This is the ideal time to go. I did this hike last year in the summer – the bugs were much worse, and it was really hot and exposed at the end of the hike, coming back up the fire road.
This year I elected to take Upper Winter Creek since you start going up right away. Unfortunately Upper Winter Creek has a 250′ or so drop (that must be climbed on the way back) before getting to Hoegee's Camp. Oh well. It was shadier so I still preferred this way.
There are some fallen trees blocking the path in a few places. Not a big deal to get around/over. Near the top I missed the switchback path and took the fire road out and around to the top – it added a bit of distance but was fine.
This hike is tough – I find Baldy via Ski Hut/Baldy Bowl trail to be less strenuous. 14.5 miles with the fire road error.