Sphinx Mountain (Madison Range)

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Photo by Ryan Krueger


Length: 
14 miles (round-trip)

Duration: 4 to 7 hours

Difficulty: Hard

Elevation Gain: 3,940 feet 

Activities: Hiking

Crowds: Light traffic
 

About
This bucket-list peak in the Madison Range is one of the toughest climbs around. Hike on a maintained trail for approximately 5 miles to the saddle between the Helmet and the Sphinx. Sidehill toward the mountain, below a horizontal cliff band, and then head up along a narrow drainage spilling down the face.

For the descent, glissade snow in the main drainage. If the snow is gone, resist the temptation to descend the difficult scree north of the main drainage. This area has fragile moss, grass, and soil that shouldn't be disturbed. Instead, follow the steep scree trails down the sides of the drainage or climb down the west ridge. 

Seasonal Conditions
In early season, follow snow in the main drainage to the summit. If the snow is gone, continue traversing across the face's main drainage to the broad scenic west ridge, which is south of the drainage. The area is closed from the end of the special late-season elk hunt until May 15 each year.

Directions
From Ennis, head south on Hwy. 287 to Cameron. From there, head east onto a dirt road and turn right after 3 miles. Follow this bumpy road through two 90-degree turns, past ranch houses, then turn left to the mouth of Bear Canyon and a large trailhead parking area.

Lat:
45.16316632279102
Lon:
-111.56849485568847
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