For those that have stood for nearly an hour in line waiting for a taxi at Las Vegas airport, surely you have wondered what it would be like to walk to the strip from the LAS airport terminal. As you slowly move through the snaking taxi line, like a herd of cattle, you think that the strip didn’t appear that far away when landing, how bad could it be to walk? Was there even a walk path? How far is it to the first strip casino? I’ve had these questions too, and now I have answers, along with lots of photos.
First things first. If you’re traveling with family, have luggage, or tire easily, I wouldn’t suggest walking from the airport to the strip (or from the strip to the airport for that matter). Suck it up and take an airport shuttle or cab (or even limousine service), and get the idea out of your head. If you are traveling solo, and traveling light (I had only a backpack and my camera), the approximately 2 1/2 mile trip may be a breeze for you. I did this walk in February and it was 60° out so I don’t know that I’d recommend it during summer months, when it can be 100+ degrees in the Las Vegas desert. Ready? Let’s get walking.
When walking, we often get a chance to see stuff (like the above cowboy sculpture near the airport entrance), we wouldn’t necessarily get to see when sitting in a taxicab. I took quite a few photographs along the way, in an effort to make this post more enjoyable.
I set out for two targets; the casino nearest the Las Vegas airport, and the entrance to the Las Vegas Monorail (MGM Grand Station). I estimated the trip was going to be about 2.5 miles, depending on where I exited the airport. I arrived on a Southwest flight from Los Angeles, and my first mistake was walking out towards the taxi area.
Don’t leave from the taxi area, since the walk path is easier to access from downstairs in the departure area. If you find yourself at the taxi departures, walk across to the short-term parking garage and take the stairs to the ground-level. You’ll see a sidewalk that heads in the direction towards the Las Vegas strip. Expect to be walking on sidewalks along the airport boundary nearly the entire way, and be extra cautious of fast-moving vehicles.
The first part of the trip is fairly easy. Once you found the sidewalk, and walked past the cowboy sculpture along Wayne Newton Blvd., you’ll see a series of artistic structures, as you walk along towards the rental car returns area. When you reach the sidewalks end, you can either cross the street (towards long-term parking) or walk along Kitty Hawk Way to Paradise Road.
The sign for LAS Terminal 2 and rental car returns is on the corner of Kitty Hawk Way and Rent a Car Rd (neither are marked with signs). You can make a right turn here and walk up to Paradise Road and then make a left towards the strip. There’s a Starbucks along the way (on the opposite side of Paradise Rd), which might motivate you to take that route. I chose to walk through the long-term parking area for two reasons. 1) It’s safer than walking along a major highway 2) I was hoping to photograph some planes.
Glad I chose this route, I got some nice photos of planes taxiing to the runway, which even included Las Vegas strip hotels in the background. That’s Hooters Casino, New York New York, the MGM Grand, and the Cosmopolitan, in the background of the Southwest Airlines flight ready for departure. Now onto a short walk to the corner of Paradise Rd and E. Tropicana Ave.
Getting to the corner can be a little bit sketchy, just because there is lots of potentially fast-moving traffic from people heading towards the airport. You can stay on the sidewalk the whole time so it’s not so bad. At the end of the road for long term parking, you’ll likely see a whole bunch of limousines parked in a waiting area, as you walk across to Paradise Rd. It’s only a few hundred yards to the corner, where I took the above Clark County Airport photo.
From here you can cross the street on Paradise Rd. (remain on Paradise for a short walk to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino) and walk along the north side of E. Tropicana Ave. towards Las Vegas strip. I stayed on the south side (airport side) so I could see oncoming traffic and continue getting photos.
If you did choose to cross the street at Tropicana and Paradise, there is a newly constructed McCarran Village, which has burgers, bagels, pizza, a Subway, liquor, and an ABC Store (popular in Hawaii). Great place to stop if you want to get snacks or a quick meal before continuing onto the strip.
Heading along the south side of East Tropicana I passed another terminal, the Atlantic Terminal, at McCarron International Airport. Lots of white suburban limousines had me figuring this was a private terminal. I think this is where smaller planes and helicopter tours depart from.
Here is a view looking back along East Tropicana. You can see there’s lots of traffic, and it definitely felt like vehicles were passing by at more than 45 miles an hour, so a reminder to stay aware of passing traffic while you’re walking. I did see evidence of vehicles that had jumped the sidewalk and crashed into areas along Tropicana Avenue, always use caution when walking in Las Vegas.
See what’s in the background in the above photo? There is the Luxor Casino Hotel to the left, and Hooters Hotel Casino just up ahead. This walk is turning out to be shorter than I had expected. Las Vegas is funny that way, some things appear so far away, and you get to them quickly, and others appear so close, but they feel like they can take forever to walk to.
You know you’re getting close to the Las Vegas strip when you begin seeing trash like this along the sidewalks. From this point I can also see signs for $1.50 beers and both of my destinations are only a few minutes away. Vegas baby Vegas!
Part of my journey was to find out just how difficult it would be to walk to a Las Vegas Casino Hotel from the airport. I didn’t time it, since I paused several times along the way to take photographs and make notes of landmarks, but I figure the average healthy person could do it in about 35 minutes.
I stopped at Hooters (had a craving for hot wings), played roulette (a bad day to play 10 black), enjoyed a few drinks, and headed to the corner of E. Tropicana Ave. and Las Vegas Blvd.
The journey for this photo post ends here. From right near the sign of the Hooters Hotel, you can cross the street (Audrie Street) and walk on over to the MGM Grand Station of the Las Vegas Monorail. From there you can travel to dozens of hotels, including The Sahara, which is several miles away. If your destination was the Las Vegas strip, you’d be at the corner in a few minutes. The MGM Grand is a huge property, and the New York New York Casino Hotel (also owned by MGM) is directly across the street.
Can I walk from the Las Vegas airport to the Las Vegas Strip? Yes you can!