Allow Overnight Parking and Car Camping

Overnight parking and/or car camping are prohibited in nearly every national park and federal trailhead in the country. The only reason for enforcing this rule is to compel car campers and van-lifers to pay for campsites. Visitor center parking lots, trailheads, and pullouts are public property and it is our constitutional right to use them freely. While there are no federal laws prohibiting overnight parking, each national park and national forest creates its own set of rules to dictate where and when people can park- often arbitrarily. While this greatly discourages travelers from visiting our parks, it can also become a safety hazard to campers who drive around in search of a legal place to camp late into the night. Visitor safety can also be threatened if 


hazardous conditions are present on the roads, yet drivers are still at risk of receiving tickets for overnight parking. The for-profit model of our Federal Land System greatly disincentivizes Americans from visiting natural places. Many Americans can not afford hotel or campground costs, and certainly not a fine. At The Right to Explore, we believe that all people have the natural and constitutional right to sleep in their vehicles overnight in public federal spaces. To eliminate the possibility of long-term squatting, a 48-hour rule could be imposed on individual parking spaces in national parks. The current 14 day National Forest camping limit could continue to be applied as well.