Hunters from the Sauk people drove elk over the surrounding cliffs, and the Sauk women picked up the meat on the rocks below. A great battle between Wenatchee Indians and Sauk-Suiattle hunters over the elk meat was won by the Sauk, who threw the dead bodies of the defeated into the lake, that their bones might mix with the white snags in the lake and serve as warning to others. In the Sauk language, the traditional word describing the reddish-colored rocks means "elk blood", while the word for the lake means "skeleton people". While it's a beautiful quiet wide spot in the Sauk River, the lake has over the years acted as a settling pond for the outflow of many toxic materials washing down from Monte Cristo mining sites. The lake might well be the future site of a major environmental cleanup.