The drive to Mammoth Mountain from Pasadena is a quick five hours. By the time you get out of L.A. to marvel at all of the natural colors in the wide-open skies and the emptiness stretching to horizons on either side of the car, you’re in Bishop eating a deli sandwich at Erick Schat’s Bakkery and have less than an hour to go. If you’re traveling on a Sunday, Monday, Thursday, or Friday, there’s an even faster route—by air. Advanced Air flies directly from Burbank to Mammoth, and for frequent skiiers has launched the relatively affordabe Bulk Ticket Booklet of 10 one-way flights priced from $1,545.
Here to Stay
Find the mountain town’s biggest news of the season a five-minute drive from the slopes: Sierra Nevada Resort opened in November. The revamp of the former Sierra Nevada Lodge replaces mountain kitsch with Sierra sleek. The 1967 building maintains its central fireplace and vaulted cedar-beam ceiling, but has been completely renovated with a cozy, contemporary look. At the heart of the resort is Bar Sierra, serving California fare accompanied by 16 craft beers on tap and a video-arcade room. There’s also the Lobby Wine Bar for après ski. Among 179 accommodations are 19 renovated four-bedroom chalets (reopening April 2023) and 15 fireplace suites in the main lodge that can be paired with connecting rooms. Ten newly built one-bedroom cabins all have fireplaces and skylights and Black Tie Ski Rentals provides convenient on-site equipment service.
Brothers and celebrity chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio of Estuary in Washington, D.C. (and the now closed STRFSH fish sandwich shop in Santa Monica) have opened Vulcania by the Voltaggio Bros. in the Village at Mammoth. The Italian concept includes favorite pizzas, pastas, and salads that the L.A.-based brothers, who both snowboard, are known to cook at home for their families. Speaking of families, Mammoth’s popular sledding area Woolly’s Tube Park & Snow Play has expanded its number of tubing lanes and added an elevated conveyor lift.
Beyond the ski and snowboard slopes, the backcountry around Mammoth Lakes begs exploration. During winter, tour pristine terrain via a heated, 12-passenger snowcat to Minaret Vista. You can also book a guided tour of the area via snowmobile or, for a more meditative experience, snowshoe solo among dozens of marked, maintained trails.