Now you probably think that an observation deck in Downtown Los Angeles sounds pretty cool and yet it is. But a slide? Is this the newest kids attraction? No, this is an actual thrill ride almost 1000 ft above ground.
The OUE Skyspace Observation Deck and Skyslide are the newest additions to Downtown Los Angeles’s attractions. Residing on the 70th and 69th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower. The U.S. Bank Tower is the tallest on the Westcoast (1,018 ft / 310m). Taller than the Columbia Center in Seattle which also has an observation deck. However, in 2017 the Wilshire Grand Tower will be the largest building on the Westcoast of the US.
This amenity opened on June 25th, 2016 to the public and is a one of a kind attraction. I have seen Skywalks before like the Willis Tower Skydeck in Chicago, but never encountered a glass slide or any kind of slide on the side of a building that high above ground.
I was always looking to get on one of the rooftops to get great views of Los Angeles and now it’s possible.
The U.S. Bank Tower got acquired by OUE in 2013 and they came up with the idea of the observation deck and the slide.
To get to the observation deck, enter the building from the second floor after taking the Bunker Hill steps on the outside of the building, up from W 5th Street.
The ticket counter is right outside of the building or you can buy your tickets online. Once inside you have to clear security and take the elevator up. The elevator won’t go all the way up instead it will stop at the 54th floor. This is the transit level and features interactive experiences. Like a 360-degree LA skyline timelapse, an infinity mirror down an old elevator shaft, Silhouette Wall (which recreates your body movement with pixels) and a film about the construction of the observation deck and the slide. Once you passed this area the second elevator brings you all the way up to the 70th floor.
Right after you step out of the elevator you can see the podium with the Skyslide. The slide is approximately 45 feet long and sits about a 1000 ft above the ground. It exits the 70th floor and you will exit the slide on the terrace of the 69th floor. The ride is very short and not really fast. You sit on a carpet and have to hold it with both hands going down. The fun is over very quick, too quick in my opinion. Well, now you think, why not just riding it again? There is a small problem to that. One ride costs $8 and I am sure you can buy multiple rides, depending of course how busy the slide is.
They won’t let you slide holding any objects like cameras and selfie-sticks. One guy ahead of me tried to argue with the staff member to let him ride with his selfie stick. Guys just put your stuff away. It’s for your and other people’s safety. Don’t argue, you most likely won’t win.
If you are quick, you can catch a free ride with every paid admission to the observation deck. However, this option ends in three days, by the end of November. I got a chance to take advantage of this offer. The OUE Skyspace just re-opened on November 24, 2016, after it got closed on November 11, 2016, for routine maintenance.
There are two observation terraces with glass walls all the way around. The inside two levels feature a little snack bar and interactive screens to learn at what you are actually looking at. On the lower level is also the photo booth where you can pick up your picture taken on the 54th floor and when you came down the skyslide.
Overall it was a great experience and I will be coming back here to take some night shots of LA. I just took a night shot of the LA skyline one day before I came here.
Ever wondered what these two-digit numbers on the rooftop helipads mean? This is the weight limit in thousands of pounds. For example, the number 13 means 13,000 pounds. If the number is circled, it means the pilot is free to choose his approach direction depending on wind direction.
Hours of Operation and Pricing
Now let’s talk prices. The trip to the sky terrace is not very cheap. A regular ticket costs $25 and allows you to stay as long as you want. A ride on the skyslide is $8 (included if you visit in November 2016) and there is a hidden fee. I got charged a “processing fee” of $2 for running my credit card at the ticket booth downstairs. My visit was $27 dollars and lucky that I got free parking. Street parking is free on most streets in LA on Sunday.
Parking at the Westlawn Parking Garage (524 South Flower St, Los Angeles, 90071) is recommended by OUE Skyspace.
Weekend rate is $8 for the whole day. During the week they will validate your parking ticket for up to 2 hours and you will also only pay $8. Regular parking costs during the week would be higher at this parking garage. Up to date prices can be found on their homepage.
Make sure you buy the right tickets. If you buy a General Admission ticket, make sure you are there on time otherwise, the can void your ticket. That’s why the introduced the Flex Tickets. You can show up whenever you want and only need to select a day. This convenience comes with a $15 price tag added to the price of the General Admission. Otherwise just walk up as I did. There was not even a line at the ticket booth. This can change during special events happening in Los Angeles. I also don’t know if there is a processing fee if you buy online.
Skyspace is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The last ticket is sold at 9 p.m.
Los Angeles and California are expansive as you might know. If you are in town, you should definitely swing by and visit this attraction. The views are amazing.
You will take the same way back down as you came up. At the second floor, you will pass through the gift shop after exiting the elevator. Then head down a long hallway to the exit on the same side of the building as you came in.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.