This pass is one of the most interesting histories in the state of Kansas. Kearny County was fortunate in the creation of the sandhills, with the only natural pass through the low lying hills and sand dunes.
Bear Creek, rising in Colorado, entered the hills in Kearny County running mainly north to what was known as Clear Lake. This made a natural pass through the hills and was known as Bear Creek Pass. It was used before the white man’s time by Indians and buffalo. In the seventies and eighties, buffalo hunters and bone pickers traveled it to get to the railroad at Lakin. From which point many carloads of hides and bones were shipped east.
As the Rock Island railroad was not built until 1888, cattle were taken through the Pass to Lakin and shipped to eastern markets.
From 1885 to 1887 it came into its own as a freight route and all transportation went through the Bear Creek Pass.