2nd hiker dies within days in Death Valley National Park

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Death Valley National Park rangers are reminding visitors to limit stressful activities during blazing summer heat after another hiker died along the same trail within days.

Blake Chaplin, 52, of Leawood, Kansas, was found dead on Aug. 21 along the Golden Canyon Trail, the park said in a statement Tuesday.

A search-and-rescue team recovered the body after it was reported by an early morning hiker. The cause of death was being investigated by Inyo County authorities but foul play was not suspected, the park said.

Temperatures on Aug. 21-22 reached 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius), below the daily normal of 115 F (46 C).

Authorities said Lawrence Stanback, 60, of San Francisco died on the same trail on Aug. 18. Heat stroke was suspected in his death.

“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 park said.

Summer visitors should limit hiking to the relatively cooler morning hours, ending treks by 10 a.m., drink plenty of water, eat salty snacks and stay close to air conditioning. Scenery is easily viewed from locations within short walks from a vehicle.

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