Old Dad Mountain, Granite Peak #1


By: Paul Freiman


Private Trip

Barbara Raab and I read Dale van Dalsen's January '86 (#188) trip and we were determined to "fill in the gaps" for the new DPS guide that President Randy is compiling. OLD DAD MTN. Baker, CA. From I-15 drive South 19.9 mi. on paved Kelbaker Rd. right (west) 2.0 mi. on excellent dirt (good camping opportunity after 0.2 mi. on left). The old turning point after 19.5 mi. on Kelbaker was once better, but now poorer dirt. Right again, this time for 8.3 mi. on good dirt and note the following: after 1.5 mi. of this 8.3 mi. stretch, a road comes in from the right, stay straight. After 3.5 mi. HOLE IN ROAD. This hole almost swallowed Barb's 4WD as we drove in at night. My recommendation is to drive in the daylight! At 6.2 mi. there is a high road/low road fork. We took the high road (left), but 4WD. could do the sandy low road. At 8.3 mi.(0.1 mi. further is a locked gate) turn right on a 4WD only road, go 0.6 mi. and park. Drive is 45 minutes. HIKE; Peak is 1.5 mi. NW. Hike NW for 1 mi. along the wash at the base of the mountain. When the wash naturally turns into the mountain to the west of the peak, pick up a moderately ducked route up the wash. When the wash tops out, go straight up the mountain and you will hit the summit plateau a few hundred yards north of the peak. We descended this way and took 1 hour 45 minutes to the cars. We were not slow. Nevertheless, Dale says route is 3 hours. I suggest a 4 hour route. Barbara and I decided to get a more fulfilling experience and ascended the entire length of the ridge. Anyone can hike the wash right?! We encountered a touch of low 3rd class near the summit. 3 1/2 hours to the summit.


Continue south on Kelbaker Rd. Stop at Kelso and look, at the old train depot. Eldon Hughes and Patty Carpenter are on the Board of Directors to restore this old train depot. South on Kelbaker 12.2 mi. from Kelso, turn right on poor dirt road. Two years ago Dale was able to take passenger cars to 3.3 mi. Only high clearance vehicles should attempt this now. If you plan to go in and out, then I would suggest parking on the south side of the Granite Pass summit Microwave Station 1.9mi. south on Kelbaker Rd. Anyway, back on the poor road, go 1.7 mi. to a nice camp spot, then continue straight down the hill to a "wash road". At 2.0 mi. there is a tank, road deteriorates. At 2.7 mi. fork, stay right. At 3.3 mi. big rock! If in large group, then all park. Smaller groups can go in 4WD only road to 3.6 mi. before parking. Driving time 25 minutes. HIKE; Dale hiked up the wash on a 230 degree bearing. We hiked up the broad ridge north of the wash located at the intersection of sections 1,2,11,and 12. We descended on the ridge on the other side of the wash. In the summit saddle there is a pinnacle on the left (south) and a rounded high point on the right. The peak is on the right. There is a single bench mark at this spot. Two hour 15 min. up, 1 1/2 hour down. There was no register at the rock pinnacle and the footnote should be taken out of the "Peak List". Also, as can clearly be seen from Kelbaker Rd., the pinnacle is lower.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section