Interactive Maps

Guidelines for Use of the Interactive Digital Maps

Enlarged example of a regionalized view.

Map of the Travels of Jedediah Strong Smith 1822-1831

  1. 1822-1831 Trapper, Trader, Explorer and Leader.
  2. 1824 Effectively discovered South Pass located at the southern tip of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming with the help of the friendly Crow (Absaroka) tribe and made public the opportunity for overland travelers to go west to California and the Oregon Territory. Over 400,000 pioneers travelled over this pass.
  3. 1826 First American to enter California overland from the East.
  4. 1826-1828 First known person to traverse the West Coast by land from San Diego to the Columbia River.
  5. 1827 First non-native American to Cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Ebbetts Pass (Highway 4 today).
Read the Introduction to the Map

How to Use the Maps

The maps were drawn by Jedediah Smith Society Map experts and historians who have researched the routes and travelled much of the area Smith journeyed. The maps are based on the primary source journals, historic maps, and other publications which are referenced at the end of this guideline. It is broken into the following areas:

Mississippi West to Wyoming, Kansas
Utah and Nevada
Oregon and Washington

Opening the Map

1. As you open the map of your area interest you will see at the lower right corner an elevation mileage marker. It will first appear at 200 miles. You can go to 50 miles and most of the trails, beavers and arrow icons will appear. To go in closer you use the (+) or () sign.

2. Beaver Icon – Click on this icon to display a brief summary of the location. It may also include a photograph. Double clicking on the picture will give you a full screen view of that photo plus give you the opportunity to view a second photo if such a photo is present.

3. Directional Arrow – These arrows indicate the direction of travel that Jedediah Smith traveled in specific years.

4. When done with a specific map:
a. You can click on the arrow in the upper most box (orange) with the area included. Do this twice.
b. When this occurs you will be taken back to the general list of maps by region, state that you can observe.

6. The map is drawn to the best knowledge we have at present.

There are only 2 surviving portions of Jedediah Smith’s journals which detail the Southwest portion up to the Umpqua in Oregon. Other journals and maps, and references have been used to document the lines. Even with the journals this line you will see is an interpretation from the manuscripts, books, journals, topography and satellite data.


Feel free to leave a comment on the space provided at right if you have a question or suggestion. Please leave 15 days for a response. Your email will not show on the web site.


The following major references have been consulted to make this map and also may be used for further research:

Books and Journals

1. Morgan, Dale L. 1953. Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West

2. Wheat, Carl, & Dale Morgan 1954. Jedediah Smith, and His Maps of the American West.

3. Sullivan, Maurice S. 1934, The Travels of Jedediah Smith; A Documentary Outline, Including His Journal. (1827-28)

4. Brooks, George R. 1977. The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah S. Smith; His Personal Account of the Journey to California, 1826-27.
and H. G. Dale

5. Rogers, Harrison G. 1977. Daybook 1. Included in Brooks and H.G Dale

6. McLeod, Alex R. Journal of the Southern Expedition. Two portions of his Journals which cover the period of September 6 to December 10, 1828, included in Sullivan

7. Dale, Harrison C. 1917, The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific 1822-1829.


1. Brue, A. H, 1833. Nouvelle Carte de l’ Amerique septentrionale. First published map depicting any of Jedediah Smith’s routes=Smith’s Southwest Expedition.

2. Burr, David. 1839. Map of the United States of North America with Some Parts of the Adjacent Countries, (First published map extensively depicting Jedediah Smith’s routes)

3. Gibbs, George 1843. Fremont -Gibbs- Smith map. Detailed routes with descriptions of places along the trail.

4. Wheat Carl, & Dale Morgan 1954. Jedediah Smith, and His Maps of the American West. Includes, Brue, Burr and Gibbs maps. These maps are published in the book. A folded copy of the two maps is placed in an envelope on the back inside cover of his book.

5. Morgan, Dale L. 1953. Jedediah Smith and the Opening of the West. Includes a map entitled The Travels of Jedediah Smith in the West 1822-1831. Drawn by Dale Morgan.

6. Wilkes, Charles, 1849 Map of Upper California

An organization dedicated to learning about and sharing the history of Jedediah Smith and other explorers and mountain men.