Hiking in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Jebel Toubkal Peak and Trekking the Highest Range in North Africa

From the fertile valleys, rivers and waterfalls at the base of the Atlas mountains to the snow covered peaks, visitors will be taken aback by the breathtaking views.

The high Atlas mountains is a range with resplendent snow-capped peaks, hidden valleys, and ancient Berber villages. The mountains have enticed hikers from all over the world for decades. These are the highest peaks in North Africa and are are really beautiful and different in the sense that one can glimpse life as it has always been among the Berber homes which can be seen along the way.

Atlas mountain trekking has become very popular with visitors from Europe in recent years and walking holidays have become easier with guidebooks, plenty of accommodation options and lists of guides available to hire if desired.

Ascending Jebel Toubkal

One of the most popular of the many trekking opportunities in the high Atlas mountains is the possibility of ascending Jebel Toubkal, which at an altitude of 4167 metres above sea level, is North Africa’s highest peak.

To get there, drive south from the city of Marrakesh which is easily accessible using local transport. While many guide books claim that it is not necessary to have mountaineering skills and all the hiker needs to bring with are sturdy boots and warm clothing, the climb is very strenuous and in winter it may be necessary to hire crampons and ice axes. Even in summer, the temperatures can be freezing cold so very warm sleeping bags and tents are necessary.

Hiking at the Base of Jebel Toubkal

For the hiker who wants to enjoy the scenery of the mountains but is not interested in a very tough hike, there are plenty of trails and paths which are perfect for the average hiker around the base of Jebel Toubkal. These trails take the hiker through beautiful valleys with suggested stops at gorges and waterfalls with peeks into villages with a history that goes back for centuries. Groves of apple, cherry, peach and walnut trees and green fields make up the landscape, which can come as a surprise to those who think of Morocco as a desert.

Atlas Mountains Trekking Taking a Guided Tour

Authentic Morocco offers tours including Jebel Toubkal. The attraction with a guided tour of this nature is that pack mules are taken with to carry all luggage, leaving the hiker free to enjoy the hike without the crippling weight of a back-pack. Meals are taken care of, either by the guide who cooks, or meals that are pre-arranged at a Berber village, usually of very good quality.
Atlas Mountains Books and Maps

Each year, the Moroccan Tourist Office publishes an updated version of The Great Trek Through the Moroccan Atlas, which contains practical information, travel details, a list of registered guides and current tariffs. Another good guide is The High Atlas by Andre Fougerolles (Alphin Guide).

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