Leawood hiker dies on trail in Death Valley National Park


DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 17: A view of badlands terrain on August 17, 2020 in Death Valley National Park, California. The temperature reached 130 degrees at Death Valley National Park on August 16, hitting what may be the hottest temperature recorded on Earth since at least 1913, according to the National Weather Service. Park visitors have been warned, ‘Travel prepared to survive.’ (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. — A 52-year-old Leawood, Kansas man was found dead on the Golden Canyon Trail in Death Valley National Park on Saturday.

Blake Chaplin was found near the Manly Beacon formation on the trail and is the second fatality reported on the trail within a week.

Another hiker found Chaplin’s body and reported it to national park staff who recovered Chaplin on foot as no helicopters were not available.

Temperatures for Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 in Death Valley reached 109 degrees Fahrenheit.

The park said that although the temperatures were a few degrees below the average, hikers should take the same precautions when preparing to visit Death Valley National Park.

No foul play is expected in Chaplin’s death, but it continues to be investigated by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and Inyo County Coroner.

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