Is overnight parking allowed at Arkansas rest areas? How long can you stay at an Arkansas rest area? Is camping permitted at Arkansas rest areas? What are the full Arkansas rest area rules?
Arkansas Rest Area Rules
The State of Arkansas has not adopted any laws specifically concerning the use of its highway rest areas. Moreover, the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) hasn’t posted any signs at its rest areas regarding overnight parking, camping, or how long one can stay.
The only rules that ArDOT has posted at its rest areas deal with loitering, soliciting, and keeping your pets on a leash.
How Long Can You Stay at an Arkansas Rest Area?
Arkansas has no official time limits for staying at one of their rest areas or welcome centers. That’s not to say that you can stay there indefinitely. If you remain long enough, a law enforcement officer will eventually check on you. If you’ve ever visited an Arkansas rest area, you’ll notice many RVs parking there overnight, and leaving the next morning.
Is Overnight Parking Permitted at Arkansas Rest Areas?
Yes. Because Arkansas rest areas are open 24 hours a day, you can arrive at a rest area during night time hours and park overnight. With no specified maximum time limit, you are allowed to park overnight.
Can You Sleep Overnight at an Arkansas Rest Area?
Yes. There are no rules or laws against sleeping in your vehicle while at an Arkansas rest area. And because there is no maximum time limit, that would also include overnight sleeping.
Is Camping Allowed at an Arkansas Rest Area?
Yes, camping is allowed as long as it does not extend through the evening and into the following morning.
ArDOT has not posted any rules with respect to camping. However, the primary purpose of their rest areas is to alleviate driver fatigue and promote safe driving. That being said, they don’t mind travelers enjoying rest areas for picnics, walks, and scenic viewing. What they don’t want are people setting up their camping equipment and staying there for an extended period of time.
If you plan to stay overnight at an Arkansas rest area, then you should instead limit your activities to inside your vehicle. Do not put your camping equipment outside, do not roll out your awning, and try to look like someone who is too tired to do much of anything. This way you can demonstrate to a law enforcement officer that you’re here only to rest long enough to continue driving safely.
Listing of Arkansas Rest Areas
ArDOT publishes a map showing all of its rest areas… https://www.arkansashighways.com/ EEO/ada/Welcome%20Centers%20and%20Rest%20Areas.pdf