Learn about camping and boondocking in Wyoming

Wyoming Rest Area Rules

Wyoming Rest Area Rules


Is overnight parking allowed at Wyoming Rest Areas? Can you sleep in your vehicle at a Wyoming Rest Area? How many hours can you stay at a Wyoming Rest Area? Is camping permitted at Wyoming Rest Areas?

wyoming rest area overnight parking
Rest area along I-90 just east of Laramie, WY

Wyoming Rest Area Rules

The State of Wyoming has adopted no rules with into its Administrative Code or Statutes with respect to public use of rest areas . The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) did, however, publish a brochure about its rest areas that contain some guidelines…

“Camping is prohibited at rest areas, but drivers who need rest to safely continue their travels can sleep in their vehicles in the parking lots. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a nap of 15-20 minutes to improve alertness and driving skills.

If you need more than a nap, you can sleep in your vehicle for a longer period, but don’t pitch a tent, extend your RV’s slideouts or otherwise set up for an extended stay.

Travelers who want to camp will find 175 public campgrounds around the state.”

That being said, the rules we can assume from this are…

  • Rest areas are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and thus are available for use overnight.
  • Rest areas are intended to combat driver fatigue, and thus resting and sleeping is permitted as long as it is being done for the purpose of combating driving fatigue.
  • There are no limits on how long one can stay at a rest area, only that you are allowed to “sleep in your vehicle for a longer period”.
  • No overnight camping is permitted, which we interpret to mean that rest areas are not intended for recreational use, thus grilling food, setting up outdoor patio furniture, rolling out slides on your RV, watching television outdoors, are not permitted.

Is Overnight Parking Allowed at Wyoming Rest Areas?

Yes. Overnight parking is allowed at Wyoming Rest Areas, just not overnight camping.

To differentiate parking from camping, on-site staff or highway patrol will look for signs that you’re using a rest area for recreational purposes. This might mean putting out your patio furniture, rolling out your awning, setting up barbecue or grilling equipment, watching television outside, setting up dog fences outside, lowering the ramp door of your toy hauler, etc.

Can You Sleep at a Wyoming Rest Area?

Yes. the WYDOT states on its brochure that rest areas are intended to “combat driver fatigue”. This would include sleeping in your car, or whatever else you have to do get back on the road safely. While WYDOT has prohibited “overnight camping”, there is a difference between camping and sleeping. Camping is recreational, while sleeping is intended to combat driver fatigue.

Is Camping Permitted at Wyoming Rest Areas?

No. Any kind of recreational use of rest areas are prohibited. As long as your purpose for being at a rest area is to rest well enough to get back on the road safely, you’re fine. But if on-site staff or highway patrol see signs that you’re there to enjoy yourself and the facilities, you’re going to run into trouble.

3 thoughts on “Wyoming Rest Area Rules”

  1. The Wyoming DOT rest area at Lusk, WY has prominent signs: “No Overnight Parking”
    5 trucks idling / drivers sleeping 0700.
    Is there consistency? May we ignore signage?
    Archaic signage? Different committee? Local request?

  2. Lmao, be realistic. These drivers are only following Federal mandates on allotted droning time and are not by any means using as camping. If this confuses you, you might want to take a rest yourself. Hence Rest Area


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