Lonely Planet Writer

Yosemite National Park has just got bigger with the addition of Ackerson Meadow

If you ever thought ‘Yosemite National Park is great but could do with being a bit bigger’, then your wish has just come true: one of the USA’s most popular and iconic parks is about to get 400 acres larger.

Autumn seems to be right around the corner. #Yosemite #NationalPark #MyParkIsYosemite #Autumn

A photo posted by Yosemite National Park (@yosemitenps) on Sep 7, 2016 at 8:53am PDT

The addition, known as Ackerson Meadow, has similar geography to other sections of the park including rolling hills, meadows filled with wildflowers in the spring and forest, along with wildlife, including bears. One especially exciting feature of the area for conservationists though, is the presence of two endangered bird species: the southwestern willow flycatcher and the great grey owl.

The land had been in private hands since 2006 until the Trust for Public Land organisation bought it for $2.3 million this year and handed it over to the National Park Service. It’s the biggest increase in the size of Yosemite for almost 70 years and Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land, told the Los Angeles Times, “Donating the largest addition since 1949 to one of the world’s most famous parks is a great way to celebrate the 100th birthday of our National Park Service’.

Yosemite is one of California’s top traveller destinations, with thousands coming here year round to take in views like that from Glacier Point, to gawp at the Yosemite Falls and to do one of the many famous hikes including the one up Half Dome.