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Kansas hiker dies along trail in Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park.PNG
Posted at 2:21 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 21:57:27-04

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. (KTNV)  — A hiker was found dead near the Manly Beacon formation along the Golden Canyon Trail in Death Valley National Park over the past weekend.

Blake Chaplin, 52, of Leawood, Kansas, has been identified as the man who died on Aug. 22, according to officials.

National park staff says they received a report from an early morning hiker who discovered Chaplin's body next to the trail.

Park rangers responded and confirmed the report.

No helicopters were available to assist, so national park staff search and rescue teams hiked to recover the body.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and Inyo County Coroner are investigating the cause of death; foul play is not suspected.

This was the second death along the Golden Canyon Trail within a week.

Officials say temperatures over the weekend reached 109 degrees, which is below the daily normal of 115 degrees, but precautions should still be taken 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 (ending hikes before 10 a.m.), drinking plenty of water, eating salty snacks, and staying close to air conditioning.

Also, incredible scenery can be viewed from vistas and overlooks within a few minutes walk from a vehicle.