Places around the park bear the ancient names given to them by the native people; for example Sahale, Nooksack, Shuksan, Nohokomeen, Hozomeen, Skagit and Stehekin. The Chelan tribe has left some special markings on the cliffs around Lake Chelan known as pictographs. These drawings made with red ocher, a natural form of iron oxide used as a pigment, are a continuing link with the past. A replicated panel of one of the Lake Chelan pictographs can be seen in the North Cascades Visitor Center at Newhalem. The exhibits there display some examples of stone tools and a piece of ocher used by native people of the North Cascades.
Some places like Diablo were given Spanish names and other recent influences include Ross Lake named after JD Ross who began the Seattle City Light development of the Upper Skagit Valley almost a century ago.