"Named in honor of the Cahuilla Indians, as is Cahuilla Mountain 2.5 miles southeast. "Cahuilla" means "master" in the Takic dialect of Uto-Aztecan. Their migration legends tell that they came from the north (ca.600?) via the San Jacinto Mountains. They were known trading partners with the somewhat more sophisticated Gabriele&ntilede;o and Chumash to the north and served as middlemen with the warlike Mojave Indians to the east. The Apapatcem clan traditionally lived at a village known as "Saupalpa" that was 5 miles southeast of this mountain. Although related to the Luiseños, the Cahuilla were never absorbed into the brutal Mission system, and so they survived intact as a group with strong ceremonial capacity and military ability. Members of the five Cauhilla clans united under the leadership of Juan Antonio and moved north to aid Antonio Maria Lugo defend his holdings against Mojave raids (1846). Another leader, "Cabezon" (a Spanish nickname which means "fathead") also joined in alliance with the Californios. This permitted a degree of autonomy for their people as a whole. They sided with the Californios during the Mexican-American War, and fought a number of battles with their traditional enemies the Luiseñ"os- who didn't. Despite depredations by Americans in the 1850's, the Cahuilla prospered until the measles and smallpox epidemics of the 1860's. Their remnants were moved to their present day Reservation by order of President Grant (1875).
Name was originally misspelled as "Coahuila" on USGS topo and on the original HPS Peak List.