EXPLAINER: Illegal camping in Jackson


JACKSON, Wyo. — Across a ten day span from July 11- 22, the Jackson Police Department (JPD) made 27 illegal camping citations, according to press logs from JPD.

In the summer, police field more calls than usual for illegal camping on city streets and in local parks, as it can be a more feasible housing option for transient summer residents.

However, Jackson Municipal Code 09.52.090 isn’t so friendly to those who wish to spend the night in their car within town limits.

In fact, this code prohibits camping on city streets, city parking lots and public parking structures within town limits. It also charges individuals found to be in violation of the code a hefty $350 fine.

The section of the code titled “Camping on Public Property,” states the following:

A. It is unlawful for any person to camp on public property within the town 

B. It is unlawful for any person to car camp on public property within the town 

C. Individuals may camp or car camp on public property under the following circumstances: 

  1. With a special event permit 
  2. With an approval from the Town Council 
  3. With a permit issued under the Town’s Land Development Regulations.

According to the Town of Jackson website, “visitors are encouraged to make reservations well in advance of their trip at privately held campgrounds or to camp in a designated campground on public lands outside of the town limits (i.e. Forest Service, national parks, BLM, etc.).”

“For individuals who live out of their vehicles, the good news is approximately 97% of Teton County is considered public lands that offer an abundance of areas to camp,” says the Town.

In these areas, individuals can get a good night’s rest knowing they won’t be greeted in the morning by an unwelcome citation, or even worse, an unwanted fine.


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