The mountain was also known in the past as Doi Loing (meaning big mountain) or Doi Ang Ka, meaning mountain at the crow washing tub. Near the mountain's base was a pond formed like a washing tub where many crows gathered. The name Doi Inthanon was given in honour of the king Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north and tried to preserve them. He ordered that after his death his remains shall be placed at Doi Loing, which was then renamed.
In 1954 the forests around Doi Inthanon were preserved as one of the original 14 National parks of Thailand. 1972 and 1975 its area was increased, so it now covers 482.40 km². The park spreads from the lowlands at 800 m altitude up to the peak in 2565 m, thus covering many climatic and ecological different parts, thus with a total of 362 it has the highest number of bird species of any region of Thailand. The park is often called The roof of Thailand.