Rose Creek and Rose Lake were named by a family who homesteaded on Cougar Creek, for their daughter Rose Brown. The Rose Lake Post Office was established in 1905, and by 1916 the population was 500. The town was primarily a company town for the Rose Lake Lumber Company, which was then known as the Winton Lumber Company. Along the Coeur d'Alene River, which flows into Lake Coeur d'Alene, there are 11 small lakes, in order:
Most of the present camping sites along this river system were used since time immemorial by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe for winter village sites or seasonal camps.