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Recreation and Tourism

Drought impacts the tourism and recreation sectors both directly and indirectly, and affects the sectors during all seasons. Lower water levels or snowpack affects the availability of recreational activities and associated tourism, and a resulting loss of revenue can severely impact supply chains and the economy locally, regionally, and potentially nationally.

Recreation and Tourist Attractions in Drought

This map shows U.S. national parks experiencing drought, according to the current U.S. Drought Monitor. National park data is recorded by the National Park Service.

This map shows U.S. ski resorts experiencing drought, according to the current U.S. Drought Monitor. Ski resort data is recorded by NOAA's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC). 

This map shows U.S. reservoirs experiencing drought, according to the current U.S. Drought Monitor. Reservoir data is recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey.

National Parks in Drought

The color with the hex code #7fb135 identifies:
Parks Not in Drought
The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
Parks in D0 - Abnormally Dry
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
Parks in D1 - Moderate Drought
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
Parks in D2 - Severe Drought
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
Parks in D3 - Extreme Drought
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
Parks in D4 - Exceptional Drought

Ski Resorts in Drought

The color with the hex code #7fb135 identifies:
Ski Resorts Not in Drought
The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
Ski Resorts in D0 - Abnormally Dry
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
Ski Resorts in D1 - Moderate Drought
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
Ski Resorts in D2 - Severe Drought
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
Ski Resorts in D3 - Extreme Drought
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
Ski Resorts in D4 - Exceptional Drought

Reservoirs in Drought

The color with the hex code #7fb135 identifies:
Reservoirs Not in Drought
The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
Reservoirs in D0 - Abnormally Dry
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
Reservoirs in D1 - Moderate Drought
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
Reservoirs in D2 - Severe Drought
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
Reservoirs in D3 - Extreme Drought
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
Reservoirs in D4 - Exceptional Drought
531
ski resorts experiencing Moderate to Exceptional (D1-D4) Drought
1,577
reservoirs experiencing Moderate to Exceptional (D1-D4) Drought
17
%
of streams reporting less than 10% of flow than their average
34
national parks experiencing Moderate to Exceptional (D1-D4) Drought
Key Issues

Reduction in Available Activities

Drought affects activities that are dependent on water or snow, such as boating and skiing. Indirect effects include reduced revenues for tourism- and recreation-dependent local economies and resulting mental health impacts related to economic losses, particularly for small business owners.

Wildfire

There is an increased risk for wildfires during drought, which can have a major impact on tourism and outdoor recreation. Limited access and public perceptions of danger can lead to fewer visitors and, therefore, lost revenue from tourism.

Degradation of Water Resources

Drought can result in poorer water quality, low streamflow, and reduced snowpack. These impacts limit activities, increase the risk for contracting waterborne disease, and shorten the season for outdoor recreation and tourism.

Hunting and Fishing

Drought alters wildlife populations and behavior, which can impact hunting and fishing.

Related Content

Data & Maps | Water Supply

Identify and access datasets and maps for monitoring water supply.

Data & Maps | Snow Drought

A collection of tools for accessing observed and forecasted snow data.

Data & Maps | Temperature & Precipitation

Access current, historical, and forecasted precipitation and temperature datasets and maps.