Sunday, August 30, 2020 • Olympic Valley, CA • Course Map
Set for its 7th annual running among the roads and trails of California’s famed Squaw Valley Ski Resort, the home of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, this half marathon (and Run to Squaw 8-Mile race) unfold among some of the most stunningly beautiful mountain scenery you can find in Northern California, the gorgeous mountains that look out onto Lake Tahoe miles away.
Small, intimate field size. Just over 300 runners crossed the finish line in both races combined in 2017, including 158 finishers in the half marathon alone. While most runners hailed from within the state, one runner came all the way from Beirut, a woman named Hannah Mazkour who finished in 58th place.
According to the race report by Hannah Clayton of Big Blue Adventures, the race’s organizer, Mazkour (like many of the runners who weren’t accustomed to Squaw Valley’s winter-like weather in summer) came to the finish line dressed in a singlet and shorts, and she could see her breath — the temperature at start time was 40ºF!
“Rest assured, Tahoe’s stunning snow-capped peaks made participants quickly forget how cold it really was,” Clayton wrote in her report. “When you’re running in what looks like a postcard, nothing else matters.”
Out-and-back course. Runners start the half marathon and the 8-mile race at the Village at Squaw Valley, the part of the resort where its iconic hotels and restaurants lie, and from there head east along the mountain roads that lead out from the resort.
The course then continues along Squaw Valley Road for the next 1 3/4 miles or so, until you almost reach the Squaw Valley Fire Department at the intersection of Squaw Valley and Squaw Creek Roads.
Once there, you turn onto the trails that wind through the forest, making your way east toward River Road and Squaw Valley Park. There, you’ll turn right and head south, this stretch taking you along the Truckee River for the next few miles.
You’ll make your way almost all the way into Tahoe City running along West River Road, but you’ll reach the half-way turnaround point just before making it there. After you make the turn, you’ll retrace your steps all the way back to Olympic Valley for the race finish.
High-elevation race. While there aren’t big changes in elevation during the race — the highest point lies at just over 6,200 feet above sea level, and the lowest at just over 6,100 feet — you’ll obviously be running at more than a mile-high altitude, so be prepared to adjust to that depending on where you’re traveling from.
All photos Harry Lefrak/Lefrak Photography
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled in the mountains overlooking Lake Tahoe in Northern California, Olympic Valley typically sees some of its warmest and driest weather of the year in August, which typically brings temperatures that average between the mid-40s and the mid-70s, and precipitation amounts just under 1 inch for the month.
On race day (June 7), the average low is 43ºF and the average high is 74ºF.
- 2019 Squaw Valley Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Squaw Valley Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Squaw Valley Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Squaw Valley Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Squaw Valley Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Squaw Valley Half Marathon Results
- $65 – $105 for the half marathon
- $50 – $90 for the 8-miler
To reserve your spot in the 2020 running of California’s Squaw Valley Half Marathon or 8-mile race, register online at RunSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Squaw Valley Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, as well as anything you learned about the race that you think other runners/walkers should know.