Second hiker dies within days from heat in Death Valley

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Second hiker dies within days from heat in Death Valley

A man died hiking in Death Valley as temperatures hit a thermometer-busting 109 degrees – the second time within days the scorching heat turned fatal at the tourist destination.

Another hiker found the body of 52-year-old Kansas resident Blake Chaplin early Saturday near the Golden Canyon Trail, Death Valley National Park said in a statement.

The heat at the time was actually 6 degrees cooler than the daily normal for the park, according to the statement

“Although these temperatures may be cooler compared to a typical Death Valley summer day, precautions should still be taken while visiting in the heat,” the statement said.

Authorities are investigating the cause of death but foul play isn’t suspected, the statement said.

Chaplin’s friends and relatives reflected on his life in an online memorial.

“Blake was a great guy. Always easy to talk to and filled with interesting stories. I often think about the great conversations we had and will continue to do so,” one person wrote.

The recovery of Chaplin’s body came three days after hiker Lawrence Stanback died of suspected heat stroke while hiking along the Golden Canyon Trail on Aug. 18, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Two men hike at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, California on July 11, 2021.
Two men hike at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, California on July 11, 2021.
David Becker/Getty Images

The 60-year-old San Francisco resident died amid afternoon temperatures reportedly hitting 108 degrees.

Park rangers ended their statement on the latest incident by urging travelers to avoid strenuous activity after 10 a.m. and to stay close to air conditioning.

“Incredible scenery can be viewed from vistas and overlooks within a few minutes’ walk from a vehicle,” the statement said.

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