The National Parks in the northern United States tend to have the coldest temperatures while the southern states have the hottest temperatures. However, Alaska’s national parks have the coldest temperatures by far, with many of them below 32 degrees for most of the year. The hottest temperatures occur in Arizona and the deserts.
Kobuk Valley National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Natmai National Park and Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Sitka National Historic Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, Denali Park and Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve are among the coldest parks. According to Climatable, provided by the National Park Service, Kobuk Valley, Noatak, Gates of the Arctic all have at least 26 days, each month, during the autumn with temperatures below freezing. In winter, they have 30 days each month of freezing cold temperatures. This is the weather that occurs in the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” Summer is a wet season with at least ten days of precipitation. July is the only month when snow does not fall. Besides being the coldest, these parks are also the most remote. The only way to reach most of them is by air. Other very cold national parks are in Michigan, Colorado and Minnesota.
The hottest NPs
Arizona and California have many days with temperatures over 90. The warmest park, Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert of California has two months, July and August, which can have average temperatures near and over 100 degrees. Death Valley National Park also in the California desert has similar temperatures. However, humidity in the desert is low, leading to cool, if not cold temperatures, at night. Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon have equally hot temperatures for one or two months of the summer. Normal daily temperatures struggle to reach 90. Look for dry conditions in these two parks. Tuzigoot National Monument has very high temperatures with daily normals over 100 degrees. Petrified Forest is another warm park in Arizona. Here, thunderstorms do occur.
For really cold temperatures, head for Alaska and the northern wilderness. Normal temperatures are in the mid-20 and low 30s. Parks in Colorado and Minnesota also have freezing temperatures. To warm up, head for Arizona and the Mojave Desert. These places have triple digit temperatures in the summer. In the winter, lows are chilly in the 40s. Texas also has some high temperatures, especially locations close to the desert.