Kliluk Spotted Lake in Canada, description and photos

Lake Kliluk

Coming to Canada, every tourist must get to Lake Kliluk, it is so distinctive that it evokes contradictory feelings and associations.

The local Okanagon Indian tribe is the rightful owner and custodian of the lake, protecting it from outsiders. Therefore, you can only gain access with the personal permission of the tribal chief. Once you get to the pond, you will find yourself in a real fairy tale, which will not want to leave for a long time.

Lake Kliluk is the most unusual body of water in Canada. Everyone who has ever visited it has one single question: “is this an illusion or reality?”

The lake is located near the town of Osoyoos in British Columbia and is just a fantastic sight. Looking at it, you can think that the lake has stepped out of the pages of a science fiction novel about distant galaxies and uncharted planets. The thing is that on its surface you can see spots of greenish, brownish-yellow color.

The shape of the spots is round or oval, and you can see gray stripes next to the circles.

Where did this spot come from? Why does the water in the pond has a special structure and shimmers in different shades? It is all about mineral salts, of which there is a surplus in the pond. This is the only place that has its own special composition.

The water contains sulfate compounds with various elements. Almost the entire Mendeleev’s table is collected here The climate in this part of the country is pleasant, and in summer it is quite hot.

The water evaporates and the sulfate compounds crystallize, forming small islands all over the water. They are so strong that anyone can walk on them without risk to life.

Unique Lake Kliluk

Because of its therapeutic effect, the Canadian Indians consider the lake a sacred place. It got its name from the local Okanagan Indian tribe. There is even a legend of two warring tribes. For many years they fought. And in the end, both tribes, wounded and weakened, turned to the lake, in order to heal their wounds. And the lake helped them, healing both physical and mental wounds. Since then, the Indians have worshipped the lake, considering it their amulet.

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But this is just a legend, and now, for more than twenty years there is a serious war for the reservoir. This is due to the unique healing properties of the waters. At the end of the 20th century the lake was owned by Ernest Smith, who decided to create a spa complex near it. It is estimated that the complex would gather within its walls hundreds of people every day. The idea of creating the resort was vehemently opposed by the Indians. In their opinion, white people have no right even to touch the sacred place, let alone build resorts.

Negotiations lasted a long 20 years. In the end, Smith was blown away, and agreed to sell the lake to the Indians for $720,000.

Today, there are just over 350 people living on the Indian reservation. It is the only tribe in Colombia with almost total unemployment that has preserved its way of life and traditions.

The lake is still owned by them and is not accessible. To get in, you must get special permission from the chief of the tribe. And then you can not come close, as the territory is fenced off.

You can admire the reservoir from a specially installed observation deck.

To get to Lake Kliluk you can take a scenic route, passing by several large parks – nature reserves.

Nature knows how to surprise. One of these surprises was the sacred place Kliluk. You won’t find such an unusual landscape anywhere else. The spots on the lake make it look like the surface of some unknown planet. A planet you want to discover and get to the heart of.

Northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia 49.07806°N 119.56694°W

The magic behind the barbed wire. The spotted Lake Kliluk.

Canada is called lake country for a reason. More than 50 percent of the world’s freshwater bodies of water are found here. Many of them are hidden in the mountains and in sunny weather play with unique shades of turquoise. In the north of this country, there are bodies of water, which have been visited by no more than a dozen people in their entire history. Hidden in the dense taiga, or among the picturesque hills, they beckon with delightful blue smoothness and reserved beauty around them.

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But there is one small body of water among all the lake splendor, which is not so easy to approach. And looking at it from a distance you really want to take a closer look – what are these colorful spots, like the skin of a magical big jaguar?

Spottead Lake (Kliluk)/ © travelel.co.uk

Spottead Lake (Kliluk)/ © travelel.ru

But you can’t go down the low slope into the basin where Cleeluck Lake is located – it’s securely fenced in with barbed wire, and there are warning signs about private property hanging as well. Initially, you might think that this is a reasonable precaution, protecting tourists from unknown danger. But no – no threat to life. The owners of the lake just decided to prohibit access to the pond not only for the tourists, but in general to anybody. Why? I’ll tell you now, but first, what are these spots and why they have such an interesting color.

Not magic, but chemistry.

Spottead Lake is located in southwestern Canada almost on its very border with the United States. In winter, fall and early spring, it is an unremarkable body of water of ordinary color, set in a small basin between low hills. But in summer.

In summer, when the thermometer’s column firmly freezes at the mark of + 30°С, Spottead Lake dries up and its surface changes, being covered with unusual spots. The spots are small lake lagoons, in which there is still water. And it incomprehensibly changes its color, playing with all the colors of the color palette – from soft blue to dark brown.

Depending on the air temperature, the lake can be like this … and this … and this

The reason for this “rainbow” lies in the chemical composition of the lake bed. A lot of mineral salts, mostly magnesium and sodium sulfates, as well as silver and titanium compounds, come to the surface there. Under the influence of the sun and air, these salts saturate the remaining water, giving it such a fantastic color. And later it may change, from green to yellow, and from blue to purple. In general, not a lake, a kaleidoscope of colors.

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Indians start and lose

The peculiarity of the reservoir had long been noticed by the natives of these places – the Okanagan Indians. They gave it the name Kliluk, which means “to heal” in the local dialect. According to legend, there was a long war between the Indian peoples in the vicinity of the lake. And when the Okanagan tribe had to retreat, they went through the dried up lake, washed their wounds with magic colorful water, and they quickly healed. Since then, the local people have regarded the Kliluk as a sacred body of water.

But history knows what fate befell the Native American peoples when Europeans arrived there. No, the Okanagan Indians were not expelled from their homeland, but the surrounding land was divided among the first settlers and Lake Kliluk had an owner.

For three seasons, Clearwater Lake is no different than any other body of water / © vancouverok.com

Three seasons Lake Kliluk is no different than any other body of water/ © vancouverok.com

It was one Edward Smith, to whom the fact of owning the lake did not pay any significant dividends. But the First World War changed everything. A few years before it started, scientists had studied the mineral composition of the shore and figured out the nature of the multicolored water. When the war broke out, the salts and minerals from the bottom of the Kliluk began to be used to make munitions. Hundreds of mercenary Chinese mined salt here, which all went to the east of the country for the munitions factories. The Okanagan Indians only watched longingly as the lake gradually lost its color and its rich colors faded.

When the war was over for a long time the lake stood unneeded by anyone. Only a few tourists knew about it, and came to wander between the beautiful multicolored lagoons, but Kliluk did not have much publicity.

Early summer - the water in Kliluk begins to evaporate / © vancouverok.com

Early summer – the water in Kliluk begins to evaporate/ © vancouverok.com

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Spikes instead of spas

In the ’70s, however, Smith’s heirs decided to turn the situation around and capitalize on the fact of owning a body of water. They wanted to build a spa resort on the lake and start mining on an industrial scale.

The Okanagan Indians were horrified at the prospect of losing the sacred lake forever and decided to buy it back from the Smiths. The bidding took a long time, the Indians could not find the sum needed, and the owners of the land and the lake did not want to cede. Everything changed when the Canadian government got involved. Within the framework of the program aimed at the support of the indigenous population, it donated the missing sum, and in 2001 the Lake Kliluk finally changed its owner. The price of the issue was $720,000 Canadian dollars.

Naturally, the Lake Kliluk Indian community decided not to build resorts and hotels on the shore, much less exploit any minerals. They did just that – they fenced the lake with barbed wire and completely prohibited access to it for anyone – tourists, scientists and just curious people.

The passage to Lake Kliluk is closed / © vancouverok.com

The passage to Lake Kliluk is closed/ © vancouverok.com

And now all the blessings of Lake Kliluk can enjoy only the Indians – once a year during the national holiday they organize among the multi-colored lagoons chanting and rituals, accompanied by miraculous recovery from illnesses.

As for the rest, they are invited to admire the Kliluk from the highway, taking pictures from a great distance. This is why there are very few pictures of the lake up close on the Internet, much less with people depicted on them. It can’t be helped, private property. And that’s a tough one in Canada.

Lake Klilook is believed to heal wounds, but the opposite can be said about the water of Lake Berkeley-Pit – it creates these wounds, and in general, can kill any living organism :

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