Have you ever heard of the mysterious Spotted Lake, also known as Lake Kliluk? In Canada, Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia. It is accessible via Highway 3.
Why is it called Spotted Lake?
Because of its spotted appearance, the lake is a natural wonder. But what gives rise to the spotted pattern, which is both magical and unique in the world? This lake is filled in the fall by groundwater, snowmelt and rainfall. However, the lake’s water evaporates throughout the summer because of the hot, dry weather. Mineral deposits caused by evaporation are colourful and form spots around the lake. The lake contains a high concentration of minerals. It has significant magnesium, calcium, and sodium sulphate deposits. The mineral composition and seasonal amount of precipitation, both affect how the magical big spots are coloured. Along with changes in the mineral composition, the spots’ colours also magically change throughout the summer.
The History and Healing Powers of the Spotted Lake
People have long been attracted to this stunning lake. There have been Okanagan tribes living in the region for up to 3,000 years. Their domain spanned the US-Canadian border. This tribe created a distinctive culture and way of life that enabled them to seamlessly blend into their surroundings. For the tribe, Spotted Lake is a sacred location because it is seen to be mysterious and magical. They considered it to be a “medicine lake” and they believed that each of the various circles had unique therapeutic and medicinal powers. The Okanagan used to bathe or soak in the waters in the past. The Okanagan Valley’s First Nations originally called the lake Kliluk.
Minerals from the lake were used to make ammunition during World War I. Workers extracted the minerals from the lake by mining up to a tonne of salt every day. The British Columbia Visitor Centre quotes legends that claim the lake “displayed an even greater diversity of colours and an even greater artistic beauty” before this mineral mining.
When to visit Spotted Lake, Osoyoos
The hottest part of the summer is the ideal time to visit Spotted Lake. The stunning spots are revealed when the lake’s water evaporates. You might not even see the spots if you visit at a different time of the year.