This photograph of Stein's Pass was taken by William Abraham Bell in 1867. The photograph shows rock formations atop sloping hills rising up on the left side of the photograph that are visible when travelling through the pass. The pass is located in the area today known as Hidalgo County, New Mexico, near Doubtful Canyon that runs through the Peloncillo Mountains.
In 1867-1868, the Kansas Pacific Railway Company (originally known as the Union Pacific Railroad Eastern Division) organized an expedition to survey potential railroad routes from Kansas to California. There were two expedition parties sent through Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California led by General William Jackson Palmer (1836-1909). Doctor and amateur photographer William Abraham Bell (1841-1921) and professional photographer Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) were appointed to photograph the expedition. Bell traveled primarily with the expedition along the 32nd parallel ending in San Diego. After the survey, Bell was a prominent businessman in the United States and Colorado. He built and operated the Denver and Rio Grande Railway with Palmer and was involved in many other coal, mining, and business ventures.