third hiker death DV photo

Golden Canyon is a popular, easily accessible hiking trail in Death Valley National Park but extreme heat during the summer, with temperatures rising as high as 120 degrees, make it a dangerous trail as well. Two hikers have died near/on this trail in the past week, NPS officials said. 

Another death on Golden Canyon trail

A third hiker in four weeks has died in Death Valley National Park, most likely due to causes related to the extreme heat conditions.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, Blake Chaplin, 52, Leawood, Kan. was found deceased near the Manly Beacon formation along the Golden Canyon Trail in Death Valley National Park.

This was the second fatality along this trail within a week, and the third hiker fatality in the park in less than four weeks (see details about the other deaths below).

According to the park, park staff received a report from an early morning hiker who discovered Chaplin next to the trail. Park rangers responded and confirmed the report. No helicopters were available to assist, so National Park Search and Rescue team members hiked in to recover the body. 


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