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Yosemite National Park Just Got Better

It’s true! The already astonishing Yosemite National Park of northern California is adding 400 acres of wetlands and meadows to its thriving natural reserve. CBS News reports this to be the park’s largest expansion in nearly 70 years, putting it at almost 750,000 total acres.

The new addition, known as Ackerson Meadow, is located on Yosemite’s western boundary. Donated by The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit organization, the land was originally bought from private owners for $2.3 million. Now visitors and endangered animals alike can explore the added meadows and wetlands surrounded by tall pine trees.

Two deer having lunch by the river in the northeast end of the park

Two deer having lunch by the river in the northeast end of the park

I can tell you first hand that, yes, Yosemite is huge. This past June I was fortunate enough to make a pit-stop on my cross country road trip to see the Earth’s natural utopia. Little did I know that I was going to need much more than a few hours if I wanted to experience the park to its fullest extent.

Entering the park, I was at a loss for words. My boyfriend and I had just previously left a campsite at Lake Tahoe (a few hundred miles north of Yosemite), which I had thought was the most amazing place in the world. Tahoe did not even compare to what laid before me.

The first words that I was finally able to utter, as my eyes met mountains made of igneous rock: “I feel like I’m in Jurassic Park.”

Panorama of several mountains following the northern entrance road

Panorama of several mountains following the northern entrance road

Yosemite consists of some enormously diverse terrain, ranging from the sky-scraping Redwood trees to – my favorite – the occasional creek or waterfall serving as a bathing area for neighborhood mammals. The new expansion to the park will only further the variety of awe inspiring landscapes that visitors have the ability to explore.

Tall pines lining one of the main routes in the park

Tall pines lining one of the main routes in the park

To any nature-lovers out there, I cannot stress enough that you put Yosemite National Park at the top of your bucket list. With more majestic wildlife and flourishing landscapes than ever before, you could not choose a more perfect time to witness one of the world’s most precious wonders.

Happy travels!

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