Rainbow Lake Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.6 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
719 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Sweeping views of the Wigwam Drainage, Galton Range, and the Ten Lakes Basin await you on the Rainbow Lake Trail. This scenic high-country hike in Northern Montana explores Rainbow Lake before summiting Poorman Mountain, overlooking Eureka and the mountainous landscape.

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Route Description for Rainbow Lake Trail

Immerse yourself in Montana’s high country on the Rainbow Lake Hike. This spectacular adventure in the Kootenai National Forest exhibits a diversity of flora and fauna in addition to breathtaking alpine views. This relentless climb up the ridgeline, traversing through woodlands, past the alpine lake, and through montane meadows and scree field up to the summit of Poorman Mountain. As this route is quite demanding, it is suggested to bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated. Additionally, this rugged and remote area of wilderness is abundant with wildlife, including bears and cougars, so make plenty of noise and consider bringing some bear spray. Note the road to the trailhead is rough and rugged, so vehicles with high ground clearance are recommended.

Embark on your adventure up to Rainbow Lake from the trailhead off Road 7091. Setting out from here, hikers will be guided westward, up a steep switchback to gain a ridge. Although much of the terrain is forested, the canopy is open, allowing for the sun to shine through. After navigating the winding terrain, the route will straighten, traveling northwest along the ridge, ultimately reaching the bluff overlooking Rainbow Lake. Revel in the scene of the alpine pool, then continue along the rocky ridge, all the way up to the summit of Poorman Mountain.

From the summit, conquerors will be rewarded with panoramic views, including distant sights of the Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies, and the Kootenai River. When you are through admiring the breathtaking scenery, head back the way you came to the trailhead.

Getting to the Rainbow Lake Trail Trailhead

Access this adventure from the trailhead off Road 7091.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Camping

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Rainbow Lake Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Rainbow Lake Trail Reviews

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