Kliluk in nsyilxcen.


In the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, lies a lake like no other. Known as kliluk in nsyilxcen, it is a site of deep spiritual and cultural significance for the Syilx Okanagan people. Throughout winter and into spring, this lake looks like any other body of water, nestled away in the rolling hills with a shallow depth and shimmering surface.  However, as the summer sun grows hotter and its rays beat down on the lake, water evaporates, lowering the surface level over time. As the water level drops, interesting shapes begin to break the surface.

As the summer heat drives on, it becomes clear that these shapes are sections of giant circles, which are normally lying invisible just below the surface. Now, with the hot summer providing no relief or added water, the circles continue to reveal themselves. Colourful pools of water appear at their centre, displaying gorgeous hues of yellow, blue and green. These beautiful ‘spots’ give this magical lake its English name – ‘Spotted Lake’. The lake’s beauty is only half the story though – its history is fascinating as well.

‘Spotted Lake’ has no outflow; no river or creek to drain it, and receives all its water as run-off from the surrounding hills. Each year, as snow melts and flows into the basin, it brings with it minerals and salts, which accumulate year over year, century over century. As the summer sun evaporates the water, the salts become exposed and the spots change in size and colour over a matter of months, creating these beautiful fluctuating hues, based on the mineral composition of each spot.

You can read more here. And a couple of videos:


  1. says

    Yes, it is. And given the high content of epsom salts and such, I can see why it would help people with aching joints or arthritis. I had a relative that swore by epsom salts, used to buy massive boxes of the stuff, and would soak in it every night.

  2. rq says

    Epsom salts in a hot bath are a wonderful thing. One of my siblings had major childhood eczema, and it helped keep the itch and redness down.
    Maybe one day I will go and look at it, from a respectful distance.

  3. says

    I love the idea of walking around the lake as an offering, because not only does it show appreciation, it will also make appreciate the lake even more.

    As for salts: the “Dead Sea” pool at the Spa is a wonderful thing for skin and joints. Just remember not to shave the morning before.

  4. naturalcynic says

    Had to look it up on googlemaps and Holy Shit!, I discovered that I bicycled right by the place in August 1980 on the Crowsnest Highway

  5. says


    Had to look it up on googlemaps and Holy Shit!, I discovered that I bicycled right by the place in August 1980 on the Crowsnest Highway

    You’ll have to go back someday!

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    Strange and wonderful. Viewed from the air there’s a bit of a fried egg look there, which isn’t a bad thing.

Leave a Reply