By Steve Beauregard
Yes, you can walk from the Stratosphere to the Strip, especially considering that for many people, the Stratosphere is the northernmost part of the Las Vegas Strip.
There is no official boundary for the Strip, but most folks consider it to end at either the Stratosphere, or the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
Either way, the walk is definitely doable. It’s a .4 mile walk from the front of the Stratosphere to the southern entrance of the SLS Hotel and Casino.
The Stratosphere rises over the Las Vegas Strip
It should take you about 10 minutes to walk it. Once you’re at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, you are technically on the Strip.
The walk is what I consider safe, considering the amount of people and cars on Las Vegas Boulevard. You’ll pass by an IHOP, a Circle K, a budget motel, and tattoo shop before the famous Bonanza Gifts, which is self-described as the “World’s Largest Gift Shop.”
A huge gift shop and SLS casino notwithstanding, the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue is still a little dead, so if you consider the Strip to really begin at Circus Circus, you would have to walk 8/10th of a mile or around 17 minutes, to get there.
I wouldn’t consider the Stratosphere to be within walking distance to the heart of the Strip. For example, a walk from the Stratosphere to Caesars Palace would take you in the 50 minute range, without stops. Yes, it’s doable, but it would be brutal during a Las Vegas summer day.
Fortunately, there are a couple of easier options: bus service, or monorail.
Bus From Stratosphere to the Strip
There are two easy ways to take bus service from the Stratosphere to the Strip. They’re called the “Deuce” and the “SDX.” You do have to pay to ride, however prices are very reasonable. You can buy a ticket with cash or credit/debit card at the bus stop.
There is a convenient Deuce stop, right in front of the Stratosphere, just a few feet north of the tower.
Looking south to the Las Vegas Strip from atop the Stratosphere
The Deuce runs constantly, and one will appear every 10 minutes or so. It makes stops all along the Strip. If you wanted to go from the Stratosphere, to say, the Bellagio, the time spent on the bus itself would be around 20 minutes.
Another alternative, one with a little more walking but less time spent on the bus, is to take the SDX.
The SDX stands for Strip Downtown Express. The nearest SDX stop (which is different than the Deuce stop), is just a 5 minute walk from the Stratosphere.
You’ll want to walk out the front on Las Vegas Boulevard, and go north (towards old downtown Las Vegas), taking a right on the first street you come across: E. St. Louis Avenue. From there, the SDX stop is just 500 feet on your right.
The advantage of the SDX is that it’s an express, meaning fewer stops. Once onboard, it would take you only 18 minutes or so to get to the Bellagio, from our example.
However keep in mind that unlike the Deuce, which stops everywhere, the SDX has only five stops on the Strip: The SLS, The Fashion Show Mall, Bellagio, Excalibur and Mandalay Bay. It also stops south of the Strip, at the popular Town Square Mall Las Vegas.
Closest Monorail Station to the Stratosphere
A nearby Las Vegas Monorail Station helps make the Stratosphere much less remote from the heart of Las Vegas Strip action.
The nearest one is the SLS Station, located on the west side of the SLS Hotel and Casino. This is the last stop for the Las Vegas Monorail. The station is just under 1/2 mile from the Stratosphere, or around a ten minute walk.
Mapping systems may tell you the fastest way is to take some shortcuts and zig-zag southwest to the station, but I strongly feel that the best and safest way is to stay on Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip), all the way to the SLS, where the monorail stop is located on the back side (the west side) of the resort. You can cut through the SLS, but taking a left on Sahara Avenue then right on Paradise Road will get you there as well.
It seems no matter the time of day or night, there’s always pedestrian and car traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard, and I’d feel a lot more comfortable sticking with it to get to the SLS.
Once at the station, you can purchase the inexpensive pass (sold by the trip, day, or even multiple day passes), and have a smooth quick ride to the Westgate Hotel & Casino, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Bally’s then lastly the MGM Grand.
I love the Las Vegas Monorail, and you if plan on going to the south end of the Strip (MGM Grand, NY-NY, Mandalay Bay, etc.), the monorail is a much better option than taking the bus.
(Photos courtesy of joswr1ght, and Jared via Flickr).