The Panorama Trail will always be easier when taken from the east side, rather than from the parking lot. If you're a go-getter, than by all means take the big hill from the parking lot.
It's very easy to see where Panorama Trail gets its name from. This trail easily provides the most views in the most directions. When starting from the east and heading up, you can look to your left and see between the hills of where other trails are. About 100 yards in, there's a picnic table slightly off the path where you can sit and enjoy views all through the northeast and the southwest. It's one of the highest points in the park too, so there isn't much to obstruct your view of things.
As you continue along, you'll cross the Pomo Trail
where you'll be treated with more unobstructed views of the west. Finally, you'll head down the steep hill to the parking lot.