camping in atlas mountains

Trekking in Morocco Atlas Mountains

Ever wanted to check off multiple outdoor adventures all in one region of one country? Well, lush valleys, cool canyons and the highest peak in North Africa make Morocco’s expansive Atlas Mountains the ultimate playground.

The multi-faceted mountains pass through both Algeria and Tunisia before they stretch into Morocco’s Sahara towards the Atlantic coastline. Though much less known than the desert, the roughly 2500 km mountain range lets you sandboard and snowboard only a few hours apart — how’s that for diversity?

While the Sahara is surreal for a day or two, as are the major cities, the Atlas Mountains are a treasure trove for varied gems that kept drawing me back for more

Where to trek in Morocco ?

megdaz village

Only a few countries offer a diverse variety of landscapes and panoramas as impressive as Morocco’s, which makes the North African country an important travel destination for tourists from across the world who enjoy true adventuring. Morocco offers some of the best places to enjoy outdoor activities, from surfing blue waters to trekking the Sahara desert to hiking magnificent hills and mountains.

 

Beyond its historic cities and unique and delectable cuisine, Morocco has some of the best hiking locations where you can enjoy dramatic rocky coastlines, snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, and beautiful natural scenery.

Additionally, hiking Morocco’s mountains benefit the body, mind, and soul. It is a “must” for nature lovers travelling to the country.

1-Mount Toubkal Area

Visited by thousands of tourists yearly, Toubkal National Park is one of the most famous hiking destinations in Morocco. It has the highest peak in North Africa and the Arab world at 4,167 meters above sea level.

The outstanding mountain, located south of the tourist city of Marrakech, can be challenging to hike yet worth the time. Your tenacity will reward you with breathtaking High Atlas Mountain panoramas and a chance to explore volcanic rocks, narrow valleys, and small, remote lakes.

Mount Toubkal Ascent

If you are looking for a unique summit experience, this climbing trip to Mount Toubkal is the best choice. As you may know, it is the highest peak in North Africa and now you have the opportunity to reach its top even if you do not have the technical knowledge

More info 

Berber Villages Trek

Two to three day valleys and villages treks are not dis-similar to the concept of a Nepalese tea-house trek. These treks are designed with a lighter itinerary (typically 5-6 hrs max walking per day), stay overnight in traditional village gites and where possible your guide will take you for tea in a village home

More info

Imlil Valley Day Trip

The journey from Marrakesh to Imlil is a short one of just over an hour. Imlil is a popular hitching post for mountain trekkers in the High Atlas. Sitting at the foot of Mount Toubkal, Imlil makes for a popular starting point for your trek or is just a great place to spend a day.

More info

2-Ait Bouguemez Area

Known as Morocco’s ‘Happy Valley’, this remote valley is a lush green in the spring, when daytime temperatures make for comfortable day hikes either through the valley or to nearby lakes. Wander from village to village, meeting friendly locals along the way to experience true, simple Berber life. Longer multi-day treks are also possible, including the two-week trek nomads make each year as they descend on the valley and spend their summers grazing their herds. Given its remote location, during winter months the valley is almost inaccessible due to the road conditions. There is no public transport, so private car or hire car is required for an approximately five-hour drive from Marrakech.

The outstanding mountain, located south of the tourist city of Marrakech, can be challenging to hike yet worth the time. Your tenacity will reward you with breathtaking High Atlas Mountain panoramas and a chance to explore volcanic rocks, narrow valleys, and small, remote lakes.

Happy Valley Trek

A great challenging walking holiday in the High Atlas mountain of Morocco. Trekking into the summit of M’goun 4068m, 6 days trek full of excitement and adventure, including the valley of Ait Bougmmez and the valley of Mgoun.
A unique trekking experience through the High Atlas mountains,

More info

Hiking Trip in Ait Bouguemez

Our lower valley hike is an easy 12 km circular stroll that heads down on side of the valley before crossing over and returning on the other side. The scenery is magnificent, especially in the late afternoon when the golden Moroccan light bounces off the valley walls, illuminating the swaying grass and red rock walls. But the highlight is exploring the many villages and the Berber way of life.

More info

M’goun Ascent Trek

Our trek, starting in the stuuning Ait Bougemez valley follows a high circuit around the Central Atlas. The combination of the rugged high mountains and friendly welcome from the indigenous Berbers whose traditional way of life has changed very little over time will leave you with unforgettable memories, and an incredible experience.

More info

3-Jbel Saghro Area

Located on the edge of the Sahara in Kalaâ M’Gouna, Jebel Sarhro is less popular with trekkers despite being home to the fourth highest peak in Morocco at 4,071 meters. But the authentic landscapes of deep gorges and palm groves, plus chance encounters with locals along the way, make for a very unique experience for those who are willing to travel a bit further from Marrakech to reach this destination. Trekking in this region is best in spring and fall when daytime temperatures are comfortable and water sources readily available

The outstanding mountain, located south of the tourist city of Marrakech, can be challenging to hike yet worth the time. Your tenacity will reward you with breathtaking High Atlas Mountain panoramas and a chance to explore volcanic rocks, narrow valleys, and small, remote lakes.

5 day Saghro Trek

Incredible trekking adventure holiday amongst the remote mountains of the Jebel Saghro in Morocco! Sandwiched between the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Sahara, the beautiful mountain region of Jebel Saghro is the perfect destination for winter sunshine trekking. Our Jbel Saghro Trekking 5 Days walking adventure holiday in Morocco takes you from magical Marrakech to explore the heart of the Jebel SaghroA unique trekking experience through 

More Info

7-Day Saghro Trek

When its snowy and freezing in the High Atlas Mountains, Jebel Saghro & Sahara desert trekking is the perfect choice for enjoying a warmer weather in the winter. Departing from Marrakech early morning to cross the High Atlas through Tichka pass at 2260m with a lunch break. Starting the trek from the Dades valley to get into the heart of the volcano massif were meeting nomads who live in camps, caves and villages, discovering their lifestyle meanwhile crossing a couple of volcanic passes

More Info

8 days saghro tour

Trekking in Jbel Saghro has been rated by experts in the area as being between moderate and difficult, so it is best tackled by trekkers with some experience who are confident in their endurance and fitness. The tour of 08 Days/07 Nights is a combination of hiking, sightseeing, learning, and discovering the lifestyle of Ait Atta Tribe-one of the biggest tribes in Morocco.

More info

3-Jbel Sirwa Area

Connecting the High Atlas Mountains and the lesser visited the Anti-Atlas in the south of Morocco, Jebel Sirwa is a 3,304m volcanic mountain from which you can view the region’s peaks and valleys. Hikers can either choose to summit Jebel Sirwa itself or trek at a lower altitude through the region’s isolated and rugged landscape, visiting some of its stunning mountain villages. One of Morocco’s finest, unexplored trekking destinations.

The outstanding mountain, located south of the tourist city of Marrakech, can be challenging to hike yet worth the time. Your tenacity will reward you with breathtaking High Atlas Mountain panoramas and a chance to explore volcanic rocks, narrow valleys, and small, remote lakes.

5-Day Sirwa Ascent

If you don’t have enough time to go for a longer hikes , this one allows you to clim th peak and back to marrakech in 5 days .
The goal of trekking here, and for once there is really just one summit, is the Jebel Sirwa at 3,305 metres above sea level. The Jebel Sirwa is an isolated volcanic peak, which is quite possible to climb for even inexperienced mountaineers..

More info 

Safran valley – 11 Days

This journey will attract the lovers of Nature und fantastic landscapes. It combines a particular round trip by car crossing the two mayor passes of the Atlas, a five day Trekking with outdoor camps which lead to the peak of the Siroua Mountain (3305 m) and the visit of the two most attractive countryside Kasbah/ Ksars of the big South. In Taliouine we will get to know everything on the precious Safran

More info

6-Day Sirwa Hike

Highest point of the Anti-Atlas, the djebel Siroua is old exploded volcano. Charming valleys where wadis flow with clean water; valley villages with high altitude sheepfold; deep gorges with small valleys; terraced fields with bare ridges… A preserved secret land, with rooted traditions.

More info

4-Trekking in Sahara Desert

Lately, trekking in the Sahara desert or camel trekking as it refers to often, become well known in different regions. Trekking in the Sahara during winter and spring is absolutely gorgeous experience and totally different than treks and hikes in the mountains. It is a semi yoga experience when you are walking in the empty wild desert.

Desert Trekking offers a real sense of space and remoteness, especially when witnessed from the tops of the vast dune fields. Most of the treks would be a week of peaceful adventure special in Chegaga dunes. To be accompanied by camels carrying your luggage is already a trip into the past history when people had been using camels to trade crossing the Sahara for thousands of kilometres to different countries including Morocco.

Camping in the desert has not only offer a peaceful mindset, but the starry sky of the Sahara is definitely a magical experience of a lifetime

best Time to go hiking in high atlas

If you are looking for a unique summit experience, this climbing trip to Mount Toubkal is the best choice. As you may know, it is the highest peak in North Africa and now you have the opportunity to reach its top even if you do not have the technical knowledge

Morocco’s highest peak at 4,167 meters, trekking Mount Toubkal provides a glimpse in to Amazigh life as trekkers pass through little mud-hut villages where time seems to stand still. Not for the faint-hearted, trekkers are advised to book a national licensed guide and this often includes a mule to carry supplies and a cook to ensure hot and healthy Moroccan cuisine can be prepared in the most remote areas. Starting from Imlil in Toubkal National Park just 90 minutes from Marrakech, trekkers should plan three days to reach the summit and return.

Can I include the desert in a Morocco trek ?

A distinction must be made between Sahara desert ( sand dunes/ camel treks/ million stars ) and rocky deserts which inform the particular landscapes of the Anti Atlas mountain range and their fringes. Since only a reduced part of the Sahara desert actually lies within Morocco, it would make little sense if at all to trek over several days in the dunes, unless you wish to revisit similar landscapes over several days. The change in altitude will also miss from the mix. Can you trek the dunes and the mountains in the same day ? Well, yes and no. Smaller ergs (dunes) are found south of the Anti Atlas mountains, yet the diversity of landscapes will wane and ideally you’d want to keep your senses awake. Especially more so when Morocco is also known for ‘getting from snow to desert dunes’ on the same day. If you are looking to visit the Sahara desert and trek in the High Atlas mountains, we recommend giving yourself at least 7 days in Morocco.

Why Hike Morocco with a local guide

At ClimbingToubkal, we’re focused on local guides to give an authentic Atlas Mountains tour. Our team of 15 guides includes city guides, mountain guides and guides who can also take travellers out skiing. We do a lot of Atlas Mountain treks in the desert, as well. I started as a second guide in 2008 but became certified in mountain guiding in 2012. I’ve always wanted to be a guide, since I was a child, because I was born in a local village in the Atlas Mountains at 6,069 feet (1850m) above sea level.

I had my education locally and then traveled to the city where I studied at a university. My aim was always to end up hiking in the Atlas Mountains because I love the mountains, and I love my local village. That’s why I decided to walk a lot and follow another local guide to see how he worked. I wanted to show people about our culture, our traditions and about trekking in Morocco. I do everything I can to share with people from here or outside Morocco. My love for the place I grew up in is where the decision came from to become a guide. I love the Atlas Mountains and love to share my experience with people from all over the world.

How expensive it is to trek in Morocco ?

The expenses can be minimal if you are planning on self autonomy. We wouldn’t recommend that option though, first of all from a safety point of view ( more on that in the Is it Safe paragraph). If you employ the services of a local guide, foresee a fare of about 300- 400 dirhams ( 30- 40 US dollars) per day. If you are looking to also have a muleteer and a mule to carry some of your luggage and cook one or two hot meals a day, the fares will considerably increase. Don’t forget to factor in the transport from the main city ( Marrakech, Casablanca or Agadir ) to the starting point of your trek. Some of these locations can be accessed by public transport ( collective taxis ) whereas for others you will need either a driver with a 4×4 or a rent- a- car.

What to pack for a Morocco trek ?

Even in winter months, the sun can be ruthless. We suggest a wide brim hat. Ankle- level hiking boots are essential, considering the rocky terrain. Crampons will make a difference, notably since much of the time you’ll be walking on slippery surfaces. Wearing low- ankle shoes may expose you to jags, low spiky thickets and other rolling rocks. They don’t have to be waterproof- the likelihood of rain is quite scarce. From March to mid November a light sleeping bag will do. The rest of the year, we suggest a reinforced sleeping bag, capable to endure temperatures as low as -5 Celsius. Mountain water sources are not as dense as in other mountain ranges around the world, so we’d suggest carrying at least 2 liters of water with you at all times. Locally, you are not offered a great choice of canteens or collapsible water bottles, so think of bringing your own.

Maps and itineraries: there are some written guides but not as many as you’d expect. In general, we always recommend employing the services of a local guide, even when the trek is easy and the change in altitude is minimal. Most of the them will speak French and some speak English.

Autonomy and mules: it is practical hiring mules through your local guide, if you wish to not have to carry all of your provisions, tent, sleeping bag, etc. Having a mule and a muleteer which doubles as a cook ensures at least a warm meal every day. Please remember there are very few refuges in Morocco compared to Europe or other parts of the world. Naturally, from time to time, even if you only have a local guide with you, you’ll still be able to arrange for a hot meal here and there.

Camping and making fires: there are literally no camping sites up in the mountains. It’s more or less a question of camping on a plain surface and devoid of rocks. Even the rockiest or steepest of landscapes can be someone’s property, but your guide will smooth out any lost- in- translation situations. For any trek more than an overnight, you’ll need a gas cartridge and stove ( can be bought locally). It is forbidden to light fires inside national parks. If you are outside a national park, consider the fact that wood is scarce in Morocco and the local shepherds and nomads need it for their daily use.

Scroll to Top