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Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

This rugged trail on the northern end of the Sky Lakes Wilderness is great fun if you’re a good rider with an experienced, well-conditioned horse.  Located not far from Prospect, Oregon, this loop runs through the Middle Fork Burn and through pretty hemlock/fir forest. 

Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

The ride features delightful wildflowers in season, plus gigantic views of the Middle Fork Canyon (nearly 3,000 feet deep), the Rogue Valley, Mt. McLoughlin, and even Mt. Shasta. 

Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

Difficulty:  Challenging

Distance:  12.5 miles round trip

Elevation:  4,700 to 6,500 feet

Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

The Ride

You’ll start at Bessie Shelter Horse Camp, a primitive campsite on the edge of the Sky Lakes Wilderness.  This challenging loop follows the Tom and Jerry Trail (named for a Forest Service packer’s favorite mules) to McKie Meadow.  It returns to the trailhead following the Mudjekeewis Trail, named after the god of the four winds in Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha.” 

Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

The trail is challenging because the terrain is quite rocky and the elevation gains are significant.  However, if you and your horse are both experienced and your horse is in good shape, the panoramic views you’ll enjoy will be ample compensation for the exertion of the trail. 

Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

The Camping

You can camp overnight at Bessie Shelter Horse Camp is a dispersed camp with a creek running beside it.  It has no formal campsites, but room for many trailers on the edge of an open meadow.  The site has a shelter, a falling-down corral, and a central fire ring, but no toilet, picnic tables, or manure bins.  You can highline your horses in the trees on the edge of the meadow.

Tom and Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop

Getting There 

From Medford, take Hwy. 62 (Crater Lake Highway) north for 45 miles and turn right at the turnoff for the town of Prospect.  In 0.7 mile, just beyond the Prospect Hotel, turn east on Highway 992 (Red Blanket Road) toward Butte Falls.  In 2.7 miles, go left on Bessie Creek Road (Road 37).  Follow it for 3.1 miles and veer left on Road 3795.  Continue 5.8 miles and, when the road makes a hairpin turn to the left, go straight on Road 600.  The horse camp is on your right in 0.1 mile.  The Tom and Jerry Trailhead is 0.6 mile farther up the road, but the presence of other vehicles may make it challenging to turn your horse trailer around. 

Learn More

You’ll find more information about the Tom & Jerry/Mudjekeewis Loop in Riding Southern Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at

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