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.
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 pond from a specially installed observation deck.
To get to Lake Kliluk you can take a scenic route, passing through several large parks – nature reserves.
Nature knows how to surprise. One of those 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
Why is Lake Kliluk spotted and behind barbed wire?
Canada is famous for its wild and pristine nature, there are many lakes and that is why many people call it lake country. Some of the lakes are in the mountains and in good sunny weather you can see the unique shades of turquoise. In the northern part of Canada, there are lakes that only a few dozen people have been lucky enough to see. Securely sheltered by the dense vegetation of the taiga, they attract with their blue smoothness and the incredible splendor of their surroundings.
Of all the lakes in this wilderness area, one in particular stands out, and it is not very easy to get to it. From afar, the body of water shimmers with multicolored spots, resembling the skin of some fabulous huge jaguar.
Go down to the unusual multi-colored lake can not – access to it closes the barbed wire and signs, which says that it is private property. Anyone who got here, it would seem that thus tourists are warned of some danger. In fact, there is no danger to people here. The renters or owners of the lake had the idea to limit the access to the pond to all the people. What is the motive?
Chemistry instead of magic
The unusual and even slightly strange lake is called Spottead Lake, located in southwestern Canada near the U.S. border. During the winter, fall and spring, the body of water is no different from its counterparts; it is during the summer that the magic happens. In the summer, when the scorching sun heats the air to 30 degrees, the surface of the reservoir begins to change, it is covered with unusual spots of different colors. The spots are actually small lagoons that still have some water reserves. Water for unknown reasons becomes multicolored, and all variety of color palette is involved.
Scientists have a reasonable answer to this incomprehensible phenomenon – the special chemical composition of the lake bed. The bottom of the reservoir is rich in mineral salts – titanium, sodium and magnesium sulfates, as well as silver compounds. The sun’s rays together with the warmed air make the water more saturated. And it changes color each time, becoming yellow from green or purple from blue.
The Indians start and lose.
The strangeness of the body of water was noticed even by the indigenous locals. They named it Kliluk, which means “to heal.” According to an old legend, during a long military confrontation between two local tribes, the retreating side had to cross the lake. There were a lot of wounded warriors among retreating tribes, and they treated their wounds with water and they healed quickly. Since that time, the Kliluk has been a sacred lake for the locals.
However, history knows what happened to the Indians after the arrival of Europeans. No, they were not expelled from their land, but land was divided among the settlers, and the lake got its owner.
The owner of the unusual lake was a certain Edward Smith, who, however, did not bring any profits to the reservoir. Everything changed dramatically during the First World War. The lake was rich in minerals and salts, which were used as raw materials for military supplies. Cheap labor from China was used to produce salt, and all the salt extracted was sent to weapons factories. Locals became unwitting observers of the water body losing its uniqueness.
After the war, no one was interested in the reservoir for quite a long period. Few people knew about this amazing body of water, they came to enjoy the incredibly beautiful lagoons. Truth be told, the lake had no overwhelming popularity in those years.
Barbed wire instead of a spa
In the 1970s, Smith’s heirs decided to mine the lake for minerals and open a health resort at the same time. Naturally, the local residents did not like such an idea of businessmen and they decided to buy the pond by all means. The Indians did not have the necessary amount of money, and the owners did not want to make even the slightest concessions. The situation changed after the intervention of the Canadian authorities. The government decided to give the natives the money, and in 2001, the reservoir got a new owner.
The Indians, of course, were not interested in building a hotel on the lake shore and mining in its depths. They decided to block free access to the lake using barbed wire and warning signs. Today this place cannot be visited by tourists, scientists or just curious people.
Today, all the benefits of the reservoir belong only to the Indians. Every year they hold a national festival – singing songs and conducting rituals. The rest of us can observe the lake from the highway, photographing the beautiful scenery from afar. For this reason, there are not many quality photos of the lake on the Internet. And there’s nothing you can do about that when it comes to private property.
If you want to see this unusual phenomenon live, or just going on a trip, be sure to use the service Yandex Travel to find the cheapest tickets and best hotels.