Spotted Lake

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Spotted Lake
Spotted Lake.jpg
Location Northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia
Coordinates 49°04′41″N 119°34′01″W / 49.07806°N 119.56694°W / 49.07806; -119.56694Coordinates: 49°04′41″N 119°34′01″W / 49.07806°N 119.56694°W / 49.07806; -119.56694
Type Saline, alkali, endorheic basin
Primary outflows Terminal (evaporation)
Basin countries Canada
Max. length .7 km (0.43 mi)
Max. width .25 km (0.16 mi)
Shore length1 1.7 km (1.1 mi)
Surface elevation 1,877 m (6,158 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada accessed via Highway 3.[1]

Mineral and salt concentration[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] 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.[2]

Naming and history[edit]

A zoomed in shot of the lake from the highway.

Originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley as Khiluk, Spotted Lake was for centuries and remains revered as a sacred site thought to provide therapeutic waters.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Spotted Lake today[edit]

Today, there is a roadside sign telling visitors about the lake’s mythical healing powers. Despite a fence protecting the lake shore from the liabilities of public access, the lake can be easily seen and many visitors stop to view the site.

References[edit]

External links[edit]