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What Is The Coldest City In Alaska? 2024 Update

anchorage alaska

Alaska is famed for its freezing temperatures and often severe weather. While the harsh climate of Alaska is its most distinctive feature, Alaska is also known for the beauty of the breathtaking landscapes. Visiting Alaska is a magnificent experience with rocky mountains, long stretches of coastline, and the diverse wildlife that Alaska has to offer.

In this article, we will explore the coldest city in Alaska—Fairbanks. We will also look at the settlement town called Prospect Creek, which holds the record for the lowest temperature measured in Alaska, −79.8 ° divider

The Coldest Large City in Alaska

The gorgeous city of Fairbanks is one of the coldest large cities in central Alaska. It is renowned for the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, which are distinctly visible in the Fairbanks night sky. It is also the second-largest city in Alaska, with a population of 100,000 locals.

With all that this stunning city offers, it has been known to be the coldest city in the entire United States. The lowest recorded temperature was -66 °F, while the average temperature during the year is -16.9 °F.

Snowing House Fairbanks Alaska
Image Credit: Kit Leong, Shutterstock

The City With the Lowest Average Temperature

Another city known to have one of the lowest temperatures on average in Alaska is Utqiaġvik, commonly known as Barrow. This city is located in the northernmost part of the country and has a population of only about 4,000 residents. While Utqiaġvik is a town with incredibly severe winters, it is also a town rich in culture and breathtaking scenery.

The Lowest Recorded Temperature in Alaska

Only 180 miles to the north of Fairbanks lies a little settlement town that holds the record for reaching the lowest temperature recorded in the United States. At −79.8 °F, Prospect Creek Camp was declared the coldest city in the United States in 1971.

Prospect Creek Camp is a town filled with local history as it was once a base camp for various mining expeditions and home to the thousands of workers building the trans-Alaska pipeline system. In the present day, this small settlement is practically a ghost town, although it is considered to be Alaska’s hidden gem. While it is known to be the city with the harshest winter conditions recorded, it is also home to two national wildlife reserves and it is filled with stunning winter scenery and wildlife.

red car in snow
Image Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi, Pexels

Other Cold Cities in Alaska

Fairbanks is known to be the coldest city in the heart of Alaska, and Prospect Creek holds the record for the lowest temperature achieved, but there are many other towns in Alaska that are worth mentioning. These towns are incredibly cold, and only the locals can survive winters here comfortably.

  • Manley Hot Springs
  • Coldfoot
  • Prudhoe Bay
  • McGrath
  • Deadhorse
  • Eagle
  • Wiseman

Life and Tourism in Alaska

While it may sound crazy to enjoy life in Alaska’s conditions, many people find peace in the calm setting of this unique state. It is full of opportunities for locals and foreigners, and tourism is constantly thriving. There are countless activities that tourists and locals can enjoy during winter.

Whether you decide to visit Alaska for skiing, ice fishing, or to observe the natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis, you will not regret it. Alaska has many gorgeous sights and experiences to offer, making staying in the coldest parts of the United States entirely worth it.

Fairbank Drone Shot
Image Credit: agqkindaguy, Pixabay

Is the City of Fairbanks Cold During the Entire Year?

Winters in Fairbanks are cruel, frigid, and densely covered in snow, while that is not the case during the rest of the year. Summer in Fairbanks is much more pleasant. Although summers are usually cloudy, they do tend to last longer. The weather in Fairbanks is considered a bit extreme in Alaska because of the drastic changes and contrast between the warm and the cold season. This region experiences some of the hottest and most frigid temperatures, as it can sometimes reach as high as 90°F in the summer and as low as -50°F during winter.

Is Alaska Cold All Year?

Alaska in summer is much colder compared to other states in the United States. Average winter temperatures in Alaska can range between 0°F to -30°F, and the rest of the year will stay pretty cold in most parts of the country. During summer, the average temperatures in Alaska are between 40°F and 60°F. While some warmer cities in Alaska are not covered in snow throughout the year, they are still not quite warm, even during summer.

What is the Warmest City in Alaska?

The warmest and largest city in Alaska is Sitka. This town’s highest average temperature during the warm season is approximately 58°F. It is known to have the least amount of snow compared to other cities in Alaska. It offers tourists many historic sites and buildings and other historical landmarks to be explored. It is also rich with engaging activities such as hiking, whale watching, visiting museums, and other cultural centers, and it is home to two wildlife rehabilitation centers.

city divider

Final Thoughts

Once you read this article, you will not only be knowledgeable about the coldest cities in Alaska, but you will be aware of the beauty that these towns have. Alaska is the home to beautiful nature filled with unique wildlife, history, and rich culture. Alaska may be one of the coldest places on earth, but the breathtaking sites it has to offer will make anyone who travels to this country fall in love with it. After seeing the never-ending sunset and witnessing nature’s phenomenon of the Northern Lights, you’ll never be the same.

Featured Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay


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