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.