Canada is a colourful country and we mean that in the literal sense! From its green trees, turquoise water, red canyons and blue sky, the Great North has a sight for every shade in the rainbow – but one of the most interesting? Purple Sands Beach in Saskatchewan.
Located along the northeastern edge of Candle Lake, this enchanting destination is exactly as the name would suggest, a beach with bright purple sand.
Now, before you go planning your next trip, there are a few things worth noting!
First, this beach, in particular, can only be visited by boat – second, while you’ll still have a blast building castles and playing in the water, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually catch the lavender phenomenon.
“Most sand look kind of white or creamish in colour and that’s because they mainly contain two minerals, quartz and feldspar,” explained Mel Stauffer, Geological Sciences professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan.
The beach at Candle Lake, however, is a little bit different – containing a higher concentration of a more ‘aesthetic’ matter.
“One mineral that’s moderately common in the Canadian Shield is the mineral garnet,” he continued.
“Usually you don’t see it. If you pick up a handful of sand and run your fingers through it, you might find a few grains of garnet here and there and it’ll be sort of pinkish in colour, red, dark red, purple – a wide range of colours.”
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As it turns out, garnet is actually heavier than quartz and feldspar and when we see significant wave action in an area where there’s more of it, lighter minerals will get washed away leaving mostly coloured grains behind.
In fact, Candle Lake isn’t the only beach in Canada that turns a lovely lilac colour.
Clearwater Lake and Good Spirit Lake, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan respectively, also have beaches that appear more ‘plum,’ and make for a cool experience if you’re able to catch it, though it’s rare!
Still, they’re worth a visit as long as you’re respectful. These are pretty spectacular places and it’s important to keep them that way.
Pack your bags and enjoy, Canada! It’s not every day that you get to see a purple beach.
Where: Paddockwood No. 520, SK