Lose your senses in a different world, with this two-week long-distance hike in Morocco in the spectacular Toubkal National Park. This 2-week circuit trek in the High Atlas Mountains will take you on a loop, where you will traverse remote and lesser-known valleys and mountain passes of the rugged landscape. You will travel back in time in the remote Atlas Mountain Berber villages, enjoying the true hospitality of the Moroccan people on this true off-the-beaten-path Moroccan adventure. The long-distance hike will culminate with a trek to the summit of Mount Toubkal, the roof of North Africa. Our licensed guides will teach you about the local and unique landscapes you will pass along the way, and you will end this trip with a feeling of true accomplishment, knowledge of a different world, inner peace provided by raw nature, and of course, much stronger legs! The ascent of Jebel Toubkal can be undertaken in fewer days however, this expanded itinerary allows more time to appreciate and truly explore the entire region.
You will begin your adventure in Marrakech, Morocco’s so-called “red city”, where you will get your first glimpse of the towering High Atlas Mountains, which provide a backdrop to the ancient city. You will overnight in Marrakech and have the opportunity to explore the city life, with its exotic souks, palaces, gardens, and heaving mass of dust, noise, and color before we whisk you away to start your true Moroccan adventure with this High Atlas Mountains trek of a lifetime …
2 week High Atlas Toubkal Trek Highlights
- Overnight in the exotic Marrakech
- Spend 2 nights in the mountain village of Imlil, to acclimitase and get fall into the slower rhythm of the mountains
- Cross XX mountain passes, awarding you with vistas in every direction
- Camp under the stars, and get in touch with your wild side
- Sleep in remote mountain refuges and isolated Berber villages
- Bathe in the serenity of Morocco's highest mountain lake, Lake Ifni
- Conquer North Africa's highest peak, and summit Mount Toubkal
- Learn about traditional Berber culture, the power of nature, and the power of your own mind and body
Your Moroccan adventure begins. We will accommodate you in a beautiful, traditional riad in the heart of the city. You will have time to explore the city by day and night, and there is an option for a group dinner (note: dinner not included in package cost).
A private, airconditioned vehile will pick you up after breakfast from the hotel, where we begin our drive to the mountains. We will stop at an Argan oil cooperative on the way, where you will see the traditional methods used to extract the oil from the plant only found in Morocco. We will then continue along the scenic road to Imlil; a large village in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains. We will arrive in time for a tasty lunch of local dishes at your guest house. After lunch we will have an afternoon trek which will help your acclimatisation. It offers great views of the surrounding peaks, and provides an introduction to the Berber villages and their way of life. Dinner and overnight stay at a guesthouse with one of the most spectacular views of the Imlil valley. Marrakech to Imlil requires 1.5hrs of total driving time. The hike around Imlil will be around 3hours.
Today we will have delicious local breakfast at the guest house then set off on a full day's walk in the Imlil area to aid our acclimitisation. There are many options which we can discuss however, amongst the most popular is the walk to Tizi n'Tamatert mountain pass. You will be rewarded with magnificent views across to the next valley of Azzedene full of picturesque lost villages, as well as a birds eyes perspective of Imlil and a view of Mount Toubkal. If you are full of energy, there is an option to continue to Aourit n'Ouassif - the peak that towers over Imlil and provides even more stunning views. It is a rough path with some scrambly bit to get up to its high summit. From here we will be able to trace out much of the route that we will take over the next ten days. We will probably carry a picnic lunch and return to our guesthouse in Imlil for dinner and rest. Total walking time approximately 5hours.
After helping to load our mules and a good breakfast, we head of on our Toubkal adventure. From Imlil we gradually traverse and ascend the hillside on a good path to reach the Tizi n'Aguersioual mountain pass at 2,030m. You get wonderful views of the High Atlas peaks from the col before we descend to the village of Amskere, beautifully situated in a deep valley. After lunch next to the river, we ascend upwards out of the valley to cross the Tizi -n-Tiratene then continue onto our camp site at 2,300m in a beautiful location with a nearby waterfall (note: it may be dry after springtime but it is nonetheless stunning) and views down to villages in the valley below us. Total walking time approximately 6hours.
After breakfast we ascend to the Tizi-n-Oukaimeden 2,682m, then drop down quickly to a large grassy basin and lake at the ski station of Oukaimeden. Our next objective is to climb and cross the Tizi-n'Ouhattar pass, which reaches 3230m. It is an excellent track to the col, and the views from the pass are well worth the big effort required. If the weather allows we will have lunch on the col, otherwise continue down to find a more sheltered spot. Below us lie the remote villages of Agounss and Timichchi ,which we pass through on our way to our overnight camp at the village of Labassene at 2,240m. Here you get a glimpse of a very traditional Berber village situated high above the narrow valley floor. Total walking time approximately 7hours.
After breakfast we ascend on a good trail to the Tizi n'tacheddirt mountain pass at 3230m. From the col if conditions allow we can take a slightly different route to ascend the slopes of Angour 3616m to gain brilliant views and give a big help in our acclimatisation. We then continue down to our next camp near the village of Tacheddirt (2300m) where we will sleep overnight. Total walking time approximately 7hours.
After breakfast our initial objective is the Tizi Likemt mountain pass at 3555m, and ascent of nearly 4000 ft (around 700m)! It needs a big effort but the paths are in good condition and they zig-zag up the hillside. We will take it easy, admiring the views along the way. When we arrive, we will take a well earned rest then descend steeply down to join a more firm track, which drops down to the small village and area of secluded valley known as Azib Tamenzift (2500m) which is our overnight camp. Total walking time approximately 7hours.
After breakfast, we crest a small ridge then follow a beautiful gorge which ascends quite gradually before a steeper contouring climb up from the valley and to the Tizi n'Ououraine(3120m). From here we get fantastic views of the green valley floor snaking around the hill below and can see back to various peaks including Adrar n'Dern (3853m) which for the local Berber people is the defining mountain of the High Atlas. From here we follow a good path down a large shoulder into the green and terraced valleys around Amsouzerte. Total walking time approximately 7hours.
Leaving Amsouzerte we make our way up a good track through small villages, under the shade of walnut trees. We often stop at a small local 'cafe' where a few dirhams buys sweet mint tea, fresh local bread and local honey still on the comb. After our huge calorie intake we are set for the climb up to the natural dam at the foot of Lake Ifni (Lac d'Ifni), and the slightly scrambly traverse around the south side of the lake and across the huge boulder/scree field to camp next to a collection of small huts. (Note: there is also an easier although longer path around the north side of the lake). The camp is in a spectacular location and there is also the option of a refreshing dip in the lake itself. Total walking time approximately 7hours.
After breakfast we head up over the boulder/scree and into an impressive gorge beyond. The path begins to climb and for the next few hours we are heading up and up to the spectacular Tizi-n'Ouanoums (3664m). Elevation gain today is large, but the slope is gentle. From the col there are impressive views of all the major summits of the Atlas; a view truly worth the slog to the top. We descend on a good mule path then along the valley to arrive at the Nelter refuge under Toubkal at 3207m. We make camp very close to the refuge. Total walking time approximately 7hours.
Early this morning we climb to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains and North Africa; Jebel Toubkal 4,167m. The ascent is via the South crown on a good trail initially, traversing the hillside from the refuge then up steep valleys to a ridge and eventually the summit. If the weather is clear, there are excellent views from the top, right across the peaks of the High Atlas. We descend using the less-used North crown, passing the scattered wreckage of a light aircraft that crashed in the 60's. We then emerge out into the main valley and ascend slightly, back to the refuge. We will deserve the well earned rest and refreshments when we return to our camp for our overnight stay. Total walking time approximately 8hours.
Our route today is over into the adjacent valley. We climb steadily in a rising traverse on a good path up to the Tizi n'Aguelzim (3520m). From here we can also make an easy optional ascent of Aguelzim North (3547m), Aguelzim South (3650m) or along the ridge a bit further to Buidoudan (3680m). From the Tizi n'Aguelzim we first ascend the "99 zig-zags" then continue to drop down on a good path to camp in a fantastic position on the hillside at Azib n'Tzikert. Approximate walk time 6-7hours.
For our final day's trek we climb back to the main Imlil valley. It is quite a short climb up to Tizi n'Tzikert (2930m) and then quite a long descent although on a long path back down to Aremd and then around to our Riad in Imlil. On the descent we have a commanding view of the valley, on this popular direct route up to the refuges. We also see the rock-strewn valley bottom that was the result of a devastating flood in the 1990's. We are normally back for a late lunch at the guesthouse where we can shower, change into clean clothes and relax on the roof terrace whilst we adapt back to life in civilisation. Congratulations! Approximate walk time 5hrs.
After breakfast we will return you back to Marrakech in comfortable transporation, where you can either remain in the city, head to the coast or transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or you can even chose to stay in Imlil or the mountains! The choice is yours. Total drive approximately 1.5hours.
Four or more people
Price per person
What to pack?
Visitors are advised to prepare for mountain conditions. It is normally warm and exposed during the day, and cold in the evenings, and very cold on the summit! You will feel the raw power of the mountains. Note: there are opportunities to rent equipment. Let us know in advance.
- Good hiking shoes are absolutely essential. The trail is long and can be rough and uneven at times, good foot support will make the journey far more enjoyable.
- Light comfortable clothes for the hiking. Light, long sleeves and long pants are ideal hiking attire as they will help to keep the sun off.
- Warm layers, for the night and the early morning start on the second day. A jacket, long pants, gloves, and a warm hat are recommended, as the morning will be very cold.
- Sun protection. The sun at high elevations is strong. It is wise to bring sunscreen, a sun hat, and polarized sunglasses, as much of the hike is very exposed.
- A buff or a scarf. This will help protect your face from the wind as well as help you to keep warm the morning of the summit .
- Lip balm & moisturizer. This is one that is easily forgotten, but when coming to areas drier than our skin is used to, lip balm and moisturizer are an essential part of staying comfortable.
- Trekking poles (optional). Some of the terrain is fairly uneven, trekking poles can be helpful for navigating these parts, and for the steep downhill, to keep the weight off your knees.
- Ice axe and crampons (November-April). These will be necessary for navigating winter conditions on the mountain.
- Camera (optional). The views from the top are incredible.
- Your favourite snacks (optional). The hike, although not exceptionally long is at a very high altitude, which can make it very tiring. Although your guide will have some nuts and dates for sustenance, a little bit of your favourite chocolate or candy can come in handy. Experience has shown that having chocolate or your favourite snack, on hand can be a big morale booster when the going gets tough. Know your body and your energy levels.
- A sleeping bag (optional). Although the refuge offers blankets, some prefer to have their own sleeping bag as well
- Portable Power Bank (optional). If you spend a lot of time on your favourite device and want to charge it overnight, a portable power bank may be necessary, as the refuge near the summit may not have consistent power.
- Toilet paper
- Headtorch (recommended)
Moderate: most days will involve around 6 hours of walking, with lots of breaks in between to allow you to rest your legs, refuel, and soak up the beautiful surroundings. Perhaps the most daunting part of this trek is the length, but rest assured, after a couple of days you will fall fully into the gentle, simple rhythm of the mountains.
- This tour is best enjoyed between May-October. However if you prefer a winter experience, do not hesitate to contact us.
- We run these treks continuously throughout this period, so please get in touch! You are welcome to join us independently, or within a larger group (subject to demand).
- We can combine this trip with other tours around Morocco, get in touch and we can give you a quote.
- Day 1: Traditional Moroccan riad, Marrakech
- Day 2: Traditional riad in Imlil village
- Day 3: Traditional riad in Imlil village
- Day 4: Waterfall camp
- Day 5: Labassene Berber village camp
- Day 6: Tacheddirt Berber village camp
- Day 7: Azib Tamenzift valley camp
- Day 8: Amsouzerte valley camp
- Day 9: Lake Ifni camp
- Day 10: Nelter (Toubkal) refuge camp
- Day 11: Nelter (Toubkal) refuge camp
- Day 12: Azib n’Tzikert camp
- Day 13: Traditional riad in Imlil
You will eat delicious, fresh, local meals cooked by your guides or in the accommodation. And do not forget about the litres mint tea! Example meals include:
- Breakfast: Moroccan breakfast of bread, jam, honey, peanut butter, olive oil, tea, coffee, milk
- Lunch: Salad, tomatoes, seasonal fruit and nuts, lentils, beans
- Dinner: Traditional Moroccan tajine, fresh bread, soup
What about my dietary requirements?
Let us know in advance, and we are more than happy to cater to your specific dietary needs.
You will be picked up in private, air conditioned vehicle directly to and from your accommodation in Marrakech. Want to spend another night in the mountains? No problem! We can cater to that.
We accept payments in Moroccan dihram, euros, dollars, or British pounds. Payment in cash, or by bank transfer. If you wish to pay in another currency, get in touch! Together we will figure it out.
Rural Moroccans still live a traditional way of life. So it is advised to dress a little more conservative than you are used to. For women, this means that shoulder, chest and knees are covered, and for men, shoulders and knees. It will also protect you from the hot sun, and help you to stay cooler.
Your luggage for the trip will be carried my mules, to help take the weight off your shoulders. If you have some additional luggage you wish to keep in Imlil, we can arrange a secure place for you to store these items.