Peak(s):  Panorama Point (5,429 ft)
Date Posted:  08/01/2019
Date Climbed:   07/16/2019
Author:  rob runkle
 Panorama Peak - HighPoint of Nebraska   

After a strong Colorado 14er trip, what should we do to fill in a little extra time, before we fly back to Ohio? Visit the highpoint of Nebraska, of Course.

We had finished our last 14er, Quandary, on Monday afternoon. After that, we drove to Greeley, CO and grabbed a hotel. Getting a hotel room in Greeley was much easier and cheaper than getting a hotel room near Denver International. Our flight back to Ohio, on Tuesday, wasn't until late afternoon. So, we could easily drive the 1.5 hours to Panorama Point, touch the high point of Nebraska, then head to the airport.

Warning Bison!

We checked out of the hotel around 730 am, and drove to Panorama Point. It is located, just over the Nebraska Border. Panorama Point is located on private land, but the land owners allow highpointers to visit freely. When we arrived at the final turn off, there was a sign that indicated "no hiking or biking" along the final road to the high-point. The land that the highpoint is located on is an active bison ranch, and there is potential for bison roaming the area. Stray hikers wouldn't want to engage a bison in the open. At this point, I was struggling with my normal highpoint strategy. As a rule of thumb, I always hike, walk or run a minimum of 2 miles with every highpoint. Since some of the US State highpoints are "drive-up" highpoints, I felt it necessary to add some sort of minimum challenge.

As we made the final drive to the highpoint, I hatched a plan. I would drive Chris and the kids to the highpoint, we would take all of the requisite pictures, sign the log book and such. Then, we would drive back down the road 1 mile. I would get out, and Chris would drive along side me, as I ran the road, in order to protect me from bison. It turned out there wasn't any bison roaming in the area, but I wanted to have a good explanation for the land owners, if anyone saw me running along the road. A plan was hatched.

Before I describe my awesome 19 minute run, I will describe the interesting things that we saw from the highpoint. Part of the highpoint journey is getting the opportunity to see interesting things that you might not normally get to see. First off, the drive through Northeastern Colorado and into Nebraska was neat; definitely different than Ohio. We saw various crops, oil wells, and what we thought were probably natural gas wells of some sort. On the highpoint, we got to see a cowboy in the distance, herding bison. Chris also spotted a red fox family in the distance, which kept on ducking back down into a den/burrow. We also saw antelope. The highpoint itself is nothign special. Basically, a dirt road that leads to a monument in the middle of a field. Most of the parking area is partially fenced off, probably to keep bison from roaming near the actual highpoint.

Marker at the highpoint
Kids at the highpoint
Me, Anna and Nolan at the highpoint
Me and Anna at the highpoint
Me and Nolan at the highpoint
Pano of the highpoint

After the whole crew hung out at the highpoint for a few minutes, we drove back down the road 1 mile. I jumped out and started jogging/running. Pretty quickly, I was reminded that I was running at mile high elevation. As I approached the highpoint for a second time, I looped the small parking lot, and started back down the road. Chris continued to follow me close in the car. During my short run, I was continuously thinking about how I would answer someone if they confronted me running down the road, with clear signs saying not to hike or bike the road. Round trip, my short run was 19 minutes. I jumped back into the car, and we started our drive to Denver International Airport.

Running Route

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
08/01/2019 13:00
My visit to this spot 2 years ago had bison all over the highpoint area, including one standing right by the monument when I pulled up. I had to wait a while until they dispersed far enough that I felt OK cautiously leaving the car (leaving the door open for a quick return if needed).

rob runkle
08/01/2019 14:09
I had a feeling that might happen sometimes...

Where there's a will, there's a way!
08/02/2019 09:40
Nothing like getting that run in for some HP satisfaction! Nice way to end a great trip to CO! Did something similar in Texas on the last day I could get away and climbed Enchanted Rock at Fredericksburg, TX. Nice granitic dome about 400' high. Asked my son to come with me, got a big Nope! So kudos to you for getting them involved in a fun challenge.

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