Olympic Valley 1970s (Photo: Charles Barieau, Hal V. Hall Collection)

Olympic Valley 0

The Washoe Tribe inhabited the land around Lake Tahoe for thousands of years and used Olympic Valley as a summer tribal ground. The first white settlers passed through the valley during the 1849 California Gold Rush.[1] In 1960, the present-day Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort was the site of the Winter Olympic Games; thus, the adopted name of Olympic Valley.

Two prospectors, Ethan Allen Grosh and Richard Maurice Bucke, became trapped here by an early winter snowstorm in November 1857. Eventually they crossed the Escarpment but became hopelessly lost, frost bitten, starved and hypothermic. Bucke survived but with both of his feet amputated, and E. Allen Grosh perished and is buried at Last Chance.[2]

In August of 1856, Placer County surveyor, Thomas A. Young, reported from the summit his enthusiasm over the sight spread out below, “This is the most beautiful valley the eye of man has ever beheld.”[3]

[1] Edward B. Scott, Squaw Valley, Crystal Bay, Sierra-Tahoe Publishing Co., 1960. Page 11.

[2] History Expeditions, https://historyexp.org/grosh-brothers-expedition-2023/.

[3] Edward B. Scott, Squaw Valley, 1960, Page 9.