The Las Vegas Stratosphere rises tall over everything else in Las Vegas. It is the Tallest Observation Tower in the United States. It is nearly twice the height of the next tallest structure and has a serious amount of prominence as it is set away from the main cluster of tall buildings on the main strip. This sort of height is enough to give anyone the jitters! Many visitors to one of the highest observation Decks in the States will notice curious phenomena, people seeming to queue up to hurl themselves off the summit!
Diners in the revolving restaurant witness a constant stream of bodies flying by the windows on their way to certain doom! It can be a little shocking for the unprepared, and the fact no one seems to bat an eyelid assures you this is planned! These are all participants of the Las Vegas SkyJump at the Strat. We have been meaning to a SkyJump Las Vegas Review for quite a while, to let you all know if the Las Vegas Sky Jump is Worth It? However, we have been unable to for a while…why?
Well, I was too scared to actually do it! We ensure ALL our blogs, reviews, and guides are based on real on-the-ground experience. We have first-hand experience of something or we don’t write about it. Which meant if we wanted to let you know the score on the SkyJump, one of us would have to pluck the courage up to do it. Several trips to VEgas went by and I conveniently managed to come u with an excuse, a reason to keep my feet on the ground. But finally, Kate got wise to this and on our last trip to Vegas made sure I ran out of excuses and forced me up to the top of The Strat, with nothing but thin air below my feet…Gulp!
- Location – The Strat (Stratsphere Tower)– Las Vegas
- Type – Controlled Free Fall
- Duration – 18 Secs
- Restrictions – >52in Tall, 14+ Years Old*, <265lb in weight
- Average Queue Time – None
- Cost – $129.99 Jump Only – $164.99 Video Package
- Additional Info – Worlds Highest Commercial Decelerator Descent Facility
*ages 14-17 must be accompanied by an adult
What Is the Stratosphere SkyJump Las Vegas
The SkyJump is what is known as a Controlled Freefall Decent, or a Decelerated Descent. It is essentially a huge winch that lowers you to the ground, really quickly. Over 40mph and for all intents and purpose feels like a Freefall!
The clever Decent system allows this fall for over 90% of the decent, so you get the feeling you are plummeting to your doom, only at the last second the decent system kicks in and slows you down, gradually stoping cms from the ground where you land softly and safely on the ground.
It is the same decent system used in Hollywood to simulate falls from great heights without the gamble of airbags and iffy landings. Safe Reliable freefall simulation.
How High Is The Stratosphere SkyJump Las Vegas
829ft – 250m
The Stratosphere tower is a whopping 1149 feet tall meaning it towers over everything in Las Vegas and is the tallest tower in America. Although that is slighting misleading as there are several taller buildings in the states, but they are building not towers. It is however ever far tallet than anything in Las Vegas, the second tallest structure being the Fortenblue Building at a measly 735 feet!
The Jump platform is not positioned quite at the summit of the building and is instead at 855feet above the ground and is 829 feet above the landing platform.
All this is pretty meaningless, to be honest, the most important factor is how high does it feel? Well, it’s Bl**dy high I can assure you of that!
How Much Does the Skyjump Cost?
- $129.99 Jump Only
- $144.99 Photo Package
- $164.99 Video Package
- $99.99 For Hotel Guests
Make sure you check Groupon as the Skyjump is often discounted on the platform!
The Skyjump is also included as a premium attraction on the Go City Las Vegas Pass. A great way to save money and see fear more on your Vegas trip. With the PAss around $200 and the Skyjump $129.99 it only takes a few more attractions until you are saving big money.
Is the Stratosphere SkyJump Las Vegas Scary?
First up we have to understand there are many different people in the world and everyone has a different reaction to extreme stimuli. For many heights are a big issue, others not in the slightest. My father for example has almost no sensitivity to heights, I have seen him scramble around on rooftops over terrifying precipices and have no issue at all. I would be weak and wobbling at the knees whereas he just carries on as normal!
Also, many people behave differently when presented with an extreme situation. Again despite having zero fear of heights, My father would still not opt to jump off a building! It’s just not in his DNA, whereas I, although terrified of heights secretly really want to! I hunt out the biggest rollercoasters, fly doors-off in helicopters regularly, dive with sharks, and generally thrill seak as much as possible! Then there are people like Kate, who simply would not entertain the idea of jumping off a tall building even for a second. It is simply a HARD pass. And this is going to cover probably 90% of people.
Essentially what we are saying here is we cannot possibly say how scary this attraction would be for you. If you are a hard pass then it doesn’t matter, you are not interested. Again if you are not a thrill seeker the fear factor is probably irrelevant as you just don’t get why anyone would take “that” route down. The most important answer is for those the want to do it, but are worried about how high and how scary it really is for those with a little bit of height sensitivity!
This pretty much describes me, so I can actually answer this pretty well. And explain how likely you are to get over the fear!
To be honest this is probably the scariest “ride” I have ever experienced. However, it is mostly Phycological Fear rather than the actual jump being scary. It’s the thought of jumping off a building that sows fear into your mind. The realization that you are going to the top of the Tallest Tower in the United States and hurling yourself into the void.
However, the flip side is once the fall started, It was really just a total buzz! Once off the edge and falling, I had a total blast, it was not in the least bit scary. It was fast, exhilarating, and over really fast, but I didn’t feel an ounce of fear. Of course, getting to that point was the hard part!
As I mentioned above, this has been planned before on several of our trips and I just always found a way out, we were busy or I left it too late and they were sold out, etc… This was just me being a coward. And I was determined this time I was going through with it, and to ensure that happened I enlisted Kate to push me into it!
On the day the realization of what was coming preoccupied me all day. I was agonizing over it as we soared down the strip in an open cockpit chopper, something that is normally a real thrill, was rendered inert but the knowledge, the Skyjump was on the horizon. At check-in, the lift up, and getting ready at the top, I was white as a ghost and quite nauseous. This is a serious extreme experience and not one to be taken lightly!
Honestly, I think the biggest fear I had was humiliation. How I would feel if when faced with taking the Plunge, I bottled it! That long elevator ride back down, the feeling of shame when I got back to Kate, and having to explain I was just too scared!
But the reality is there is a primitive part of the brain that cannot be calmed by rational thinking. It’s instinctive and takes over and it’s at times like these it really can get loud and powerful! There is every chance it will take control and you just freeze! You have to try yo best to down those parts of the brain out and keep the modern rational parts firing and in control. One of the best ways of doing this is the way the Overall Experience is conducted.
The Overall Experience really does help in getting you over the fear. It is a staged procedure that you have very little say over, and before you know it you are on the edge with a scary attendant telling you to GO, so you just GO…
Let’s take a look at that, and what you can expect.
Stratosphere SkyJump Las Vegas Experience
The first job is signing in, this is done on the ground level, and for me was pretty terrifying, it shouldn’t be, you are literally just signing a few documents and waivers, but the enormity was beginning to sink in. To be honest, at this point I could barely hold the pen. This is the point any up-sell will be done!
We do really recommend the Video Package, you are not allowed to take your own Go Pro, so the only way of getting First person footage is through this upgrade! It really goes down well on social media!
After signing your life away you move on to the next stage.
Getting Kitted Up
First, you are given a Jump Suit, this simply fits over your regular clothes, then it’s on with the harness. The Attendant fits this for you then goes through some safety checks to make sure it’s fitted 100%.
Then a second attendant comes out and checks the harness fitment again. This way you are doubly sure the Harness is fitted perfectly. You will then be fitted with the Wris cam if you have taken this option. The key here is to just go with the flow. Submit to the “process” and let the guys do their thing.
Dead Man’s Walk
You then take the long dead man’s walk to the summit. Here you are paraded through the Strat with everyone clearly aware where you are headed (the Harnes and Jumpsuit being the giveaways) You will get a lot of comments, ranging from “Whoa Awesome Dude” to “You Madman/Idiot!”
You are then loaded into one of the regular elevators, again possibly with members of the public who will stare at you like you are a lunatic, before heading out onto the Skypod level. Again you are paraded through, to the derision and admiration of the public before being led through a special entrance.
You are fully accompanied the whole way and again just submit to the Process.
Inside the equipment room, you will be handed over to the High Ropes Team. This is the two-person team that runs the equipment, attaches you to the wire, and is generally in charge of getting you down to earth safely.
First, one member of the team will do a TRIPLE Check on your harness, again very reassuring and you now REALLY know the harness is right. Then the other member once again does a Quad check on the harness. I was beginning to think the harness was pretty important at this stage! But they MUST have it right after 4 independent checks!
Finally, you are led out onto the Jump Platform. This is open air and things start to get really real at this point. Again there is a whole process the team goes through. f you just submit to this and do exactly as the Team says you have the best chance of going ahead with the jump.
This process is done like this for two reasons, One, it’s the safest way to ensure everything is done properly and safely, but two, it gives the jumper very little chance to think things through. You are part of a process, you don’t need to think, they are doing everything for you just go along. The manner is direct and authoritative and you learn to just do as they say…Stand Here, Left hand here, right hand there, etc, just keep doing as they say and stop thinking. Then finally after some final final-checks and a photo on the end of the rope…
Again, just follow the process, and this means on go you just GO. This was always my biggest fear, the fear of not Jumping, The process made this much easier but you are still at the end required to make the final step…into nothing!
NOTE – The one thing I was never sure about before the Jump was how much you feel the Rope and the decent system. I wondered if you feel unattached before it kicks in, or if there is a constant resistance and feeling of being attached to something. Well I can tell you there is definitely something there, and you never quite feel you are jumping untethered into space. This definitely helps with the confidence to make the leap!
Any pause any hesitation and the chances of you jumping evaporate. You need to just do it. As you can see below, I managed just that!
Once off the platform, it all melts away and you can just enjoy the brief view over the incredible city. The drop itself is really smooth there is no real sense of acceleration or fear you just plummet downwards at a steady rate of knots until the ground rises up and meets you.
While the whole drop is decelerated, limiting your speed to 2/3rds free fall, it never feels like it, it is over in the blink of an eye and you feel every bit like you are plunging unaided to the bottom. But there is no real worry. I think it’s the speed of it that you never really get time for those doubts to creep in about if the accelerator will kick in. You are there and being slowed down before you have time to process anything!
When I hit the ground there was a group of people waiting to go up and they were anxious for me to let them know how it was…was it scary…at that moment in time, all I could come up with was, “I Don’t Know”…it was incredibly overwhelming. I just can’t quite believe I had done it!
What if I don’t Jump?
While you are granted a little time at the top to talk it through and pluck up the courage, if it’s clear you are not going to jump or just outright refuse, then you are simply escorted back down and sent on your way.
There are no refunds for refusals however you are granted a coveted Chicken-Out voucher. This can be taken him and framed on your wall as a memento of your cowardice, or you can go back for another go! The Voucher is also transferable into someone else’s name, so they can take your place if you just can’t manage it.
For me personally, none of that really mattered, it was the shame of refusing at the gate that would have haunted me for years!
Vegas enjoys many days of perfect warm clear days year round, far more than its fair share, and most bookings will go ahead as planned. But the weather is not perfect, and some conditions can arise to call off your jump.
High-Winds are the biggest issue, over 44mph and the jump has to close. 44mph winds seem high but it includes gusts so it’s not that high a threshold. Any some rolling through can trigger this and cause a closure. Low clouds, Heavy Rain, lightning, and snow can all cause the Jump to close. (yes we said snow!)
Weather cancellations are usually offered a free re-booking. This is the best option for most people as they usually want to actually go through with it. But refunds are not usually offered but we find they can be flexible if you explain the reasons you just cannot come back in the foreseeable future. They are not required to offer this so we find being friendly and offering a heartfelt case as to why you need a refund works best.
Is the SkyJump Safe?
Absolutely! The Jump has been operating since 2010 and has had getting on close to half a million jumpers and to date has had no serious incidents. The safety is right up there with the best themepark rides and you can be totally assured of total safety.
The Uber ride out to the Strat will be orders of magnitude more dangerous than the actual Jump!
Knowing all this will have very little effect on that primitive part of your brain that is screaming at you to turn and RUN!
Friends and Family?
Got people who want to watch? most people do and they are bound to ask the question of where they can stand and how much they will see!
There are two options. The first is to head on up the tower and try and watch you jump. However, this is a bad plan. Friends and Family are not allowed to the jump platform with you and can only watch from the main observation deck. The views from here are highly restricted, and you will barely get to see anything!
The best option is the ground-level Viewing area. This is behind the Gift Shop, which is where you sign in and get kitted up, so when the Jumper head out on their dead man’s walk. Viewers can head out here and see the whole jump. You are stood literally at the landing spot and have full radio contact, via the staff, to the jump platform. So you know exactly where your idiot is about to jump. You can then witness / Photograph / Video the whole spectacle!
Have Your Say
Are you planning on doing the SkyJump? Maybe you want to take the plunge but are wavering like I was? Maybe you have done it and wish to brag about your achievement? Whatever you have to say let us know in the comments! If you have any questions or need encouragement just fire away, we would love to hear from you.