Rainbow Lake, or Dog Lake, as it is known locally, is located on the western boundary of the Flathead Indian Reservation. It is situated on a ridge that divides the Clark Fork and Flathead River drainages, surrounded by pine and fir forests. Facilities at the lake include toilets, campgrounds, picnic areas, and boat access. These facilities are maintained by both the Hot Springs Lions Club and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Many species of big game can be seen around the lake and the surrounding forest. Moose, mule deer, bears, and even elk frequent the area. In addition, ducks and geese migrate through in the spring and fall, and whistling swans often stop off here. Beaver, muskrat, and other furbearers also abound.
Nearby springs have attracted wild turkeys and many species of nongame wildlife. Anglers and hunters should note that a tribal recreation permit is required for all fishing. Hunting of big game and other native wildlife is strictly prohibited. Tribal recreation permits are readily available in Plains or Hot Springs and at tribal headquarters in Pablo. The Flathead Indians welcome nontribal people to their reservation to camp, fish, and picnic but have reserved big game for the preservation of their traditional ways.
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