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USA Panoramic Point

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Panoramic Point is an overlook that provides a sweeping view of the distant Kings Canyon National Park high county as well as closer Hume Lake and a portion of the surrounding Sierra National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument. The elevation is approximately 7,500 ft (2,300 m).

Photography Tips

This is simply landscape photography from a high vantage point. The view from Panoramic Point is roughly northwest-north-northeast-east-southeast, with the best part of the view being north-northeast-east. In the morning, the air is generally more clear, but you are looking into or at an acute angle to the Sun. This may or may not be the Sun angle you want. In the afternoon, the air might be a bit hazier, but the more direct sunlight from behind you can make the mountains “pop.” Regardless, Panoramic Point is a good spot for both sunrises and sunsets. There is a reason John Muir called the Sierra Nevada the “Range of Light.”

In the summer, the High Sierra can create its own cloudy-windy-rainy weather (“mountain effect” weather) and sometimes tendrils from the remnants of Eastern Pacific hurricanes (the ones that produce monsoonal weather in Arizona) can also bring inclement weather. On the other hand, summer skies are more often cloudless, bright blue, and almost too good to believe. Even so, a clear sky is less dramatic than one with some clouds. A polarizer can be very useful here.

Travel Information

Panoramic Point is easy to get to. The road starts near the Visitor Center in Grant Village in Kings Canyon National Park, and winds an easy 2 miles (3 km) to the parking lot below Panoramic Point. The road is narrow, but I have never seen very much traffic on it, even during peak summer visitation. The trail to Panoramic point is a loop, with each side being only about 0.5 mi/0.8 km long. One side of the loop is paved and is considered wheelchair accessible, although the longitudinal slope is close the limit of accessibility in places. Total elevation gain from the parking lot to the viewpoint is something like 100 ft (30 m). The road to Panoramic Point is closed in the winter.

Hume Lake (the only lake in the photo) is a great place to visit as well. On the north side of the lake is a Forest Service campground. On the west end of the lake is a Christian camp and private cabins, along with a gas station, a burger restaurant, a small market, etc. At the east end of the lake is a swimming area with a beach called Sandy Cove Day Use Area.

For more information:
Spot Type Outdoor
Crowd Factor Just a few people
Best Timing Summer
Sunrise & Sunset 05:52 - 20:11 | current local time: 23:21
Photo Themes Mountains mountainscape

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Thank you Fred Lusk for creating this photo spot in USA.
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