Inyo County was established on March 22, 1866 -- formed out of the territory of the unorganized Coso County, which had been created on April 4, 1864 from parts of Mono and Tulare Counties. It acquired more territory from Mono County in 1870 and Kern County and San Bernardino County in 1872.

Named for the "dwelling place of the great spirit" in the Mono language, Inyo County has been the historic homeland for thousands of years of the Mono tribe, Coso people, Timbisha, and Kawaiisu Native Americans.

Today Inyo County is the second largest county in California at 10,227 square miles, yet has a relatively sparse population of 18,144 (as of 2016 Census estimates). Independence is the County Seat.

Inyo County has a rich indigenous history, as well as a legacy that also traces its roots to pioneering, mining, railroading, ranching, and farming. Much of this history is not only on display today in museums and cultural centers throughout the county, but in the culture, livelihoods, and family trees of those who call Inyo County home.