Jones’ early expeditions required travel primarily by horse and wagon across the vast stretches of the undeveloped West. Accompanied by a driver and occasionally other botanists, Jones would cover hundreds of miles (which he documented using an odometer attached to the wagon wheel) and collect thousands of plants both to sell and add to his personal herbarium. Unlike many other plant collectors of his time who tended to collect only the most extraordinary specimens, Jones sought to collect a complete representative flora of each region he covered, which added to the scientific value of his herbarium.
While botany was Jones’ primary interest, he also was hired as a geologist by various mining companies to report on the mining prospects of certain regions, including Utah, Montana, Nevada, and Mexico, where he also botanized in his spare time. By 1898 Jones was making use of a bicycle on many of his expeditions, his collecting equipment strapped to the back.
In 1913 he purchased a Ford Model-T, which he affectionately named “Lizzie,” from which he botanized extensively up until his death in 1934 in a traffic accident, in the very same Model-T.