Discover Spotted Lake

A Lake unlike any other

Located on the unceded Syilx Nation’s territory and maintained by the Osoyoos Indian Band, Spotted Lake, called Ktlil’x” in the Okanagan language, is a sacred site to the indigenous nation. Northwest of Osoyoos and observable from Highway 3, the aptly-named Spotted Lake is breathtaking both up close and from afar.

The lake has naturally occurring spots created from the unique chemical and mineral deposits from the neighbouring hills, and at times each spot can become its own distinct colour, from blue to green to yellow and purple. This cultural and ecologically sensitive area is a sight to behold, worthy of thousands of photos. The sign next to Highway 3 explains the history, the unique science behind this biological phenomenon, and what cultural significance this lake plays for the Okanagan Nation, as it has served as a revered place of healing for centuries.

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos Photographer: Nic Collar

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos
Photographer: Nic Collar

This naturally forming mineral lake is captivating, and we encourage everyone to pull over on the side of the highway to take some great pictures, though there is no trespassing beyond the gate onto this private property outside of a guided tour led by one of the local Syilx guides from, Sẁiẁs Spirit Tours. These tours will offer a unique perspective on the cultural significance of the lake, and what role this traditional site played (and continues to play) in the Okanagan Nations ongoing history.

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos Photographer: Allen Jones

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos
Photographer: Allen Jones

Whether you’re stopping for a quick picture or hope to join a guided tour, the lake is a sight to behold and could be different a mere week later. The ongoing changes in the dense deposits of magnesium sulfate, calcium, sodium sulphates, and eight other minerals make Ktlil’x” an experience unlike any other.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alastair Heinrichs is a Creative Writing student from UBC-Okanagan. Alastair loves encouraging people to discover more about our region, whether that’s a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the local food and craft beer scene or secret campgrounds.

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