I staffed Baptiste during the summer of 2019, and wanted to clarify trail distance and location. This is one of the few places where the Cairn map is egregiously incorrect -- the lower portion of the trail they show was abandoned by the USFS many years ago, and the trailhead is not where Cairn suggests. The first mile of the trail now follows closed Forest Service road #570, with a trailhead about a mile west of where Cairn indicates.
The current trail length is 5.7 miles, with 2,800' of elevation gain. It's a pretty mellow hike with some nice views once you gain elevation, and you're likely to have the trail to yourself. Watch for bears in Silver Basin during huckleberry season, and be sure to bring snacks for the guy in the lookout!
First and foremost, Baptiste Lookout was refurbished in 2012 and it is now seasonally staffed with a volunteer lookout! Go say hi!
Second, the trail to the lookout is 4.9 miles, not seven ... atleast according to the Cairn Cartographics Bob Marshall Complex map. I'm going to agree with the GPS ...
Third, opinions are opinions, but my opinion is that the trail climb to the lookout is incredibly mellow. This trail, like most lookout trails, were built purposely to allow mule traffic to carry building materials, supplies, etc. to the top of a peak (or, in this case, high point). This is an uphill walk, but a mellow and enjoyable one for sure!
Fourth, I climbed to the summit; the climb is never above Class 2. I approached via the avalanche chute/debris/creek about a mile below the lookout. I stayed looker's right of the mountain's middle highpoint and found a very steep, but very safe route to the ridge. With some very simple route finding you can traverse the ridge with no more than a little Class 2 and easily gain the summit from there. I descended toward the ridge above Cup Lake and then bushwhacked my way down the ridge and back to the trail. A long climb, but a worthwhile one! The views east and north are fantastic!