I can't speak much on Mammoth, but it looks to be quite a drive for you. I'd suggest somewhere in the South Lake Tahoe area....Sierra-at-Tahoe or Kirkwood. You can go for a pass at Heavenly, but I've heard nothing but better things about Sierra and Kirkwood than Heavenly. I only ride Kirkwood (Hit Squaw once for something different), and I've never had a need to ride Heavenly or Sierra (though I would like to give Sierra a shot).
Traveling the States and Taking Pictures