Mount Villard, named after a president of the Northern Pacific Railroad, is Montana's 13th highest Mountain and one of Montana's 25 twelvers (with a rise of at least 300'). Located a little over a mile Southwest of Granite peak it can be found on the "Granite Peak" USGS Quad map. Mount Villard actually has two summits, the Main peak is the Eastern one and the Western summit, also called "Hidden Peak" is about a quarter mile to the West, with a descent of about 150 feet. Both summits are over 12,000 feet high. While Granite Peak gets a lot of traffic, being a US Highpoint and the highest point in Montana, Villard is much more rarely visited. Also it's position between the two more spectacular peaks, Granite and Glacier, somewhat deemphasizes it, but as a Montana 12'er, it is appropriatly included here.
There are several approaches and routes up Villard. The most straightforward is to take the good trail to Upper Aero Lake on the Cooke City side, and approach from the south, There is an easy (for the Beartooths) draw that goes right up to the saddle between East and West Villard. Turn right to the summit.
Mount Villard can also be approached from the Northeast, the ridge that leads to NW Granite. One way to gain this ridge would be up from Skytop Lakes, or you can climb up from Storm Lakes above Avalanche Lake. All approaches involve rock hopping and the NE ridge approaches will probably involve crossing steep snow fields or glaciers so be sure to at least have an ice axe.
When To Climb
Any time but the summer season runs from July to around September. July and August offer the best weather. Storms roll in lots of afternoons so watch the clouds, and start early.
You can camp anywhere, but the only comfortable places would be down by the lakes, Storm is fairly close as is Upper Aero and Skytops.