We Used To Call Them Turnouts
When I was a kid and we would travel as a family, we would occasionally pull off to the side of the road. When this happened, it was usually one of two things. We were about to stop and see something pretty, or mom and dad were about to lay down the law to my sibling and me. The places to stop back then weren't all that fancy and they didn't have a name. We just called them turnouts.
Well that designation doesn't fit with our enlightened world of today, so now we call them rest stops and in some cases welcome centers. I think the difference between a rest stop and a welcome center is the welcome centers have travel material show visitors Utah attractions they can visit. According to the Utah Department of Transportation
Rest areas, welcome centers and view areas are important elements of the state’s route network. These facilities play an important role in relation to highway safety, primarily combating driver fatigue. Utah encourages drowsy drivers to take a break. Rest areas are provided to the traveling public for this purpose. All rest areas are posted for no overnight camping. However, extended stays are permitted and are monitored by the on-site staff and the Highway Patrol.
One day, some tickets to a Utah Jazz game fell in to my lap, so I called my son and asked if he wanted to go up with me. We decided to do and back since I had work the next day. Coming back I was really fatigued and that Cove Fort Rest Stop was our hold up for about a twenty minute nap. That was good enough and we got home fine.
So if your are traveling and feel like it's time for a rest, use these rest stops. And by the way, don't let the no overnight camping rule throw you off. You can sleep in a rest stop for an extended period, even overnight. The no camping rule means that you don't pull out your tent, or extend the slide outs on your RV. And pulling out your grill to cook up a meal will probably get you a visit from the on-site staff, or the Highway Patrol. But if you need to sleep, please stop and get that nap. Make sure you have material to keep warm. If you have pets, be sure to clean up after them.
By the way, if you're wondering why I didn't include the facility that's on I-15 just about a mile after you enter Utah on I-15 coming up from Arizona, it's because that is a Port Of Entry (although there is a welcome center there), and that's a whole different ball game. I'll need material for future articles.
I'm always up for a road trip, but it's always good to have places to stop and take a break. Maybe in my next life I'll be a rest stop monitor. Bet I'd meet some interesting folks.