The area along the Autumn Creek Trail where you exit to approach the base of The Big Toe is about equidistant from both the Lubec Lake Trailhead or the Autumn Creek Trailhead at Marias Pass – about 4.5 miles from either.
There is a much shorter and very easy alternative. Between mile posts 199 and 200 on the highway is a culvert under the railroad tracks which carries a large stream. According to the 2006 GMS Journal article this is about .2 miles west of milepost 200 and .8 miles east of milepost 199 (my odometer does not do tenths). It is quite easy to spot and you can park right at the culvert. From here, it is only about 1.25 miles to the Autumn Creek Trail and the area where you continue upward to The Big Toe. Total distance from the road to the base of the climb is about 2.5 miles.
On both the topo map and satellite image you will note a very continuous open area extending from the tracks nearly to the trail. This is a long open meadow above the creek that goes through the culvert. If you start up less than 100 feet east of the culvert and follow openings upward and roughly parallel to the creek, you should find yourself in this open country and enjoy a relatively easy cross country trip.
The culvert / starting point is at about 48.3388934 / -113.326131