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What Is the Hottest City in California? Facts & FAQs (2024 Update)

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The hottest city in California is Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek is located in Death Valley, which is so hot that it is consistently ranked as the hottest place in the world, not just the hottest place in California. The hottest day on record occurred in Furnace Creek in 1913, with temperatures reaching  134°F.

Needless to say, Furnace Creek has earned its name. Keep reading to learn more about this sweltering town.

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Furnace Creek: The Hottest City in California

Furnace Creek1 is located in Inyo County, California. It is very close to Las Vegas and is on the border between California and Nevada. The town is right next to Death Valley. It is even the location of the visitor’s center, headquarters, and museum of Death Valley National Park. The city covers about 31.5 square miles and is home to only about 136 people as of 2020.

The main reason why so few people live in Furnace Creek is because of its insane temperatures. The city also has the highest natural ground surface temperature on earth at 201°F, which was recorded on July 15, 1972.

Furnace Creek
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay

How Hot Is Furnace Creek?

Although the hottest day in Furnace Creek reached 134°F, it is not the average temperature. Between 1911 and 2006, the average high temperature of Furnace Creek was 91.4°F. The average low temperature was 62.9°F. J

uly is the hottest month, with an average daily temperature of 116.5°F. June is also scorching, with incredibly low precipitation. June typically only sees 0.05 inches of rain every year.

In other words, Furnace Creek isn’t a place where you go to cool down. It is consistently over 100°F throughout the year and doesn’t see much rain either. Together, this makes Furnace Creek a lethal location regarding temperature and water.

Why Is Furnace Creek So Hot?

After learning about how hot Furnace Creek is, the next question you may have is why it got this way. Why are Furnace Creek and Death Valley so hot? The answer lies in the shape of the area and its location.

For starters, Furnace Creek is in Death Valley. The valley is very long and 282 feet below sea level, and mountains in the desert surround it. The mixture of this low elevation and the mountains surrounding it means that the air gets heated by the elevation, and rain rarely makes it over the mountains.

Together, this results in an incredibly hot and dry environment in which most living things cannot survive.

Furnace Creek Inn
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay

Fun Facts About Furnace Creek

Here are a few fun facts you might not know about this unbearably hot town.

  • It didn’t rain at all between 1929 and 1953.
  • In 1917, there were over 40 consecutive days in the Death Valley area where the high temperature was above 120°F.
  • On January 8th, 1913, the temperature dropped to 15°F in Furnace Creek.
  • The Furnace Creek resort is home to natural hot springs.
  • Despite such little rain, flash floods have been reported in the Bridge and Canyon areas.
  • You can see fossils in the embedded rocks of Furnace Creek and the surrounding Death Valley area.
  • It’s believed that people have inhabited Death Valley for over 10,000 years.

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Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt about it—the hottest city in California is Furnace Creek. Furnace Creek is so hot that it holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet. This is due to its location in Death Valley. Furnace Creek isn’t just the hottest city in California. It’s one of the hottest cities in the world.

Because of how hot it is, not many people live in Furnace Creek. Even so, Furnace Creek and Death Valley are places you need to visit once in your life. The sites are absolutely breathtaking, and there are plenty of fun things to do while you explore the great outdoors. Just make sure to bring a lot of water and sunscreen!

Featured Image Credit: Paul Hanaoka, Unsplash


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