Olympic Valley, California

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Olympic Valley, California

As the sight of the five Olympic Rings and the 1960 Winter Olympics, the eponymous Olympic Valley remains an international symbol of sportsmanship. Decades later, Olympic skiers and snowboarders still come to Olympic Valley to train on the resort's advanced ski slopes and terrain parks, while novice and intermediate skiers explore the nearby paths suited to their skill levels. Olympic Valley is the second largest ski area in the Lake Tahoe Region.

The City

The unincorporated community of Olympic Valley went through several transformations before finding its niche as a premier skiing destination in the United States. Its first inhabitants were Washoe Indians, who traveled to the valley during the summer to hunt and forage. White settlers traveling through the area in the 1800s coined Olympic Valley's more common name, Squaw Valley, when they noticed the Washoe women, known as squaws, foraging in the valley. Squaw Valley's journey to its current fame began with the opening of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort in 1949. In 1955, owner Alex Cushing convinced the International Olympic Committee to allow Squaw Valley to host the 1960 Olympic Games, despite the fact that the fledgling resort only had one lift and a 50-room lodge at the time. With several improvements and upgrades, Olympic Valley became the smallest place to ever host the Olympic Games. These games were also the first to ever be televised live. Since the 1960s Olympic Valley has grown into a well-renowned ski resort. With the shopping, dining, and lodging options that have sprung up in the valley, as well as its proximity to Lake Tahoe and California state parks, there is plenty to do in the Olympic Valley area during the summer and winter.

Do & See

If you decide not to spend every waking minute of your visit to Olympic Valley on the slopes, there are other activities to be pleased with. Visitors can enjoy spa treatments, family-made snow tubing at SnoVentures, or a journey on the aerial tram. Summer activities include golf, hiking, wall climbing, fishing and more.


The gastronomical variety is more than fair for such a small resort community. Here restaurants are located both on the mountains and in The Village on the valley below, serving complete meals as well as quick snacks. Some restaurants are only open during ski season so check them out in advance.


There are quite a few sporting wares shops in The Village. You can also find specialty shops, selling everything from wine and delicatessen, to handmade goods and souvenirs.

Tourist Information