Evidence of prehistoric people on Rich and Winding Stair Mountains were discovered at campsites. The slopes were too steep for full time residents. At the end of the Ice Age, prehistoric people turned from the plains to these mountains for game and edible plant products. Chert, a rock common on these slopes, was valued by prehistoric people for tools and weapons.
Ten thousand years ago, the Caddoan people inhabited the river valleys below the mountains. Research by archeologists indicates the Caddoan people adapted over time from a nomadic hunting, gathering culture to a pottery making, horticultural society and, eventually, a settled farming community.