Jones Pass

Alberta. Pass: Smoky River drainage
Between Pauline Creek and Meadowland Creek
53.5311 N 119.8044 W — Map 83E12 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1912
Name officially adopted in 1925
Official in Canada

Robert W. Jones was a location engineer for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway who made a survey on the Alberta side of the boundary around 1906.

Donald “Curly” Phillips [1884–1938], 1912:

“On a pass a few miles west of there [Bess Pass], I found what I took to be one of W. R. Jones’s camping places when he was exploring that country a pass for the G.T.P. Ry., and later on we called that little pass, between the middle fork and the west branch of the Jackpine, Jones Pass.”

Frederick Arthur Ambrose Talbot [1880–1924] wrote about Jones in The Making of a Great Canadian Railway:

With him [G.T.P. surveyor C. C. Van Arsdoll] was associated a kindred spirit. This was Mr. R. W. Jones. Railway spies among the secrets of Nature in the mountains, like poets, are born, not made. And Mr. Jones certainly knows the Rockies through and through. In the search for the breach in this frowning wall through which the Grand Trunk Pacific could be carried in the easiest manner he probed the barrier through and through, exploring in all about 10,000 square miles. It was not open country that he traversed, but the heart of the range, bristling with precipitous, snow-crowned caps, which he trod through and through for the slightest sign of a passage, which, upon discovery, no matter how narrow, was followed up till it either came to a dead-end, comprising as it were a huge couloir, or sloped up towards the clouds. Every little detail was scrutinised closely, and committed to memory and paper by means of an eye trained to the country from prolonged seclusion in the wilds. Nothing escaped his vigilance. It might have been a narrow ledge here or a gully there, but it was searched industriously, in the hope that it might help to solve the problem in hand.

The most remarkable phase of his task was the flying survey, wherein the country was reconnoitred hurriedly but thoroughly. Jones went off with but an Indian to keep him company. The red man, Pierre Belcour by name, has accompanied his ” white chief ” so often that the two are almost inseparable companions.

Talbot’s reference to a “flying survey” indicates its haste, not its mode of travel.


  • Talbot, Frederick Arthur Ambrose [1880–1924]. The making of a great Canadian railway. The story of the search for and discovery of the route, and the construction of the nearly completed Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific with some account of the hardships and stirring adventures of its constructors in unexplored country. London: Seely, 1912. Internet Archive
  • Phillips, Donald “Curly” [1884–1938]. “Winter conditions north and west of Mt. Robson.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 6 (1914–1915):128-135
  • Jobe Akeley, Mary Lenore [1878–1966]. “Mt. Kitchi: A New Peak in the Canadian Rockies.” Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, Volume 47, No. 7 (1915):481-497. JSTOR
  • Karamitsanis, Aphrodite [1961–]. Place names of Alberta. Volume 1: Mountains, Mountain Parks and Foothills. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1991

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