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Sphinx Mountain

Difficult
 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Stunning 360 degree views from the top of one of the Madison range's most iconic peaks.


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Map Key

12.4

Miles

19.9

KM

69%

Runnable

10,722' 3,268 m

High

6,236' 1,901 m

Low

4,728' 1,441 m

Up

4,727' 1,441 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

68%

Max Grade (34°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Enjoy spectacular views from both the saddle between The Helmet and The Sphinx, and from the top of the peak itself. There are plenty of streams, wildflowers, and wildlife along the way, and you can often find mountain goats scaling sheer rock faces towards the top!

Description

Start your journey from the Bear Creek parking area about 30 min drive from Ennis to the Southeast. The trailhead is clearly marked towards the far end of the parking area, across from a forest service cabin.

Follow the Trail Fork of Bear Creek for about 2 miles before reaching a sign where the trail splits. Stay left towards The Helmet. This is where the grade increases as you make your way up a number of nice long gradual switchbacks until the trees start to clear up. At this point, you'll be able to see The Sphinx and continue up some additional switchbacks to the saddle between The Helmet and the Sphinx. This is a great break spot to take in the views and a good turnaround point for those looking to preserve their calves :)

To reach the summit - which is a steep and sometimes scrambly ascent - make your way from the saddle through a patch of trees, from which the trail will start to wind up a steep indentation (marked by a spring-powered stream) in the mountain.

You'll most likely lose the trail at points along the way before finding it again, but just keep working your way up the steep and windy slope until it opens up to a large open space at the top. The actual summit is just a bit further to the right and requires another quick scramble to reach.

Enjoy the truly spectacular 360 degree views, nurse those legs, and follow the same route back to the trailhead.

Shared By:

Carl Tremblay

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1601

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#45

in Montana

#1,601

Overall
29 Views Last Month
114 Since Aug 2, 2020
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Photos

The Sphinx in all her glory
Aug 2, 2020 near Big Sky, MT

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