Car camping for one night might soon be legal within Jackson Hole, according to proposed changes to the city’s camping ordinance.
The municipal camping rules are designed to keep public areas clear and campers safe. The original law, however, does not offer any flexibility to motorists who want to stay in their vehicle for a night.
Councilman Jim Stanford says that the city needs this flexibility, however, to accommodate a growing seasonal workforce coupled with a housing shortage in Jackson Hole.
“We have hundreds, perhaps I’ve heard, even a thousand, people probably living out of their cars, camping out, living in the National Forests, crashing on friends’ couches, doing whatever they can to simply get through the summer, because they can’t find a place to live.”
Stanford says that some of these people working two or more jobs might have a long drive at the end of their shift. Letting them park for a night in town might mean getting a few extra hours of sleep, which shouldn’t be a criminal offense.