Is overnight parking allowed at Idaho Rest Areas? Can you sleep in your car at an Idaho Rest Area? How many hours can you stay at an Idaho Rest Area? Is camping permitted at Idaho Rest Areas?
Idaho Rest Area Rules
The following is a list of rules for Idaho Rest Areas. These rules were adopted by the Idaho Department of Transportation. They have been codified into the Idaho Administrative Code. Text of these rules have been edited for easier reading. To see the full, actual text of the rules, please visit, “Rules for Using Rest Areas in Idaho“.
- Maximum length of stay is 10 hours on Interstate rest areas, and 16 hours at all other rest areas.
- Camping is not permitted.
- Fires are not permitted, except for barbecues and gas grills.
- Dogs and cats must be leashed, caged, or under physical control.
- Selling services or products, or vending of any kind, is prohibited.
- Running your generator all night is prohibited.
- Dumping your gray or black tank is prohibited, except into a waste contained designed for this purpose.
- Dumping trash that was brought in from your home, or another campsite.
- Driving in excess of 15 MPH.
- Parking your RV or trailer in a location not designated for such vehicles.
Note: Idaho has many more rules that won’t apply to most RVers or boondockers. Please see the full, “Rules for Using Rest Areas in Idaho“.
Is Overnight Parking Allowed at Idaho Rest Areas?
Yes. The rules adopted by the Idaho Department of Transportation do not prohibit anyone from leaving their vehicle parked at a rest area overnight. As long as you abide by the maximum time limits (see rule #1 above), you’re fine, to park at a rest are overnight.
Can You Sleep at an Idaho Rest Area?
Yes. The rules for Idaho Rest Areas do not prohibit anyone from sleeping in their vehicle. The Idaho Department of Transportation expects many people to sleep or take naps in their vehicle at rest areas. However, rolling out a sleeping bag, or pitching a tent, or sleeping on the grass, dirt, pavement, will likely be construed as “camping”, which is prohibited.
Is Camping Permitted at Idaho Rest Areas?
No. The rules for Idaho Rest Areas do not permit camping, nor any other type of stay intended for recreation. The only type of stay you are allowed at rest areas are those intended to relieve the fatigue of travel.
The official rules do not define “camping” with respect to use of rest areas. The only definition they offer is that occupancy of rest areas is limited to relieving the “fatigue of travel”. As long as you are there to just rest before continuing on, you’re fine. But, if you exhibit any signs that you’re here to enjoy some form of recreation, business activity, or group gathering, law enforcement officers will have a reason to kick you out.