For years, Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, California, was popular mostly among Southern California skiers who would drive up to the 11,000 foot mountains because there was no commercial air service. That changed last year, when Horizon Air started flying there from L.A.
Now, the Sierra Nevada ski destination has become even more accessible with increased service from other Western cities. Horizon has added direct fights from Portland, Reno, Seattle and San Jose, in addition to more flights from Los Angeles. The fares are amazingly reasonable (ranging from $49-$79 one way) and can easily be matched up with connecting flights.
One thing you do not have to worry about at Mammoth is whether there will be enough snow. With more than 400 inches annually, chances are you’ll see more snow here in one week than some people see in their lifetimes. It’s a voluminous ski area, with 3,500 skiable acres with 150 trails and 28 lifts. The bulk of it is for intermediates (40%) though advanced (20%) and beginners (25%) have more than enough to keep busy with.
Mammoth Lakes is also home to the Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center, which has a satisfying variety of trails with views of craggy peaks worth stopping and taking the gloves off to photograph.
Consider staying at the Snowcreek Resort, which is the mountain’s original resort. Super-comfortable and attractive Western-designed condos and town homes provide more than enough space for families. Snowcreek guests have access to the Snowcreek Athletic Club which has in and outdoor pools, tennis and racquetball, exercise classes and more. There’s also a spa with a variety of massages, oil wraps, and facials.