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Experience the thrill of adventure on a 4-day mini-traverse of the Western High Atlas with our East-West itinerary. You’ll be exploring stunning canyons carved in granitic rocks in the Ourika Valley Gorges and discovering the remote and picturesque village of Amenazal. Keep an eye out for colonies of monkeys feeding on walnut trees on lucky days.
Ascend to new heights as you venture to Adrar n Dern and meet the friendly local shepherds. Then, journey even higher to reach the Tizi n Likemt pass, where you can take in breathtaking views before descending into the lush green valley of Imnane. Finally, drive back to Marrakech, filled with unforgettable memories of your amazing journey.
After enjoying breakfast, we will depart from our accommodation and embark on a 1 ½ hour journey to the trailhead. Along the way, we will cross the empty plains as the impressive outline of the High Atlas Mountains gradually comes into view. We will also pass by Oukaimeden, Morocco’s largest ski area, before reaching the lush Ourika valley where we will make a stop at Setti Fatma, a popular trailhead for Moroccans and foreigners alike.
Continuing on for another kilometer, we will arrive at Agadir n-Ait Boulmane (1,498m/4,915ft) where we will pick up our mules for the trek. This beautiful Berber village is bustling with women carrying bundles of long grass for the cattle as they return from the fields. From here, we will begin our five-hour walk to our first camp at Assaka.
The valley from Agadir n-Ait Boulmane to Assaka is known as “the gorges” by the locals. It is geologically unique in the Atlas mountains and features an intricate maze of irrigation channels that make every possible square inch cultivable. The locals enjoy wandering along the valley bottom, socializing under the shade of the trees and the running water. For our trek, we will take the mule path which climbs up out of the gorges, providing us with our first views of the surrounding landscape.
After about 1 ¼ hours, the valley splits with the right-hand branch heading towards Timichchi and Oukaimeden. We will take the left branch and soon after, the mule track climbs high up on the left-hand side of the valley. After another hour or so, we will reach the Berber village of Tamatert (1,655m/5,430ft). The path winds up through increasing numbers of Juniper trees and reaches a pass on a rocky ridge with scenic viewpoints. From here, we will have a clear view of the short trek back down into the valley and tomorrow’s climb back up and over the Tizi (col) n’Amenzil. We will then make our way down to the campsite where the muleteers will welcome us with a refreshing glass of Berber mint tea. The entire trek will take about 5 hours of walking.
Note that after lunch, there is an additional possibility to explore the gorges by walking on the water all day until we reach the camp. In this case, it is recommended to wear good sandals or trainers.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that lucky days may offer the chance to see colonies of monkeys feeding on walnuts.
It sounds like a beautiful and challenging trek through the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. The journey begins with a drive from Marrakech to the trailhead at Setti Fatma, passing through the lush Ourika valley where local stores sell an array of fresh fruits. From there, the trek continues on to Agadir n-Ait Boulmane to pick up mules for carrying luggage, and then it’s a five-hour walk to the first campsite at Assaka, following the winding path along the gorges.
On day two, the trek ascends to Tizi Amenzal, climbing through juniper trees with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. After reaching the top, the village of Amenzal comes into view, along with a long green terraced valley beyond. The path then follows irrigation channels up the valley and stops for lunch at a small azib. The day’s trek ends at a camping site near the head of the valley, where travelers can relax and enjoy the evening.
After breakfast, the group begins their ascent up to Tizi n’Imchichki. The ascent involves zigzagging up the mountain, but it’s not as difficult as it may appear at first glance. The group will enjoy 15 minutes of relatively flat terrain before beginning their descent. The descent to the riverside at Azib Tifnoute is nearly 600 meters, or 1,969 feet, down a classic Moroccan descent that is dry and loose. Depending on one’s preference for scree, the descent can be done quickly or slowly.
After lunch by the river, the group will continue on their journey for approximately two hours up the valley of Tinzert. Along the way, they will pass through the summer villages of Azib n Likemet. Finally, they will arrive at their destination for the night, a campsite by the riverside. Overall, this leg of the journey is estimated to take around six hours of walking.
Early in the morning, after having breakfast, the group will cross the river and begin their walk through fields of barley and small cabanes for animals. After about an hour of walking on lush green slopes, the trail becomes steeper, and they will make a slow ascent to the pass at Tizi Likemt, which is at an altitude of 3,555m. The going will be quite tough, as there is a considerable amount of loose scree on the ground. However, the group will be rewarded with an amazing and fine view of the Toubkal massif from the top of the pass.
After taking in the stunning view, the group will begin their long downhill descent to the village of Tachdirth. This descent will take some time and will require some concentration as the ground is steep and rocky. Upon arrival in Tachdirth, lunch will be served, and the group will have some time to rest and relax.
After lunch, the group will say goodbye to their Berber team and prepare to drive back to Marrakech. It is important to note that the itinerary is just a guideline and is subject to change to suit local conditions.
The best time to hike in Morocco is during the spring (March to May) and the fall (September to November). During these months, the weather is typically mild, with comfortable temperatures during the day and cool nights. The landscapes are also more colorful during these seasons, as wildflowers bloom in the spring and the foliage changes color in the fall.
However, it’s still possible to hike in Morocco during the summer and winter months. Summer can be hot, but the higher elevations in the Atlas Mountains offer cooler temperatures. Winter can be cold, especially at higher altitudes, but there are still opportunities for winter hiking and skiing. It’s important to note that some trails and passes may be inaccessible during the winter months due to snow and ice.
It is technically possible to climb Toubkal without a guide, but it’s not recommended. The terrain can be challenging, especially for inexperienced hikers, and having a guide can provide added safety and support. A guide can also help with navigation, especially in areas where the trail may not be clearly marked.
In addition to safety concerns, climbing Toubkal without a guide may not be permitted. The Moroccan authorities require hikers to obtain a permit before climbing Toubkal, and our tour companie and guides are licensed to issue these permits. If you don’t have a permit or are caught climbing without one, you may be fined or even deported.
It’s also worth noting that climbing with us can enhance your overall experience. Our guide can provide insights into the local culture and history, and can help you appreciate the natural beauty of the area. We will also take care of logistics, such as arranging transport and accommodations, leaving you free to focus on enjoying your hike.
Climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, but it’s generally considered a moderate to strenuous climb. The difficulty of the climb will depend on several factors, including your level of fitness, previous hiking experience, and the route you choose to take.
The standard route to the summit starts in the village of Imlil and involves hiking to the Toubkal Refuge, where climbers can rest for the night before making the final ascent to the summit the following day. The hike to the refuge is approximately 5-6 hours and involves a steady uphill climb.
The final ascent to the summit involves some steep and rocky terrain and can take 3-4 hours, depending on your pace. Altitude can also be a factor, as the summit of Toubkal is 4,167 meters (13,671 feet) above sea level. It’s important to acclimate properly to the altitude and take necessary precautions to prevent altitude sickness.
That being said, the climb to Mount Toubkal is accessible to most hikers with a moderate level of fitness and previous hiking experience. It’s recommended to train and prepare for the climb in advance, with a focus on building endurance and stamina.
Overall, while climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, the stunning views from the summit and the sense of accomplishment make it a rewarding experience.
The temperature in the High Atlas Mountains can vary greatly depending on the season and altitude. In general, the higher you go, the colder it gets.
During the winter months (December to February), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can drop below freezing, especially at higher altitudes. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach -10°C (14°F) or colder at the summit of Mount Toubkal. It’s important to come prepared with warm clothing and gear if you plan to visit during the winter.
In the summer months (June to August), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can be quite hot during the day, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, especially at higher altitudes, so it’s important to pack warm layers for evenings and early mornings.
Overall, it’s best to come prepared for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions when visiting the High Atlas Mountains, as the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly.
Hiking Toubkal Mount in the winter can be challenging and requires proper equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some essential items you should bring with you:
Insulated and waterproof boots: Your boots should be sturdy, waterproof, and insulated to keep your feet warm and dry in snowy conditions.
Warm clothing layers: You’ll need to dress in layers, including a base layer, mid-layer, and outer shell, to stay warm and regulate your body temperature. Insulated jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves are also necessary.
Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants: You’ll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect you from the snow, wind, and rain.
Crampons and ice axe: In snowy conditions, you may need crampons and an ice axe to help you navigate the mountain safely.
Backpack: A sturdy backpack with a waterproof cover is essential for carrying your gear, snacks, and water.
Sleeping bag: If you plan to spend the night in a mountain refuge, you’ll need a warm and insulated sleeping bag.
Sunglasses and sunscreen: The sun’s reflection on the snow can be intense, so bring sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your eyes and skin.
Morocco is generally considered a safe country for trekking, but like any travel destination, it’s important to take appropriate safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Stay on designated trails: Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing off into unknown areas.
Dress appropriately: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and bring the necessary equipment, such as proper footwear, warm clothing, and rain gear.
Stay hydrated: Bring enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your trek.
Avoid hiking alone: It’s always safer to hike with a group or a guide, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
By taking these precautions, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding trekking experience in Morocco.