On Sunday afternoon, 15 June, I found myself in Scottsbluff, Neb., at 3 o’clock, so I determined to visit Panorama Point. The round-trip took about three hours.
Going down I took the “standard” route by exiting I-80 at Pine Bluffs, Wyo. (Exit 401), and heading south several miles on a paved road and then east on gravel roads. On the return, however, I took a good gravel road up to I-80 near Bushnell, Neb. (Exit 8). If you don’t mind fewer paved miles, this is a good alternative when coming from or going to the east.
The high point is easy to get to using the published directions. It is located on private land, and $2 is charged on the honor system for access. I hope the owners (a bison ranch) use the collected fees to improve the access road, which is in poor shape. My Monte Carlo made it o.k., but it did have to dodge a few holes and puddles. Of course you can always walk from the access gate (about half a mile) if you wish.
You can drive right up to the high point, which is unspectacular, being part of that gradual upward tilt to the landscape as you travel westward in Nebraska. Nearby land in Wyoming and Colorado is obviously higher yet. At the high point there is a granite marker and a metal stand containing a register (and helpful directions back to I-80).
The NE-CO-WY tri-state monument is nearby, but I did not visit it. Panorama Point is an easy high point to “bag” if you’re traveling on I-80, so take a half hour or so to see it when you’re in the area.