Moreno Valley is a city in Riverside County, California and is part of the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Area. It is the second-largest city in Riverside County by population and one of the Inland Empire's population centers. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 193,365. Moreno Valley is also part of the larger Greater Los Angeles area.
The city derived its name from the small community of Moreno, which became part of the city of Moreno Valley when the city was incorporated in 1984. Frank E. Brown, one of the founders of the community of Moreno in 1882, declined to have the town named after him, but to honor him, the town was named Moreno, Spanish for brown.
The Moreno Valley area was first inhabited 2,300 years ago. There are at least 200 prehistoric archaeological locations within the city. The majority of the sites are milling stations - where chaparral seed was the dominant milling activity. Rock art, consisting of pictographs, and petroglyphs are present - though most of the petroglyphs in Moreno Valley consist of boulders with "cupules", or cup-shaped holes pecked into them.
Spanish scouts initially came across descendants of the Shoshone, and Luiseño tribes; although other groups, such as the Serrano and Cahuilla were in the area. The late prehistoric Luiseño and Cahuilla were semi-sedentary, meaning that they wintered in villages, then spread out in family groups during the spring and summer months to harvest seeds and acorns.
Spanish scouts blazed a number of trails in the area, including the Anza Trail, which runs through the Edgemont area of present-day Moreno Valley.