Latitude / Longitude:
36°16′05″N 117°35′30″W / 36.26806°N 117.59167°W / 36.26806
4,790 ft (1,460 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Darwin is a census-designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Darwin is located 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Keeler, at an elevation of 4,790 ft (1,460 m). The population was 43 at the 2010 census, down from 54 at the 2000 census.
It is named after either Charles Darwin or Dr. Darwin French. According to Erwin Gudde, Dr French of Fort Tejon was with a party of prospectors in the area during the fall of 1850. Dr French also led a party into Death Valley in 1860 to search for the mythical Gunsight Lode via the local wash, lending his first name to the wash, canyon and future town.
In 2011, the town was the subject of a documentary film, titled Darwin. In April 2012, BBC News featured a video of local residents describing their wishes to replace dial-up Internet access with broadband.
Silver and lead discovery at the place led to the founding of a settlement in 1874. A post office opened in 1875, closed for a time in 1902, and remains open. The town prospered when Eichbaum Toll Road opened in 1926, opening Death Valley from the west. When Death Valley became a National Monument in 1933 it was decided to buy the toll road to allow free access to the new park. In 1937 a new cutoff bypassed Darwin, isolating the town.