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Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the central High Atlas Mountains of Morocco with the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse. This eight-day journey will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery the region has to offer.
Starting from the north, we’ll make our way down to the southern summit, reaching the impressive height of M’Goun, which stands at 4,071 meters above sea level, making it the second highest peak in the Atlas range. Throughout the journey, we’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and traditional Berber villages, providing a glimpse into the local culture and way of life.
As we descend from the summit, we’ll venture into the famous gorge of M’Goun, also known as the “Happy Valley,” where we’ll marvel at the stunning rock formations and rugged terrain. The area is also rich in flora and fauna, providing plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and explore the unique ecosystem.
Throughout the journey, we’ll be accompanied by experienced guides and support staff who will ensure that our trip is safe and comfortable. We’ll stay in traditional Berber homes and campsites, enjoying delicious local cuisine and hospitality along the way.
The Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse is a challenging yet rewarding journey that will take you off the beaten path and provide an immersive experience in one of Morocco’s most stunning natural landscapes.
Day 1 of the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse starts with a hearty breakfast before we depart from Marrakech and make our way to Ait Bougmez by Land Rover or mini-bus. We’ll stop along the way for a picnic lunch, taking in the stunning scenery of the Atlas Mountains as we travel.
After lunch, we’ll arrive at Ait Lmi, a traditional Berber village situated at an altitude of 1900 meters. Here, we’ll stay overnight in a cozy Berber house, where we’ll be welcomed by our hospitable hosts and enjoy delicious local cuisine.
This first day is a chance to acclimate to the altitude and prepare for the challenging days ahead. We’ll take the opportunity to rest and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, perhaps taking a short walk to explore the village and its surroundings. Our experienced guides will also provide a briefing on the journey ahead, highlighting the sights and challenges we’ll encounter along the way.
Day 2 of the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse starts with an energizing breakfast in Ait Imi. We’ll then set out on our trek, departing from the village and making our way towards Ouzighimte through Tizi N’Ait Lmi, a mountain pass that sits at an elevation of 3100 meters.
As we make our way through the pass, we’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch along the way, taking in the scenic beauty of our surroundings.
After lunch, we’ll continue our trek, descending towards our next destination, where we’ll set up our bivouac at an altitude of 2000 meters. This is a great opportunity to experience camping in the heart of the Atlas Mountains, surrounded by nature and under a starry sky.
Throughout the day, we’ll cover around 6 hours of walking, with breaks along the way to rest and take in the breathtaking scenery. Our experienced guides will be on hand to offer support and guidance throughout the trek, ensuring that we have a safe and enjoyable journey.
Day 3 of the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse is when we start our journey through the spectacular Mgoun Gorges. We’ll set out early in the morning, walking through the narrow canyons and towering cliffs of the gorge. This is a unique and unforgettable experience, as we navigate through the dramatic landscapes of the Atlas Mountains.
We’ll continue our walk along the Mgoun valley, taking in the stunning scenery of the surrounding mountains, rivers, and lush greenery. This part of the journey is a true highlight, as we immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of the area.
In the evening, we’ll reach Tighanimine, a traditional Berber village situated at an altitude of 1900 meters. Here, we’ll stay overnight in a cozy Berber house, where we’ll be welcomed by our hospitable hosts and enjoy delicious local cuisine. Throughout the day, we’ll cover around 6 hours of walking, with breaks along the way to rest and take in the breathtaking scenery. Our experienced guides will be on hand to offer support and guidance throughout the trek, ensuring that we have a safe and enjoyable journey.
Day 4 of the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse starts with a nourishing breakfast in Tighanimine before we set out on our trek towards Aguerzka. As we leave Tighanimine behind, we’ll continue our journey through the stunning landscapes of the Atlas Mountains, taking in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
We’ll cover around 5 hours of walking, with breaks along the way to rest and take in the breathtaking scenery. The highlight of the day is reaching Imejgag, a small Berber village situated at an altitude of 1800 meters. Here, we’ll have the option to stay overnight in a traditional Berber house, where we’ll experience local hospitality and delicious cuisine, or we can choose to set up camp in a tent under the stars.
This part of the journey marks the end of the Mgoun Gorges, and we’ll have the chance to reflect on the stunning landscapes we’ve experienced so far. Our experienced guides will be on hand to offer support and guidance throughout the trek, ensuring that we have a safe and enjoyable journey.
On Day 5 of the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse, we’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast in Iméjgag before continuing our trek towards El Hot, which sits at an altitude of 1600 meters. This leg of the journey will take us through the south face of Mgoun, an area known for its impressive volcanic mountains and traditional Ksours (fortified villages).
As we make our way through this rugged and beautiful landscape, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the stunning scenery. We’ll cover around 5 hours of walking, with breaks along the way to rest, take photos, and learn more about the local culture and history.
At the end of the day, we’ll arrive in El Hot, where we’ll have the chance to rest and recharge before the next leg of our journey. Our experienced guides will be on hand to offer support and guidance throughout the trek, ensuring that we have a safe and enjoyable journey.
On Day 6 of the Mgoun Traverse – North-South Traverse, we’ll depart from El Hot and head towards Boutaghrar. This part of the journey is different from the previous days, as we’ll have the chance to relax and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of our Land Rover or mini-bus.
Along the way, we’ll pass through the town of Kelaa Mgouna, famous for its rose gardens and rose water production. We’ll also drive through the city of Ouarzazate, known for its striking architecture and stunning desert landscapes.
On the road, we’ll visit Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Morocco’s most iconic landmarks. Here, we’ll explore the ancient fortified city and learn about its rich history and culture.
In the evening, we’ll arrive in Marrakech and check into our hotel for a well-deserved rest. Throughout the journey, our experienced guides will be on hand to offer support and guidance, ensuring that we have a safe and enjoyable journey.
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.