to the gate. 

When I got there, my GPS told me to head out a different direction than I’d driven in, which wasn’t odd because I’d driven from South Dakota and was heading back to Colorado.  I was a bit nervous some of the dirt roads wouldn’t be passable, but I had plenty of gas, so I crossed my fingers and said a prayer to the GPS/cell service gods and was on my way.

As I was driving somewhere between Nebraska and Colorado, many, many miles from a paved road, I actually saw a cow give birth! I stopped my truck in the middle of the dirt road and went over to check on mama and baby. I was a little worried because the calf initially didn’t move, but mama licked him a few times and he started stirring. I congratulated mama and left them alone. So cool!!!

Mama and Calf:

What a fantastic way to end a great road trip/highpointing weekend!

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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