As I step out onto the tarmac, surrounded by a 360° kingdom of Swiss Alps–style peaks, it’s official: I’m gobsmacked. One hour and $188 later, hello, good-mood ski weekend.
Until recently, the Eastern Sierra’s Mammoth Mountain has been almost exclusively the winter playground of SoCal-ers who’ve made the six-hour trek by car. But consider this the end of L.A.’s Mammoth monopoly. Now, flights from the Bay Area mean this eastern front—only 32 miles southeast of Yosemite but as good as unreachable by car in winter—is finally a Tahoe alternative.