Second hiker dies within a week on Death Valley National Park trail

Local News

Manly Beacon at sunrise, taken from the Zabriskie Point Overlook in Death Valley National Park. (Photo: E. Hoerner / National Park Service)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Officials from Death Valley National Park are reporting the second fatality within a week on the Golden Canyon Trail.

A second hiker, 52-year-old Blake Chaplin of Leawood, Kansas, was found dead on Saturday near the Manly Beacon formation on the trail.

A 60-year-old man from San Francisco was found dead on the trail on Wednesday last week.

Chaplin’s body was found by another hiker on an early morning hike. Park rangers went to the site and confirmed the report.

A search and rescue team recovered the body.

The Inyo County (California) Sheriff’s Office and Inyo County Coroner are investigating the cause of death. Foul play is not suspected.

Temperatures around 109 degrees — below the daily normal of 115 degrees — were reported on Saturday and Sunday. Although these temperatures were cooler compared to a typical Death Valley summer day, rangers advise taking precautions while visiting in the heat.

Park rangers urge summer travelers to visit Death Valley safely by limiting strenuous activity such as hiking to the relatively cooler morning hours. Hikers should plan to return before 10 a.m.

It’s also important to drink plenty of water, eat salty snacks and stay close to air conditioning.

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