Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In Colorado? (Nobody Is Talking About This)

Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In Colorado

Have you ever wondered if you can sleep at rest stops on Colorado? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

So can you sleep at rest stops in Colorado? No, you are not allowed to sleep at these rest stops. You are also not allowed to park there overnight. If you do, then you will be breaking the law. However, a lot of people have claimed that they have stayed at these rest stops along the highway without any issues.

The rules for whether you can stay at a rest stop in Colorado can be somewhat confusing. We have a little bit of explaining to do here.

Can You Sleep at Rest Stops in Colorado?

If you had to the State Highway in Colorado, then you will see rest stops along the way.

In theory, you are not allowed to stay at rest stops and sleep there. However, some people have been fine sleeping at these various rest stops.

Remember, the state of Colorado doesn’t really want you driving on their roads if you are tired, so they may be able to let you sleep at one of these rest stops slide.

However, that is not always going to be the case. We cannot guarantee that you will not be removed. It is just unlikely.

That being said, there is one thing that you will never, ever be able to do at one of these rest stops, or the other rest stops that we mention, and that is pitch a tent.

If you want to stand even the smallest chance of being able to stay at one of the various rest stops in Colorado, then you will want to ensure that you are sleeping in your RV or your car.

Read also: Average RV Park Rates: Nationwide Campgrounds Prices per Night

Are There Rest Stops Where You Can Sleep?

Yes, there are various rest stops around Colorado where you will be allowed to sleep without any issues. You may have to do a little bit of research beforehand to find out where these are. You will find huge lists online.

As before, you will have to ensure that you live by the rules of the rest stop. This will almost always be clearly listed at the rest stop, so you will want to read through them. As we already said, it is likely that pitching a tent will be banned.

However, you may also not be allowed to start fires, and you will have to ensure that all of your pets are secure.

If you do stay at one of these rest stops, then it is important that you stay quiet. There will be other people that stay at these rest stops, and if you irritate them, then they have every right to call the police.

If the police discover that you have broken the rules of this rest stop, then you will be asked to leave.

If you are asked to leave, you will be allowed to head onto the next stop. However, because the rest stops where you can sleep in Colorado do tend to be a bit more spread out, you may have a little bit of driving ahead of you.

Of course, once you do find a new rest stop that you can stay at, do make sure that you do not break the rules. You will be moved on again.

Colorado State Highway Rest Areas

below you can find the current set of rest areas that are maintained by CDOT, along with a brief listing of the amenities available at each:

RouteMile PostLocationRestroomPicnic Area
US-40101Hayden (Seasonal)YESYES
US 50467.39HollyYESYES
CO 13955.9Rangely (Maintained by Bureau of Land Management)YESYES
US 16046.42Cortez (6 mi East)YESYES
US 160191.39Shaw CreekYESYES
US 28755.20Gobblers Knob (no running water)YESNO
US 287383.5Virginia Dale  (Closed September-May)YESYES
CO 3400.3Fruita Welcome CenterYESYES
Colorado State Highway Rest Areas

Read also: Where Can You Legally Live in an RV? (Incl. 10 Examples)

What Happens if You Get Caught Sleeping at a Rest Stop?

As we said before, there is a strong chance that nothing will happen to you. This even applies to the rest stops where it is technically illegal to stay.

Now, if you are driving a truck or an RV, then it is very unlikely that you will be moved on from the rest stop. However, a lot of people that are traveling in cars do claim that they have been moved on.

👉 If you want to lower the chances of being removed from a rest stop, then you will likely need to stay at one of the places away from the highway.

You are less likely to be caught. These are not going to be regularly inspected by the police, and thus the only chance that you have of being caught is if somebody else reports you.

As long as you are not causing any issues, then this is probably not going to happen. 

👉 If you do just so happen to be caught sleeping at a rest stop, then the police will wake you up and ask you to leave.

They will just assume that you have dozed off and didn’t really plan on spending the night. As long as you do not argue back with them, then you should be completely fine.

If you do argue back, then, of course, you will end up having to deal with criminal penalties which we are 100% sure that you do not want to be dealing with.

👉 It is very, very rare that somebody ends up with a citation because they slept at a rest stop.

If they do end up with one, then we are virtually certain that they only ended up with that citation because they caused issues for somebody. 

Read also: Can You Live in an RV Park? Here’s Exactly What To Expect

Is it Safe to Sleep at a Rest Stop in Colorado?

You should be fine sleeping at a rest stop in Colorado. 

The state is going to be relatively safe as it is. This means that you do not really need to worry about random crime. If somebody sees you sleeping inside of your vehicle, then they are probably not going to be bothering you.

Most of the rest stops are going to be in well-traveled areas too, and almost all of them will be used by different people throughout the night.

Of course, the police are not going to be regularly checking these locations. If you are staying at a rest stop, then it is always important that you look after yourself.

If you feel unsafe with a new arrival at the rest stop, then move on. If something about a rest stop doesn’t seem OK, then move on.

While you may struggle to find a new rest stop close by that you can sleep at, we can assure you that the 30-minutes or so that you spend driving around looking for a new place is going to be far, far better than you ending up as a victim of a crime.

That being said, we haven’t really seen that many stories of people having any issues staying at rest stops throughout Colorado.

So, you should be safe. It is probably going to be best to travel with multiple people if you can. This will always make things safer for you.


While sleeping at many rest stops in Colorado isn’t technically allowed, you should be fine in most cases.

Many people have found that as long as they are not causing any issues or pitching tents, then nobody is going to care that they are staying overnight.

Although, you should bear in mind that because it is not technically allowed to stay at these rest stops, the police are allowed to remove you from the area whenever they wish.

However, thankfully, it is unlikely that they are going to be giving you any sort of criminal citation if they do, assuming that you are not breaking any other rules.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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