Learn about camping and boondocking in Missouri

Missouri Rest Area Rules

Missouri Rest Area Rules


Is overnight parking allowed at Missouri rest areas? How long can you stay at a Missouri rest area? Is camping permitted at Missouri rest areas? What are the full Missouri rest area rules?

missouri rest area rules
Rest area in Missouri

Missouri Rest Area Rules

The State of Missouri has not adopted any laws specifically about use of its highway rest areas. However, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has posted signs at many of its rest areas containing the following rules…

Rest Area Regulations

Trash receptacles for Litterbag and Park use only

No camping – no open fires

No vending or solicitation of materials or services

Vehicles restricted to designated parking areas

Pets must be kept on a leash

Pet owners responsible for control and cleanup of pets

Livestock not allowed outside vehicles

No holding tank dumping

How Long Can You Stay at a Missouri Rest Area?

MoDOT has not specified any maximum time limit for staying at its rest areas. Generally, you are allowed to remain at a rest area as long as you need to recuperate well enough to resume driving safely.

Is Overnight Parking Permitted at Missouri Rest Areas?

Yes. Because Missouri 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 and stay in your vehicle.

Can You Sleep Overnight at a Missouri Rest Area?

Yes. There are no rules or laws against sleeping in your vehicle while at a Missouri rest area. And because you have up to 24 hours to stay there, that would also include overnight sleeping.

Is Camping Allowed at a Missouri Rest Area?

Yes, camping is allowed as long as it does not extend through the evening and into the following morning.

Many Missouri rest areas have facilities that could be used as part of recreational camping. These include picnic tables, cooking grills, children’s play areas, pet exercise areas, scenic viewing areas, and kiosks with historical information. You are welcome to enjoy rest area facilities and grounds for recreation, but you cannot do so through the night and into the following morning.

If you plan to stay overnight at Missouri 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. You can then demonstrate to a law enforcement officer that you’re here only to rest long enough to continue driving safely.

Listing of Missouri Rest Areas

MoDOT publishes a map showing all of its rest areas.

More About Overnighting at Rest Areas & Truck Stops

Available at Amazon.com...

The Ultimate Truck Parking Guide 9th Edition Paperback – January 18, 2020, by LeRoy D Clemmer

Note: the above list of books are not endorsed by Boondocker's Bible, but are recommended because they provide information relevant to this article. Boondocker's Bible will earn a commission on the sales of these books to help support our goal of providing free boondocking education to the public.

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