For my second ski trip of the 2022-23 season I made my first visit to Mammoth, California. I had never been to Mammoth and was quite looking forward to it. Unfortunately I wrenched my knee in October and was still not able to ski by the time this trip rolled around so I’ll definitely need another visit.
During the time of my visit Mammoth had received more snow than any resort in the world this season, over 500 inches of snow to that point. So I couldn’t tell much from the outside as we approached the building as so much of my view was blocked by the piled-up snow!
As there were three groups arriving that same day, the weekend manager was handling our check-in within one of the conference rooms. Unfortunately my room was not ready. The manager considered swapping us to a different room but when she learned there were three of us in the unit who would not be skiing, she said we’d be better off in the room we’d been assigned as it had a good view we could enjoy. That turned out to be a more important statement than I realized at the time. I was happy to learn we could have housekeeping every day. That was rare even pre-pandemic and is practically unheard of these days.
The lobby is quite large with several different seating areas and a gas fireplace. Quite often there were folks sitting here and chatting as they waited for others or were just passing the day. The front desk was always manned and there were benches across from it that were great to use when waiting for the town shuttle buses that pull up right next to the building. (It’s the Green Line and the Yellow Line during the day and the Night Trolley in the evenings.)
Pool and Hot Tubs
The back exit of the lobby opens on to a large patio where the heated pool and three hot tubs are located. These saw extensive use at the end of the ski day.
There were also a couple of grills (not “barbecues”) available for use though nobody used them during my stay.
Also on the ground floor is the ski locker room. I do not believe there are any benches in there and most folks I know of wore their ski boots to their rooms but left ski & poles in the lockers.
Instead of using a room key, the locks use the same formula as you might see for a safe in a hotel room: you set the combination each time you close it. So naturally you may need to consult with your roommates to use a code you all know!
There’s also a small fitness room on the ground floor, across from the ski lockers. It has a door leading to the pool area and signs in the hallway indicate that this is normally the primary means of access there but the door was broken during my stay as it did not close properly. It was tied in place with caution tape but on one particularly windy day the tape broke and it would swing wide open and then slowly close. The room was quite chilly that day!
Also on the ground floor is a small coffee shop that’s only open in the mornings (7-10ish) and re-opens from 3-7 PM. It has a small selection of souvenir clothing, swimsuits, postcards and other souvenirs but is not a place for serious shoppers. However, you do get a 10% discount if you’re staying at the lodge!
The elevator lobby has three elevators and I believe they all have a couple of chairs there as well. Upon exiting the elevator lobby the hallway extends in both directions on floors 2-4 and only to the left on the 5th floor. The hallway to the left itself splits into two wings. There is a self-serve laundry room on floors 2-5 as well as a soft drinks vending machine and an ice machine.
The x10 and x39 rooms are two-bedroom units that are a little larger than others. Our trip leader was given one of these rooms and it was large enough for us to have a pizza party with ~25 people. The x02-x08 and x20-x26 even-numbered rooms have a good view of the pool, hot tubs and the mountain across the way. Another bonus of these rooms is that even when there are huge amounts of snow, as there was on my trip, the view from these rooms is not impaired. We had one unit on the first floor and even our trip leader’s condo on the second floor where one or more of the windows had been boarded up from the outside to prevent the snow that was piled up that high from putting too much pressure on the window and breaking it!
Our unit was on the fourth floor and faced the pool and hot tubs with a mountain in the background so we had a rather nice view.
Immediately upon entering, the kitchen is on the right and the master bedroom just beyond that. On the left is the hall bath, a small storage area and the second bedroom (ours had twin beds). Just in front is the dining table with the sofa beyond that, a gas fireplace on the right and an angled door to the balcony.
The kitchen had the basics but there was really no place in the cabinets for food storage. The cabinets were fairly narrow and required us to angle the plates to remove them/put them back in. I liked the freezer-on-the-bottom refrigerator and it had plenty of space for the few groceries that the four of us bought for the week. The microwave was above the stove/oven unit and the sink was across from these appliances.
Our unit had a round dining table though since these units are independently owned, the furniture is not identical among them.
Beyond that was the large L-shaped sofa sleeper with a coffee table and an ottoman large enough to sit on. I didn’t get a photo of the gas fireplace but it was operated by a thermostat on the wall near the dining table (see previous photo) and was quite easy to operate.
The door to the balcony had a full-sized window beside it that could tilt open to let in fresh air. We took advantage of that several afternoons when the sun was beating strongly and made our unit quite warm. One downside to that setup was that on a very windy day the wind was whistling like crazy. Even closing the curtains over the door & window did not quiet it. The owners had provided a long, narrow door stop intended to prevent cold air from coming in below the door but we hung it on the corner of the window by the door and that helped to quiet the noise just a little. Fortunately for us it was only windy one day.
The master bedroom has a king bed on the far wall. Not pictured is the chest across from it. It also has large windows facing the balcony. The master closet is actually quite small and is tucked in the corner.
The master bath is also fairly small and contains a shower/tub, toilet and the sink in one area.
The second bedroom is actually larger than the master because it doesn’t have the balcony running in front of it nor does it have a cut-out into the bathroom. So the closet is a good bit larger and I was pleased at the number of coat hangers provided. The cabinet across from the beds had ample storage room and though it had no built-in drawers, I thought it was clever the way that baskets had been installed on various shelves to function as drawers. A flat-screen TV sat on top of the cabinet.
The bathroom is also larger than the master, with a wide vanity and several drawers below. The top drawers are deeper but fairly narrow while the lower drawers are not very deep but are quite wide. There was also a basket on the lowest level with the hair dryer (which was nice & powerful!) and on the shelf beside that were extra towels. There was no tub in this bathroom, only a large walk-in shower, which was fine, but it would have been nice to have had more than one tiny little wire shelf to put toiletries. My roommate brought her own and would put them back on the vanity when she was done showering which was a pain compared to being able to just leave them in the shower. There was nowhere except the floor to put a razor and shave gel and I’d have loved a small foot-level shelf in the back corner to prop up my leg to shave it. The water pressure in the sink was not good but I loved the adjustable showerhead as it had multiple ways to send down a strong spray.
Toiletries were made specifically for Juniper Springs and worked fine though I’d have preferred to see body wash instead of a bath bar.
Between the hall bath and the second bedroom was a shelving unit with four hooks, towels for the pool/hot tub and an elephant made from hand towels. Right behind the front door was a set of three hooks along with the door draft stopper.
Wi-Fi was generally good though I could definitely tell when most folks had come in from skiing and were cranking up their devices as the bandwidth dropped. But there were also times in the middle of the day when I’d be reading one webpage and click to go to the next page and the internet would have dropped out. Usually I could just disconnect and re-connect the wi-fi and carry on but it was quite annoying. I was glad I didn’t get a work call causing me to have to log in and potentially face that issue.
The Juniper Springs Lodge is at the base of the Eagle Lodge and Eagle lift on the left side of the trail map. So it’s super-handy for getting to the slopes. But if you don’t have a vehicle, you’re at the mercy of the town shuttles. Both the Green line and the Yellow line stop by every 20 minutes during the day, but after 5:30 there’s only the night trolley which is every 30 minutes, is on only one route and only runs in one direction so you may have to ride the long way ’round to get back. There is no restaurant in the lodge and once the Eagle Lodge closes at the end of the ski day, there’s no restaurant within easy walking distance.
In the end
Our group had stayed at this property before and it is certainly a solid choice, especially if you have your own vehicle as they have covered parking. It’s a little more inconvenient if you have no vehicle and want to go out in the evenings. While I would be happy to stay here again, I will also be sure our group looks into lodging in The Village in Mammoth Lakes, which has lodging units over retail outlets and is right next to a free gondola that goes directly to the Canyon Lodge base. It would have been nice for us non-skiers (or even skiers on their day off) if we could have just walked outside our units and found dining and shopping choices instead of having to take the shuttle. All the shuttle lines stop at The Village so it’s also easy to get to other parts of the town from this location.