Formerly The SLS Station and The Sahara Ave Monorail Station
Very Convenient To: Sahara Las Vegas
Somewhat Convenient To: Stratosphere, Hilton Grand Vacations
Not At All Convenient To: Circus Circus
NEED TO KNOW:
The Sahara is lovely. The area surrounding it is not.
If your ultimate destination is Downtown, too bad- this is as far north as the monorail takes you.
My Sahara Monorail Station Experience:
(Update October 2019: Everything old is new again, folks! The SLS Hotel was sold and as of August 2019, it’s the Sahara Las Vegas! Appropriately, the monorail station was renamed the Sahara Station.)
When you exit the monorail at the Sahara Monorail Station, you see a pedestrian bridge that takes you directly to the Sahara Las Vegas. It is such a huge change from the days of the Pedestrian Bridge To Nowhere to the old Sahara hotel, which used to tickle me to no end.
If you are not actually going to the Sahara and you want to exit the Sahara Station, you have to go up before you go down. This annoyed me greatly. I was even more annoyed to see that the down escalator was broken. I proceeded to take the elevator down, which was approximately 1000 degrees inside and terrifying. When you get to street level, this is the sight that greets your eyes:
The street you are looking at is Paradise Road. To get to pretty much anywhere you want to go, you will go right (North) on Paradise and then take a left on Sahara Ave, which will take you to the northern end of the Strip. It was an 11 minute walk to the corner of Sahara and The Strip. If your destination is Bonanza Gifts, congratulations, you’re here!
If you are going anywhere else, you’ve got a ways to go. Particularly if you are going to Circus Circus- I scanned the horizon repeatedly and finally caught a glimpse of Circus Circus in the distance. I have no idea how long it takes to get there, but it looked FAR.
If your destination is the Stratosphere, go north on the Strip for about five more minutes and you are there (for a 15 minute total walk). You’ll pass an IHOP along the way, the only point of interest. Provided you’re interested in pancakes, of course.
I repeat, the Sahara Monorail Station is not a nice area to walk around in. Particularly if you are alone, in heels or impaired by alcohol. I was not impaired or in heels, but I was alone and even in the middle of the day, I did not feel particularly safe. For one thing, pretty much no one else is walking around. The streets are almost deserted except for small groups of folks drinking or smoking. I was approached four different times by four different unsavory characters on my 16 minute walk from the Sahara Monorail Station to the Stratosphere. FOUR TIMES. Fans of math will note that is once every four minutes. Twice was to ask for change. Twice was to inform me of the more attractive attributes of my lady figure. (For those of you thinking, “Yeah, but how were you dressed?” please note I was not actually dressed like a prostitute. And what’s with the virtual slut shaming anyway, sheesh!) All four times I kept walking and did not feel particularly threatened, but it wasn’t pleasant and I was thankful it was not at night. On my walk back to the station from the Stratosphere, I actually followed two drunk guys drinking tall boys who had exited the hotel because I hoped passerby would think I was with them. It must have worked, as no one approached me on the way back. When you return to the station, it looks like this:
Seriously…don’t walk around this part of Las Vegas by yourself. If you are staying at the Stratosphere or Circus Circus, you do not want to walk from the Sahara monorail station to your hotel. I 100% recommend Ubering from the rest of the Strip to Stratosphere or CC, or even taking the super slow Deuce bus over taking the monorail.
By the way, if you are headed Downtown, you can hop on an SDX (Strip and Downtown Express) bus to Downtown and the Fremont Street Experience from the Sahara monorail station. Be forewarned it stops running at midnight. If you walk over to the Strip you can also catch the double decker Deuce, which runs 24/7. Deuce and SDX are both $6 for 2 hours and $8 for 24 hours (one ticket works for each). The Deuce is slooooow. SDX has fewer stops.
My Favorite Thing: That’s a toughie. IHOP? Actually, 800 Degrees Pizza at the Sahara is very tasty.