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We know what you are thinking, especially if you’ve never heard of these before: What are Outhouse Races? Here’s what the heck you should know.

They sound like nothing you’ve heard about in the communities on the plateau. Most tourists come from all around to experience the luxurious parts of the mountains, the gorgeous views accompanied by some of the finest dining in the area, the country club amenities, and skiing. In short, Sapphire Valley is known for being a place to celebrate the finer things in life. So, we understand why you might be a little weirded out by the idea of Outhouse Races in North Carolina in such a luxurious location!

But the truth is, while Sapphire is known for being prestigious, it’s also a community that prides itself on connection and family, for tourists and locals alike. The Outhouse Races provide an opportunity for everyone to gather around in the spirit of friendly competition and have a good laugh.

What Are Outhouse Races?


The Outhouse Races of Sapphire, NC is the only outhouse race in North Carolina that we know of! So, it is completely unique to our area. The Outhouse Races have been featured on Romantic Asheville and Visit North Carolina, which we count as a pretty big feat.

So what is this race exactly? Let’s start by reassuring you that these outhouses have NO bathroom purposes! The Outhouse Race in North Carolina takes place at the Sapphire Valley Ski Resort and it’s been a staple event at the end of ski season for the last 14 years. Participants in teams of three build “outhouses” around skis and then the makeshift outhouses are raced down the slope. Trust us, it’s a sight to see!

Spectators come from all corners of the Southeast to line down the hill and watch, laugh and cheer on the teams. Two team members are required to push the outhouse down the hill, and one team member sits inside the outhouse on the “throne.” And if you plan on being a spectator rather than a participant, you are in luck because it is completely free to come and watch!

Teams are supposed to name their entry and decorating freedom is completely up to them. You can create your faux outhouse however you choose. Past entries have been made with cardboard, plastic, wood and all sorts of other materials. The requirements are that it sits on skis to glide down, stands at least 5 feet tall, and comes with a proper toilet seat and toilet paper inside. Other than that, entrants have creative freedom and are encouraged to make their outhouse as wacky as possible! The crazier, the better. The most important requirement outside of building your outhouse is that you must register in advance, so if you’d like to participate, get in touch with Ski Sapphire Valley as soon as possible to reserve your spot, and a chance to win!

Before they get toppled and worn during the race, viewers have a chance to come and take a look at the creative and often elaborate outhouses. Participants who craft the outhouses spend a lot of time building them and are very proud to show them off.

What You Can Expect At An Outhouse Race


So what does the event look like on the day of? The date set for 2020 is February 15. You can expect to spend an entire afternoon at the outhouse race in North Carolina. At 11 a.m., lunch is served. This year, Danny’s BBQ is catering. Come and get a taste of North Carolina barbecue before the festivities. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., visitors can also enjoy live music. At 2 p.m., all participants should start checking in. Then, finally, at 3 p.m. the Outhouse Race will begin.

If you can’t make it to this year’s race, but you want to be in on the hype, don’t worry. The race will be streamed live on

All proceeds made from the event are donated to various charities. This year, Sapphire Valley is supporting the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau. So even if this doesn’t sound like an event you want to take part in, you can still come out, take in the sights and support this year’s cause.

A Brief History of Ski Sapphire Valley

Ski Sapphire Valley has been a haven for skiers in the Southeast since it opened its doors in 1964, just 10 years after Sapphire Valley Resort was established. The ski resort was developed after the Howerdd family decided they could develop a ski resort in Sapphire Valley similar to the one in Cataloochee. Of course, back then, developing fake snow was a little trickier. But after a successful first year of testing the slopes and faux snow, a double chair lift was installed and the resort began to serve food and wine to eager skiers.

The Cost of Skiing Sapphire Valley


The cost of skiing Sapphire Valley is going to depend on whether or not you have your amenity card. Amenity cards get you access to discounted rates to rent gear and hit the slopes, but they also grant you access to many other Sapphire Valley amenities. If you bring your own skiing or snowboarding gear, you’re going to get a discounted price as well, but Ski Sapphire Valley has a rental shop where you can pick up anything you might need for your trek.

Landmark Realty Group and Vacation Rentals in Sapphire Valley

Landmark Vacation Rentals is home to many brokers who specialize in Sapphire Valley, and who have lived there themselves for years. We know and love the area well, and we have an office in Sapphire. If you are interested in attending the Outhouse Races in North Carolina, or just want to check out Ski Sapphire Valley, get in touch with us today. We can tell you more about the race and the resort itself. Landmark Vacation Rentals has a handful of vacation rentals right in Sapphire Valley where you will be in close proximity to the ski slopes, the outhouse race, or everything you need for a weekend of family fun. Let us show you what the Sapphire Valley lifestyle looks like!