The Chaparral, a lush shrub plant community found primarily in Southern California, is probably one of the most underrated biomes. Although it is not the delicate, frozen vast tundra or tangles of tropical plants, the chaparral has its own character. The dry and small bush-like vegetation seem to run together until you notice the wildflowers that pop with a range of hues from deep reds to soft yellows nestled in thorns of bristly plants. The Chaparral is rarely recognized for its beauty but rather is only discussed in the context of wildfires in Southern California. One of the more notable flora to thrive in this environment is the sturdy Yucca plants. Their allure is not the same of the colorful desert flowers; there is a certain elegance in the Yucca plant’s bold physical appearance contrasted with the years it takes for the plants to fully blossom. Hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California is such to put some unwanted things in your shoes, but its breathtaking views of equal parts city and mountain range are worth the sore toes. If you ever find yourself in Southern California, grab some gaiters, plenty of water and go see all that the chaparral has to offer.

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Written by Alyssa Rivas

Californian, runner, tree climbing expert

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