Early man explored this planet a lot and lived an adventurous life. This inner desire for exploration and an inherent curiosity about rare places is still prevalent in today’s humans. People like to explore the unusual and weird places on the planet. One such unusual place is in Canada called the Spotted Lake or Khiluk or Kliluk or Ktlil’x in the native language of Okanagan people.
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Location of the Lake
The Spotted Lake is located northwest of Osoyoos town in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia province in the Okanagan Valley of Canada. Sometimes, it can also be referred to as Lake Osoyoos. You can get a glimpse of it from Highway 3 and is not too far from the US border.
History and the Story Around Spotted Lake in Canada
The Spotted Lake in Canada was originally known to the First Nations (the first inhabitants of Canada) as Kliluk, in their native language. This lake is considered as sacred mainly due to its healing properties.
During World War I, some of the minerals from this lake were used to manufacture ammunition. The area was owned by the Ernest Smith Family – a royal family of Canada – for about 40 years. In 1979, Smith showed interest in having a spa at the lake.
The First Nations responded by striking a deal in October 2001 by purchasing 22 hectares of land for $720,000, covering 20% of the cost. The remainder was paid off by the Indian Affairs Department of the Government of Canada.
Geology About the ‘Spots’ of the Lake
Sometimes called the most magical place in Canada, the Okanagan Valley looks just like any other body of water. But as the summer season sets in, the temperatures start to rise, and the region reveals hundreds of salty pools that appear in green, yellow, and blue colors; hence the name spotted lake.
These pools contain rich concentrations of various minerals. It contains deposits of calcium, magnesium sulphate, and sodium sulphate, along with eight other minerals including small amounts of silver and titanium. The different concentrations in each pool give different colors to these spots.
Out of all minerals, magnesium sulphate is a major contributor to the lake. In summer, as the evaporation process continues, it crystallizes forming walkways around the pools.
Usually, water flows from hills and mountains to streams, rivers, and finally to the ocean. But the Spotted Lake does not have any outgoing tributaries.
So, when the snow on mountains melts, the water flows down collecting different types of salts and minerals into the lake. And then in the summer, the water just evaporates revealing the pools and giving that polka-dot look.
The Mystery Behind the Healing Powers of the Lake
The Okanagan tribe has been living around the lake for around 3000 years and has been known to use the lake for healing certain lifelong illnesses like Rheumatoid arthritis.
As per the Okanagan legend, it is said that there are 365 spots or pools in this lake (one for each day) and each pool has different healing powers. Today, the Okanagan people live on a reservation nearthe Nicola Valley.
They gather twice a year at the lake to do healing ceremonies, where they invite people and sing and dance and help to cure their illnesses.
An offering like a cup of water can be made to the lake and it is believed that the ancestors bless people with the healing powers of the lake. Certain creatures like the golden eagle, deer, snake, bear, etc. can be spotted here.
The Okanagan people believe when you spot such creatures in this area, their ancestors have come to visit you and will take care of you through the healing process.
Due to the spiritual significance of the lake to the Okanagan people, it is forbidden to soak or bathe in the lake. Generally, security is present in the area to observe that no rules are broken. It is a protected site and trespassing is not allowed.
How to Reach There?
The lake is accessible via the east-west Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway), also called Southern Trans-Provincial Highway. This highway is 1,161 km. (761 mi) in length in total and connects the southern portions of two provinces, British Columbia and Alberta.
It is a four-and-a-half-hour drive from the city of Vancouver. Usually, it is better to book a tour to the lake so transport can be arranged properly. And you will also get valuable information about the lake.
Best Season to Visit
As the site’s beauty is prominently visible during the summer season, it is best to visit the Spotted Lake in Canada during the month of June-July, preferably late July. The temperatures are not that high, usually between 26°C – 30°C with a chance of very light rain.
Thus, the Spotted Lake in Canada or Kliluk is one of the most mesmerizing places in the world. It is like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go and see the lake for yourself! The surrounding area is also calm and beautiful so you can relax and click quite a few pics at the location.
It is amazing to see such a unique natural wonder on Earth that has an exciting history of the Okanagan people, the healing powers of the lake, and the arrival of ancestors through life forms in the region. It is, indeed, one of the most unusual places on the planet that is worth paying a visit.