Very nice hike to Helmet- Sphinx saddle. The continuation down and around the Helmet, isn't too bad, but requires 5or 6 creek crossings, possibly dangerous in high water. You will want wading shoes.the last mile goes on forever. Will definitely do that first half again, one of the prettiest hikes anywhere especially in early July.
This is just one more amazingly beautiful mountainous spot in Montana. I didn't quite make it to the top because the steepness was getting to me since I'm afraid of heights. And the top of Sphinx is all loose gravel, which makes it all that more difficult. I was going real slow and careful, but everyone else was blowing right past me. It does take several hours though so prepare for that.
This hike starts at USFS Camp "Bear Creek" on the border of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Trail follows creek for two miles, splits north at a junction, and gains a couple wide meadows before switchbacking through breezy pine forests that end at about four miles, all of this being prime grizzly habitat. Make noise! Follow the trail as it zigzags through meadows (or if snow-covered trudge straight towards the peaks) to a broad saddle. Leave the trail here to either find interesting if not frightening routes among the southern crags of the Helmet, or head east towards the Sphinx. Locate a small break in the cliff bands, more north than you might think, and gain easy access to the steep scree fields that lead all the way to the top. Snow lingers in the gully here well into summer, and crossing can be hazardous. The actual summit is somewhat broad and mesa-like. Lay flat on your chest and peer over the southern rim half a mile straight down into true wilderness.