Though the State of Nebraska is home to many buttes and even the southern terminus of the Dakotas' Badlands, its highpoint is in the middle of a nearly featureless field just over 1 mile away from the borders of Colorado and Wyoming. Panorama Point, at 1,655m (5,429ft), features geology very similar to that of the Southern Great Plains of East Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma; the land has been shaped through rainwater runoff and especially human hands / machinery. While this highpoint is atop a hill, it is difficult to tell exactly where the true highpoint is. Were it not for the marker placed by the Kimball Chamber of Commerce, one would have a very difficult time locating the true Highpoint of Nebraska. Be sure to open the drawer of the large metal desk next to the monument marker and sign in to the register notebook within. Recently a bench was placed next to this looking west to the distant mountains of CO and WY, easily visible on a clear day. Wind and hoof erosion has caused ground level to drop 6-8" all around the highpoint, exposing the concrete footings to each of these features. Gravel is being brought in to fix the situation in the summer of 2016.
From I-80 in NE:
-Take Exit 8, just East of the WY-NE border
-Go S on CR 17 for 10.0 miles until dead-end
-Turn W (R) on CR 8 and continue for 4.2 miles
-Turn S (L) on CR 9 and continue for 1.0 miles
-Turn W (R) on CR 6 and continue for 2.0 miles
-Turn S (L) on CR 5 and continue for 2.0 miles
-Turn W (R) on dirt road with sign, cross double cattle guard (for bison!) and continue for 1.0 miles to a bend to the right (NNW), and continue0.2 miles to the highpoint marker
Directions from Pine Bluff, WY:
-Leave I-80 on US 30 to enter the town of Pine Bluff (north side of I-80).
-Go south on Beech Street, which is on the east side of town. This is county road #164.
-Pass under I-80 and go about 9 miles to road #203 leaving left (east).
-Follow this road, which jogs south and becomes road #6, for 3.4 miles.
-Turn right (south) on road #5 and go 2.0 miles.
-The dirt road to Panorama Point leaves right (west), just a hair north of the Colorado state line. From the road sign, it is 1.2 miles to Panorama Point.
Panorama Point is on the High Point Bison Ranch and is owned by Glen and Jill Klawonn. The Klawonn's are extremely welcoming to highpointers during the day, and at night the gate to the highpoint is left open. The Klawonn's request a donation of $3.00 for visiting the highpoint, which can be placed in a box near the final turnoff to Panorama Point. The Nebraska-Colorado-Wyoming tri-state marker is also located on the Klawonn's porperty, however, due to the fact that open buffalo range must be crossed to get there, they request that visitors do not hike from the highpoint to the marker. Please respect the Klawonns' wishes and approach the tri-state marker from the road to the west.
The area receives a fair amount of rain and snowfall, and at times in the past this has caused the 1.2 mile access road to be closed for safety. Many visitors come from across America and are very disappointed to learn that not only can they not drive out to the highpoint, but they are asked to not walk the road either. Please respect the property owner's requests! This is private property, and visitors are allowed in most of the time, but the road is closed for public safety. The bison are frequently within the fences of this section, and it would be dangerous to walk the road the entire way without the safety of a vehicle nearby.
The Klawonns are working with The Highpointers Foundation, a non-profit organization that is a sister entity to The Highpointers Club, to make road improvements. Some gravel was placed on the road in 2014, and in 2016 the road will be bladed by a grader, and additional gravel placed in the low spots, such that the road will go from a dirt 2-track, to a decent gravel road. This should reduce the annual closure days from 20-30+ down to perhaps under 10 a year during periods of big snowfall and drifting during winter. The Klawonns will alert the Kimball NE Chamber of Commerce as well as the HP Club and Foundation when there is a closure. These organizations have websites and Facebook pages that should have the info posted.
After "ascending" the Nebraska highpoint, you can contact the Kimball, NE Chamber of Commerce for a certificate of completion for visiting Panorama Point. A side-trip can be added to Pine Bluffs, WY for those wanting to get some true hiking near Nebraska's highest land. The Pine Bluffs are visible in the distance from the "summit".