spotted lake

Spotted Lake

Amazing Travel Facts Canada


Did you know that we have a “Spotted Lake” in Canada? In the summer, water evaporates and leaves a polka-dotted landscape of yellow, green and blue spots. It has been a sacred place for centuries. Amazing, right?

In winter and spring, the lake located northwest of Osoyoos in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley looks just like any other body of water. But as most of the water starts to evaporate in summer, hundreds of huge briny pools are left behind, leaving a polka-dotted landscape of yellow, green and blue spots. The CBC calls the appropriately named Spotted Lake "the most magical place in Canada."
Spotted Lake has been considered a sacred place for centuries by the indigenous people of the Okanagan Nation, according to the British Columbia Visitor Centre. They believed that each of the different circles had different healing and medicinal properties. The lake was originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley as Kliluk.
The land that surrounds the water was privately owned for many years, but it was acquired for the benefit and use of the Okanagan Nation in 2001. The purchase ensured that the land would be protected from development and restore it as a cultural and environmental site.
Spotted Lake is very highly concentrated with numerous different minerals. It contains some of the highest quantities (in the world) of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains extremely high concentrations of 8 other minerals as well as some small doses of four others such as silver and titanium.
Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind all the minerals. Large “spots” on the lake appear and depending on the mineral composition at the time, the spots will be different colors. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer. In the summer only the minerals in the lake remain, and they harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.