Spotted Lake, Canada
Published: Jan 15, 2017 11:59
Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Spotted Lake is richly concentrated with various minerals. It contains dense deposits of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains high concentrations of eight other minerals and lower amounts of silver and titanium.
Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, revealing colorful mineral deposits. Large "spots" on the lake appear and are colored according to the mineral composition and seasonal amount of precipitation. Magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer, is a major contributor to spot color. In the summer, remaining minerals in the lake harden to form natural "walkways" around and between the spots.
Originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley as Kliluk, Spotted Lake was for centuries and remains revered as a sacred site thought to provide therapeutic waters. During World War I, the minerals of Spotted Lake were used in manufacturing ammunition.
Later, the area came under the control of the Ernest Smith Family for a term of about 40 years. In 1979, Smith attempted to create interest in a spa at the lake. The First Nations responded with an effort to buy the lake, then in October 2001, struck a deal by purchasing 22 hectares of land for a total of $720,000, and contributed about 20% of the cost. The Indian Affairs Department paid the remainder.