On my way back home... Or if you prefer another hit song, on the road again. Both songs tell their listeners that people are traveling. However, they do not let you know if it is okay to sleep at different rest stops. That is something that changes from state to state.
Can you sleep at rest stops in Colorado? No, you can't sleep at rest stops in Colorado. If we wanted to create an argument using semantics, it would be okay to sleep at a Colorado rest stop as long as it was only for a nap.
However, we checked several official sources, and they all state that camping and overnight parking are not allowed at any Colorado rest stop.
To learn more details about sleeping at this State’s rest areas, just continue to read our article. It gives you the information you need to know about. Take a few minutes to see the regulations before you cross the borders into this state at night.
This question raises the issue of how you define the term sleep. According to the CODOT website, no camping or overnight parking is allowed in Colorado. Those rules would cover the I70 and I25 highways.
However, since that is the only restriction on how many hours you get to stay at one of the rest stops in the state, you may be able to take a short nap during the day to refresh yourself.
No one wants tired drivers on the road. Tired drivers are a road risk and we all know the stats that record what happens when a tired driver loses control of their vehicle. The Colorado DOT website makes it clear that you cannot park overnight nor camp at any of the rest areas within its borders.
Taking a break in an RV is not camping.
It is only illegal if the city you are stopping in has laws prohibiting that action. We cannot list the laws of every city so you should do some research to see which ones make it illegal for you to sleep in your car.
If you have had one too many to drink one night, you may be able to sleep it off in your car as long as you leave the motor turned off. This is a technical legal issue that may be interpreted against you, for which you may be fined, etc.
Sleeping in your car at a rest stop for a couple of hours should not be a problem unless the authorities become really strict. Usually, if you are caught, you are told to move on. This is not against sleeping in your vehicle but more about protecting you from harm.
Some states impose a maximum stay term. Florida gives travelers 3 hours, California gives 8 and Delaware allows for 4 hours of rest. However, Colorado, according to the sources we checked, simply says no overnight parking.
That means you may be able to stay for up to 8 hours as long as it is not done overnight. The Colorado DOT website says the exact same thing-- no overnight parking on its other rest areas so be careful about the amount of time you spend at one of them.
Make sure not to pitch a tent or you may be cited for camping, even though it is broad daylight. Rules are not meant to be broken and just because you can do it in one state doesn't mean it is allowed to be done in Colorado.
Also, your subjective opinion doesn't trump the state’s laws.
The Interstate Rest Area website and organization makes it clear that they are not an official government agency that influences any rest area rules. They also make it clear to contact the DOT of the state you are traveling in to see all the rules and get the help you need.
This is important as you need to contact the right people in order to know all the rules. The two basic rules all I-70 & I-25 rest areas have are limiting sleeping and camping. They all have picnic areas and restrooms you can use temporarily and for legal purposes.
All state laws will apply to rest areas as well so any illegal behavior will cause you to be arrested and charged if caught. You will see RVs and big rigs staying overnight at rest areas but that is only because of the gray area between overnight parking and relieving driver fatigue.
You can sleep in your vehicle at rest areas but enforcement will be up to the authorities of its no overnight parking rule.
This is going to be up to you to decide as all rest areas do have restrooms and picnic spots for you to use while you are on the road. Those are the two basic services provided at all rest areas. However, the 6 of the ones on I-70 may be better than all the ones on the I-25 because they have trailer dumps available.
There is one rest area on the I-25 that has a point of interest but far more rest areas on the I-70 have those as well as river and trail access. Something the stops on the I-25 doesn't have.
The best one will be the rest area that meets your needs while you are there. Since every traveler is a bit different one that is great for one group of people may not be so great for another.
According to our sources, there are 11 rest areas on the I70, with only 1 near Denver. However, the source may be off and there may be more than 11 as another source lists 12. The Colorado DOT lists the 11 and provides a table of all the amenities found at each one. Click here to see those rest areas.
However, here is another map of all the rest areas in the state:
When you do the right research, your travel times can be more enjoyable as you know what is or isn’t allowed.
The same two links in the previous section will help you with the rest areas on the I25. Why there are fewer than on the I70 is not known. There are only 5 on this highway and both sources agree on that total.
If you go to the link with the map you can see their exact location and what is available at them. One in the south has the point of interest while most have handicap access. There are no trailer dumps at any of the I25 rest areas so plan ahead.
At the time of this writing, the southbound Pueblo rest area is labeled as closed and there is no reason for that closure given. That is something you need to check on before you hit the road.
If you want to stay on the good nature side of the state authorities, it is best to avoid entering a closed rest area unless it is a case of an actual emergency.
According to the Colorado DOT website, there are only 8 rest areas with a dump station. 4 are on the I-70, none on the I-25, 2 on the I-76, 1 on the Co340, and the last one is found on the US50 highway.
For the US50 dump station, the location is Holly; the CO340 is called Fruita Welcome Center; the I&0 ones are called- Rifle, Edwards, Arriba & Burlington, and finally, the I76 dump stations are at Julesburg & Sterling.
This information should help you plan your trip so you can access at least one of those dump stations while you are exploring the State. There may be many RV campgrounds that have dump stations and you can get those locations through RV travel resource websites.
This city is just below Denver and may be a couple of hours away. But between those two cities, there is not one rest area. You will have to travel south of Colorado Springs to reach the first two. They are at Pueblo and the southbound rest area is closed right now.
That means you will either have to cross the highway or and use the Northbound one or travel down to Cuerno Verde or on to Trinidad to use the last one before leaving the state. If headed south, Trinidad will be your first stop heading north and you will have to wait till you reach Fort Collins if you need a rest stop after Colorado Springs.
Genessee Buffalo Herd is near Denver but it is hard to say which highway it is on due to all the bypasses etc., surrounding Denver.
This rest area is located at milepost 160 and it has the basics of a picnic area and restrooms. It also has a trailer dump as well as handicap access. It does not have a lot of amenities that we could see.
This rest area is on the Western side of Denver and is in the middle of all the ones available on that portion of I70. According to the map that we saw, there are lots of restaurants nearby. Eagle River is also close by but there does not seem to be any river access from the rest area.
Our sources did not indicate that there was a rest area named Eagle. Both sources list one called no name and that may be the one that is closest to the Eagle River on the western side with Edwards on the Eastern side.
Besides picnic, area, restrooms, and handicap access, this rest stop does have trial and river access as well as a point of interest. The name we saw was no name Glenwood Canyon but other than that every other rest stop has a name and none of them were listed as Eagle.
Located at milepost 226.51 this may not be a full-service rest area. There are no restrooms and there is no picnic area to have a nice mid-day lunch. The description of this rest stop is that it is a pull-out and overlook.
There is a point of interest and it is on the I-70 highway between Buffalo Herd and Vail rest areas. So it is just a place to see one site, catch your breath before moving on to your next destination. Do not expect any services in this rest stop or near it as it is off the beaten path a little bit.
Located at milepost 125 on the I-76, this is the rest stop you may want to head for if you are in the area or traveling towards Julesberg. The reason we say that is because it is a full-service rest area that has handicap access, a picnic area, and restrooms.
It also has a trailer dump, visitors info as well as trail and river access, and a point of interest. Plus, it is not far from a railroad museum and some nice hotels.
Traveling can be rough at times but as long as there are some good rest stops along your route, you should be fine. The key is not to abuse the rules or permissions that allow you to stay free from driver fatigue and other risks that come when you are on the road.