Photo Op at Spotted Lake Viewpoint

Canada Spotted Lake, BC

Added by Preserved Light Photography

  • Unique geological wonder of the world
  • Okanagan Nation Alliance sacred site
  • Looks like something from Dr Seuss

The Okanagan Highlands is home to a myriad of unique natural phenomena but nothing quite as otherworldly as Spotted Lake. Known to the Syilx People as Khiluk, or the "grandfather of lakes", it is a sacred place for healing and is said to contain 365 coloured spots, one for each day of the year.

Scientifically speaking it is a saline endorheic alkali lake. The coloured amoeba-like pools are formed each summer when the lake evaporates, leaving mineral-rich deposits of calcium, magnesium & sodium sulphates, making it one of the most mineralized lakes in the world. Their colours vary according to mineral composition & seasonal precipitation, varying from blue to green to yellow and nearly every shade in between.

The land surrounding the lake is owned by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and is normally closed to the public, both because of its cultural significance and its environmental sensitivity. It can, however, be viewed quite well from a pull-off on Hwy. 3, North-West of Osoyoos.

Here's an excerpt from the Statement of the Okanagan Tribal Chiefs on Spotted Lake in 1979...

“Since the dawn of history, Spotted Lake or 'Ha? Ki lil xw' as we call it, has been a sacred place. Indians from all tribes came to visit the lake for the medicine the lake contains. The ceremonial cairns, too numerous to count that surround the lake testify to that. Some of these are so ancient they have sunk underground and only their tops remain above ground. Some are buried altogether. There are many stories told by our ancestors about the cures this lake has provided, physically and spiritually through its medicine powers…

…Its medicinal powers are not to be taken lightly. This lake is a Chief among lakes, its powers are above the purely physical. It contains 365 circles in various shapes, sizes and depths. Each particular day of the year. Anyone who goes to this lake will find the right circle if he seeks.

Pack List

  • Car/Bike
  • Camera
  • Water
Read More




Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn



Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Summer & Fall are best when water levels are low. Cultural & Environmentally sensitive area. Be respectful.

about 2 years ago

Added by Preserved Light Photography

My name is Caillum Smith and I am an international award-winning photographer & visual artist with a collection of images that will leave you nostalgic for places & moments you've never been... yet.


 Born, raised and currently based out of the South Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, my art is layered in outdoor adventures, epic landscapes, authentic lifestyles and astrophotography that is not only visually engaging, but emotionally as well. With a passion for the outdoors and life's precious subtleties, I love illustrating the stories & moments that connect us together through the use of unique perspectives, strong compositions, dramatic lighting and an emphasis on the humbling world around us.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Wild Pacific Trail

Canada / Wild Pacific Trail

Drive south west on Coast Guard drive to the parking lot for the wild coast trail to your left (where the pin is). Park in the parking lot, and head to the trailhead where the big sign board is.

John Entwistle
7 Saves

Photograph Sunset Point in Tofino

Canada / Sunset Point - Tofino

You can park at the public beach parking at Cox Bay Beach Resort and make your way out on to the beach. Once you are on the beach, head north until you get to the "Sunset Point" trail sign.

John Entwistle
3 Saves

Camp at Stormhaven Beach

Canada / Stormhaven Trailhead, Bruce Peninsula National Park

You need to plan ahead to make the most of this trip. Permits for backcountry camping in Canadian National Parks open up in mid-January and competition for popular places (such as this) can be fierce.

Rob Nelson
1 Saves