West of Osoyoos in the southern Okanagan is Klikuk, the magical Spotted Lake, containing one of the world’s highest concentrations of minerals, including epsom salts, calcium, magnesium and many other trace minerals. The lake was revered as a sacred site by the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley, with the healing mud and therapeutic waters used to alleviate aches and pains.
Most of the lake water evaporates and crystallizes during the summer, creating mineral deposits that are colored according to the mineral composition and seasonal amount of precipitation. Crystallized magnesium sulphate is a major contributor to the colour of the spots. Other minerals in the lake harden around the spots, making the white-ringed spots visible.
The Spotted Lake is located nine kilometres on Highway 3 (6 miles) west of Osoyoos in the southern Okanagan of British Columbia. The cultural and ecologically sensitive traditional medicine lake is on private land, and is therefore not accessible to the general public, but travellers can enjoy a good view from the highway. As this natural phenomenon relies on evaporation for its formation, the lake will resemble any normal lake when the water level is high or after periods of rain. August and September are good viewing months.
More information on Osoyoos, British Columbia.