Spotted Lake Facts

The spotted lake is in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada, and is known for its high concentration of mineral deposits. 

In addition to calcium, sodium, and magnesium sulfates, this lake has eight additional minerals and traces of four more, including silver and titanium.

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Spotted Lake Facts for Kids

  • Native communities consider this lake sacred
  • The tribes use the water to treat warts, pains, and skin diseases
  • With a combined shore length of one mile, it measures 0.16 miles wide by 0.43 miles long.
  • During the summer, the lake is believed to have 365 pools of water.
  • The lake is a protected area owned by both the Canadian government and indigenous communities.
  • During WWI, the lake’s minerals were used to make explosives.
  • Magnesium sulfate is the main cause of these spots
  • Depending on the amount of water in the crystal, the spots’ color changes.

 How Was the Spotted Lake Formed

Summer rains and snowmelt flood this lake in the fall.

In the summer, when the air is hot and dry, the water evaporates, leaving shallow mineral-rich pools divided by crusty salts and minerals. 

Can You Swim In the Spotted Lake

Lake Kliluk (spotted lake) belongs to the Okanagan Nation. Therefore it is private property. So no swimming is allowed whatsoever.

It’s also dangerous when the spots are visible.

When Was the Spotted Lake Discovered?

The indigenous people of the Okanagan Nation have considered Spotted Lake a sacred place for centuries, so all we know is it was discovered a few centuries ago.

Mineral and Salt Concentration

The lake has a high mineral content, so it is not safe to drink the water. It can cause stomach problems.

The minerals are sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, and magnesium carbonate. Saltwater lakes have more of these than freshwater lakes because they get their water from the ocean.

The History of the Lake

For centuries, Spotted Lake was revered by First Nations in the Okanagan Valley as a sacred site thought to provide therapeutic waters.

Spotted Lake minerals were used in manufacturing ammunition during World War I. The area was controlled for about 40 years by the Ernest Smith Family. Smith proposed a spa at the lake in 1979.

In October 2001, the First Nations purchased 22 hectares of land for a total of $720,000 and helped fund about 20% of the purchase. Indian Affairs funded the rest.

Spotted Lake Not Open to the Public

The lake is now owned by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and operated by the ONA Cultural Centre. There is no public access to the lake. The ONA Cultural Centre has developed a program called “Water Walk” that takes visitors along the shoreline of the lake.

Why is spotted lake spotted?

The spots are created by the high concentrations of various minerals in the water, such as magnesium sulfate, calcium, and sodium. The minerals crystallize out of the water and form the spots as the water evaporates. This gives the lake its distinctive appearance and makes it a popular attraction in the area.