I've tried twice in the past month to hike to the top of Old Dad Mountain, south of Baker. I'm clearly getting older and my fitness level is dropping. Yes, I am full of excuses! It's a short steep hike on a ridge line of very sharp lava rocks. I fell a couple times when the rocks gave way under my foot. On the first attempt, Luke and I got a late start (around noon) and so daylight hours were shorter than ideal. I would NOT want to hike on that jagged hill in the dark with headlamps. My second attempt was more of an exploration of the wash running along the east side of Old Dad. It was full of footprints from 2 or 3 hikers that appeared to return by that route. I'm not a peakbagger and I really enjoy hiking in the desert, so I have fun even when I don't summit.
I may try one more time. I'd like to try a route up the west side. I can't find any indication that others have tried that. It's longer and less steep with about 800 feet more elevation gain.
On both my recent trips I really enjoyed driving the powerline roads in that area and sections of Jackass Canyon.
We also visited the Kelso microwave repeater station. It looks to be falling apart a bit.
Going home, I drove Kelso Road running north-south on the west side of Old Dad.