Like Mono Lake 1,000 miles south, British Columbia’s Spotted Lake is landlocked, resulting in salty, alkaline waters. Over the summer, much of the water dries, leaving behind a lava lamp pattern of mineral “spots” that can appear white, pale yellow, green, or blue, depending on their composition. These mini-islands consist mostly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes to form grayish walkways around and between the spots.

Spotted Lake also has a spotted history. The First Nations tribes of the Okanagan Valley have long viewed the lake as sacred. After World War I, the Ernest Smith family assumed control of the area and in 1979 tried to raise interest in building a lakeside spa. After a long struggle to buy the lake, the First Nations finally purchased 54 acres 12 years ago. Though the lake is fenced off, it is visible from the highway.

spotted lake in british columbia, canada

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