Getting ThereUntil the new airport opens, it's a six-hour haul up from L.A., or a three-hour sprint from Reno.
When To Go Spring skiing is like mid-winter elsewhere, with more sun. When most mountains close, in April and May, Mammoth is in her glory.
Sleeping In Rooms at Juniper Springs run from $280 per night for a one-bedroom condo, to $545 for a three-bedroom. Call Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau (888-466-2666; visitmammoth.com). Rates range from $89 for a B&B, to $500 for large units.
Dining Out The A list is short but good. Nevados and Skadi offers upscale California cuisine. The Lakefront Restaurant at Tamarack Lodge is intimate and classic. For great Mexican fare, try Roberto's.
Après-Ski Whiskey Creek is where the wild things are. Locals can be found at the Clocktower. Ocean Harvest's disco nightclub is below its restaurant.
Kicking Butt For first tracks, be on the gondola when it opens. When the best lines have been hit, tuck into Paranoid Flats or Wipe Out Chutes for leftovers.
Kicking Back Double Eagle is a full-service spa in the nearby town of June Lake; 760-648-7004.
Activities There are nearly 40 miles of cross-country trails around the Twin Lakes, accessed via the Tamarack Lodge and Resort (www.tamaracklodge.com; 760-934-2442).
Don't Miss The view from the top. Even if you can't ski, you owe your eyeballs a trip to the Panorama summit.
Vital Stats Terrain: 3,500 acres; lifts: 30 (including 2 gondolas, 1 six-pack and 8 high-speed quads); base elevation: 7,953 feet; summit elevation: 11,053 feet; vertical rise: 3,100 feet; annual snowfall: 384 inches; lift-ticket prices: adult, $56; teen, $42; children, $28; under 6 and over 80, free; season pass: $399; Information: 800-626-6684, mammothmountain.com.
Buying In Two-bedroom condos at the new Village at Mammoth are priced in the $500,000 range; 800-421-7005; www.intrawest.com/mammoth.