If you need to fly anywhere from Nevada County, what are your options?
The closest real airport is Sacramento (SMF), though the international part is a bit of a stretch. It takes a bit more than an hour to drive there, unless you’re going during rush hour and I-80 is backed up. If that happens, it is often faster (and less risky) to take highway 20 east to Hammond-Smartsville Rd to 70 to 99 to I-5 (https://goo.gl/maps/47EYG1aM9U9BdpBc8).
SMF offers great prices for parking – the daily lot (an easy walk to either terminal) is only $12/day. Economy is $9/day, and I’m usually happy to pay the extra to avoid waiting for the shuttle bus.
There aren’t as many flights out of SMF as other airports like SFO, but Southwest can usually get you to where you need to go with a connection. Plus JetBlue offers direct flights to JFK, which is awesome.
If you don’t want to drive, there are options for rides to the airport ($60-$80 one way), or the more painful option of catching the train to downtown Sacramento, and then Lyft/Uber to the airport, or a slow bus commute.
The next closest major airport is Reno (RNO). It’s a bit further (1.5 hours), and your only viable route is I-80, so if that’s backed up you’re in trouble. Which can often happen during the winter or if there’s significant weather, so I only fly out of Reno in the summer/fall.
It also doesn’t have as many flights as Sacramento (130 daily flights to 22 destinations), but similar to Sac you’ve got pretty good options via Southwest.
I’ve never tried taking the train to Reno, but in theory it could work. Just be warned that Amtrak service from Colfax to Reno is often very late.
Oakland (OAK) is a possibility, but it’s 2h 15m, which is about the same as to SFO, so I haven’t had a reason to use Oakland.
San Francisco International
San Francisco (SFO) is often your only option for international flights. Getting there can be a hassle, especially during the weekdays with rush hour traffic. Options I’ve used are (a) fly from Sacramento, (b) train to Richmond, then BART to SFO, and (c) drive to an East Bay BART station like Orinda, leave your car there and BART to SFO.
If you use this last option, you should buy a BART long-term/airport parking pass here (details at https://www.bart.gov/guide/parking#AirportLongTerms). Price is currently about $7/day, which is a great deal, and lets you skip fighting traffic to SFO.
Nevada County Airport
Our local airport (GOO) offers some private charters (e.g. via Alpine Aviation). It’s expensive, but if you absolutely, positively need to get to the Bay Area in a hurry then that’s a good option.