Climb Mount Toubkal

Dusty canyons, sizzling tagines and rustic Berber villages await your ascent of the muscular Mt. Toubkal.

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63 kilometres south of Marrakesh looms Mt. Toubkal (4,167m), North Africa’s highest peak.

The mountain oversees the jagged peaks of the High Atlas in the north, the modest Anti-Atlas mountain range to the south and the sprawling Sahara beyond.

Trekking to Toubkal’s peak takes you through fertile lowland floodplains and traditional Berber villages nestled precariously in the mountainside.

The network of gîtes, availability of muleteers and short hiking times make this peak ideal for any mountaineering toe-dipper. Late spring to late autumn is the most popular time to hike Toubkal. But when winter settles in and trails empty out, tackling this peak becomes a serene mini-expedition.

For many, ascending Toubkal is the gateway into the addictive world of summit conquering.

Tackling the Summit

This trek starts from the gateway village of Imlil and takes you through the stunning Mizane valley, past Amend and onto the Muslim shrine ‘Sidi Charamouch’.

From there, the five-hour, zig-zagging hike will deliver you to the Toubkal refuge, sitting in the snowline at 3,206 metres.

The second day requires an early rise if you’re gunning to make it in time for the Saharan sunrise. The mountain’s scree slopes will conspire against you as you scramble for the spectacular panorama at Toubkal’s peak.

Being the most direct route to Toubkal’s peak, the two-day option is the ideal route for those looking to pack a summit into minimal time. No previous mountain experience is needed, just a decent level of fitness and a dash of grit.

The Circular Trek

The three-day circular valley trek is a great way to explore the scenic foothills of the Toubkal Massif.

This trek starts with an acclimatisation trek through the red-earth hills of the Ouirgane National Park, before staying overnight at the rustic Berber village of Tinzert.

The following day will take you through the lesser-travelled but striking Azzadene Valley, scattered with walnut groves and juniper trees. The next day, you’ll climb out of the Azzadene Valley towards Tizi n Mzik, (2,489m) before you descend down to Imlil.

This is an ideal route for more leisurely hikers and families looking to sample a deeper slice of rural, Moroccan life.