California Camping Laws and Regulations

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CCR § 2205. General


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California Code of Regulations, Title 21. Public Works Division, 2. Department of Transportation

Chapter 20. Permissible Activity and Use of Safety Roadside Rest Areas and Vista Points in and Along California State Highways, Article 3. General Prohibitions and Restrictions

Synopsis: The following rules are the actual “word for word” regulations adopted by the California Department of Transportation with respect to use of the state’s rest areas and vista points.

21 CCR § 2205

§ 2205. General

It is the responsibility and desire of the department to protect and ensure the convenience, enjoyment, health and safety of users of safety roadside rest and vista point areas. Unless allowed under other provisions of these regulations, the following are prohibitions and restrictions for all users of safety roadside rest and vista point areas.

(a) Camping is prohibited.

(b) Vehicles shall not be parked and persons shall not remain for more than eight (8) hours in any twenty-four (24) hour period.

(c) No parking is allowed for any period of time for the purpose of allowing any traveler to engage in any activity off of the safety roadside rest area or vista point. It is the intent to forbid persons to use the safety roadside rest area or vista point to park their vehicle so as to allow the occupants to engage in activities that include, but are not limited to, cross-country skiing, off-road vehicle use, fishing, hiking, camping or hunting.

(d) Pitching of tents or erection of other shelter is prohibited.

(e) Building or maintaining campfires or other open fires is prohibited.

(f) Use of gas-fueled stoves is permitted within suitably equipped vehicles, such as recreational vehicles, travel trailers and motor homes. Small portable gas-fueled campstoves and small portable charcoal hibachis, barbecues or braziers, may be used if placed on the ground or on designated stands and used in safe manner, in accordance with fire and safety laws and ordinances and regulations thereunder.

(g) Solicitation for money is strictly prohibited.

(h) Vehicles shall only be parked in designated parking areas.

(i) All litter and garbage shall be placed in trash receptacles provided.

(j) The use of noise-producing instruments, megaphones, loudspeakers or other similar devices which are used to amplify sound is not permitted.

(k) All use and activity shall cease in case of emergency situations involving danger to the general public which result from fire, flood waters, traffic conditions, hazardous substances, gases or other conditions whether occurring on or off the state highway. Final determination of when such conditions exist shall be made by a department representative or a California peace officer at the safety roadside rest area or vista point.

(l) All animals shall be on a leash; animals not restrained by a leash shall be controlled by appropriate enclosures or other adequate restraint.

(m) The unauthorized use of the department's water, electrical and gas utilities is prohibited.

(n) Selling, publicizing or other means of merchandising any article of merchandise, food, service or thing is a prohibited commercial activity.

(o) There shall be no dumping of sanitary wastes except at designated sanitary dump stations.

(p) Signs, cards, handbills, flags, pennants, streamers or other such material shall not be attached, nailed, placed or otherwise affixed to any tree, fence, building, light standard or other such fixture or facility.

(q) Users shall not block vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 225 and 225.5, Streets and Highways Code and 22651, Vehicle Code. Reference: Sections 220, 225, 225.5, 670 and 731, Streets and Highways Code; Sections 22520.5, 22520.6 and 22651, Vehicle Code; Sections 370, 374.3 and 374.4, Penal Code.

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