It is a fun and rewarding hike along a very nice trail that is surrounded by small lakes, creeks, and dense forest. You will encounter a fair number of people on this trail and in the campground, which is surprising considering the area is not easy to get to.
From the trailhead to the summit via the route described here, this climb is about 2100' of gain and an 8.5 mile round trip. Expect around 4-6 hours.
This area gets lots of snow, and the road is not plowed off of the highway, so this trip is only practical after the snow melts or before it falls.
After you descend from Vanity Summit, the road gets very narrow and rough. It is not necessary to have 4-wheel drive, but it would be most helpful.
The signs on the road are very helpful, just follow and trust as you follow the various waterways. Eventually, you head up Float Creek. Once you arrive at Josephus Lake there is a small campground that has about five camping spots. The trailhead is located in the campground, and it takes you to a beautiful 16 mile backpacking loop named the Blue Bunch Trail through the Soldier Lakes area.
RouteYou will start at the trailhead of the Blue Bunch Trail and follow it toward Helldiver Lake until you get the junction named Beaver Cr-Greyhound Trail.
It's another 400 ft of Class 2 from the saddle until you reach the summit.
CampingThe trailhead is located in Josephus Lake campground. There are five camp spots for tents and a nice outhouse. It's a bit noisy considering they fish the lake, but a very nice place to flop your sleeping bag and tent down for the night.
External LinksIdaho: A Climbing Guide by Tom Lopez
Splattski Trip Report
FS hiking trails (includes Soldier Lakes)