Series: Glacier Landforms

Paternoster Lakes

Paternoster lakes in Grinnell Valley (Glacier National Park, MT)
A series of beautiful paternoster lakes lines the floor of Grinnell Valley in Glacier National Park (Montana).

NPS Photo/T.R.

Paternoster lakes occur in a series down a formerly glaciated valley in small basins scooped out by the glacier as it retreated. The name suggests a similarity to beads on a rosary, and the lakes are often connected to one another by streams that run between them and down the valley.

To learn more about glaciers, glacier features, and glacial landforms, see the Glaciers & Glacial Landforms Page.