Spotted Lake

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles360 reviews
Excellent
118
Very good
113
Average
100
Poor
17
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12

PookyCake
Victoria, Canada14,439 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
In the lead-up to our Okanagan adventure, my partner spied a number of tantalizing photos of Spotted Lake. To quote Spot Cool Stuff, it looked like a “scene [from] a Dr. Seuss book.” This saline endorheic alkali lake, with its “spots” of varying colours, looked like a “must stop” location; thus, we made sure it was part of our Osoyoos itinerary.

Following a busy and productive day in Kelowna and Osoyoos, we made our way along Highway 3 – northwest of Osoyoos – towards the site for Spotted Lake. We very nearly missed our destination because the pullout is extremely small. I’d say there’s just enough room for 2 vehicles. Anyway, imagine our surprise when we pull up and observe the lake from the designated viewpoint and see . . . a brown pool of water. Some of the lake’s “spots” were visible, but just barely. I can only assume the water level was too high as of late June? Anyway, so much for the yellow, green and blue spots visible in the various photos online. The vibrant “environmental anomaly” we were hoping to see certainly wasn’t visible on the day of our visit.

It’s a shame Spotted Lake proved to be such a lame duck because the Indigenous history and science behind it are actually quite interesting. The Okanagan First Nation, both historically and in the current day, have used the mineral deposits for natural healing of aches and pains. The science describes where and how these minerals – which include magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates and low amounts of silver and titanium – come from and form the signature “spots” that draw the tourists in. Together, these two elements – culture and science – create a story that was even worthy of comment from the New York Times.

Much to our chagrin, though, you have to be here at the right time to appreciate Spotted Lake as it appears in the propaganda photos. As such, for us, it was far from “the most magical place in Canada,” to quote the CBC. Instead, we share the sentiments of another tourist who stopped by Spotted Lake while we were there: He walked to the gate, said “hmph,” and returned to his vehicle. Indeed, that about sums up our experience.
Written October 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JimParkway
Toronto, Canada2,135 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
This lake is closed from public. You can see the lake only from a distance, off the highway. There is small parking area in front of the entrance.
The place can be missed easily, best to check ahead so you can recognize the entrance sign. Still, it is difficult to appreciate the lake from a distance. Furthermore, you can't see much if water level was too high.
Written November 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeanMcK
York, UK18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
This site isn't exactly the place for the iPod generation, I suspect, but it is very interesting ecologically. It is not "contaminated", as one reviewer suggested. It is a closed lake which means it does not drain into the sea, but water only leaves by evaporation. This results in high mineral concentration - the Great Salt Lake is another example. Evaporation results in the coloured spots, depending on the type of mineral and also the types of microbial life present. Amazingly, these "soda lakes" are some of the most ecologically diverse places on earth. So - it may not seem too exciting, but it is worth a look!
Written May 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Myms🌞Man
Eastleigh, UK8,935 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The spotted lake is located 8.8 kms (5.5 miles) west of Osoyoos on Hwy. 3. It can be viewed for free from the road, there is no admittance to the land around the lake.

The unusual spotted appearance is due to evaporation leaving mineral deposit.
Written October 25, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taberushikanai
94 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
This lake looks so fascinating. There is a large sign for it but right underneath there is a gate so that you cannot actually get close to the lake. Since the lake is right next to the Hope-Princeton highway entering Osoyoos, you have to be quick to turn off right in front of the gate as there are no warning signs ahead. I guess there are no signs because they don't want visitors and because it's private? It's such a shame because, like I said, it's such a cool looking lake.
Written May 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stevepencz
Surrey, Canada419 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
It is a unique place for sure. Unfortunately Indians hugging it for themselves, instead of letting others to get in, we taxpayers in a way paying for it. Sorry for the truth
Written November 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BritsInABus
Liverpool, UK96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Friends
We heard about Spotted Lake from locals in Osoyoos, as well as from the local, excellent visitor center and wanted to see it for ourselves. Turned out that we had passed it twice without realizing it was there!

You can't actually get down to the lake (yet - the local Indian Band are working on changing that) but it doesn't matter because the best view of it is from above anyway. We stopped on the road and had a great view.

The spots are caused by mineral deposits (mainly magnesium sulfate - Epsom Salts - but also gold, silver, copper, and others) - it is one of the most mineral-rich bodies of water on earth. The spots become visible because the mineral deposits are left behind when the water evaporates. So, visiting at the end of winter, we thought we wouldn't see the spots - but we did. They change color throughout the year, we saw them when there wasn't a lot of evaporation so the surrounding water was still there, a rich green. The spots were very clear though.

The good thing about Spotted Lake is that you can see it on the way to somewhere else. We were staying in Osoyoos and took a trip to the nearby town of Keremeos, passing Spotted Lake on the way. You get a really good view from the road but we also got out of the truck and walked nearer to take photos and soak up the atmosphere. It's a special place and a privilege to visit.

The local Indian Band now owns the site - thankfully, as it means it will be preserved and not commercialized. It is a sacred site to them, the waters being healing. I imagine they would be amazing for arthritis sufferers. The chief is Clarence Louie (he's done a good TED talk), who is an amazing person and outstanding businessman who does a lot for the area, as well as his own people. Spotted Lake is safe in his capable hands and I look forward to seeing what he does in terms of allowing people access to the lake in the future. It must be difficult deciding how best to allow access to something so important and sacred - visitors tend to trash things.
Written July 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

isabel4
Euless, TX125 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
It is easy to pull over and view the lake. There is a little information on the gate about the history of the site and there is a plan to make this location more of an attraction. I have never seen a lake like this so it is quite interesting. I heard that there are days when there are many different colours in the lake. When I saw it, it was only a greenish colour.
Written May 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donna & Jerry A
Athabasca41 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Friends
We went twice to this very interesting lake. We found out about it from the Tourist info people and glad we did. The first time we went in early evening and the colors were truly astonishing! We went during a very bright afternoon and the colors were not as vivid. The sign in the gate says that they may be making it a tourist destination some day and that would be nice. Right now it is just a rather small area to turn off the road, stop for a few minutes and leave..
Written May 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Curious traveller
Vancouver, Canada197 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
This was on our way to another activity but the water level was too high to see the spots properly.
It’s just off the side of the highway so was an easy stop.
Written June 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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