Atlas Mountains

Morocco with four mountain ranges, a dozen summits over 4,000 meters and 400 mountains over 3,000m offers exceptional trekking opportunities. Take a guide from one of the local villages or book using these links and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as you make your way into some of the most beautiful areas of Northern Africa by foot. The mule will carry all your heavy equipment so all you have to do is to enjoy the walking. (If it all gets too much you can always catch a lift on the mules back!).

trekking with mule

Trekking in the Atlas is not to be passed up. The experience will reward you with some of the most spectacular scenery in Morocco. When you are trekking watch for signs of heat, drink bottled water at least once an hour and get in the shade when you are resting.

Hike the trails through the Sirwa, the Sargho and the Rif Mountains, explore the quiet cedar forests of the Middle Atlas. Top out on the highest point of northern Africa; Toubkal at 4167m.

trekking sign by Hamish Brown

My trek to the top of Toubkal : The cool morning air was refreshing as I made my way out of the village of Imlil following the river south towards the village of Aremd. The path leads through the walnut trees as I snaked my way between the houses which seem to be hanging off the side of the mountain. Passing the Kasba of Imlil the sun was still below the mountains, giving me the ideal walking conditions, fresh air and an empty track.

Aremd center aremd and wheat

Aremd is about a 30 minute walk from Imlil, placed on the side of the valley, protecting the valley for generations from the outside world. I walked through the main street, still no movement from the local people, only the mules seeing my passage as I jumped from boulder to boulder, crossing the valley floor and upwards.


CHAMHAROUCH : I found myself at the start of the first main steeps, the path sig zags its way up the side of the valley, gaining altitude at a startling rate. The time was 7.00 am and the sun had just started to show its power, the temperature rising from zero into the 20's in a matter of minutes.

Chamharouch at 2310m

This steep took about one hour before the last village in the valley, Chamharouch at 2310m, a small village which has been used as a shrine and a cure for people with mental and physical problems. The first impression was that the Mosque was a large snow ball, maybe the rapid change in altitude was having an effect!

Walking up into the village with my stomach saying food, it was breakfast time, so find a cafe. Here in the village you can find one Gite and two cafes; so the choice is yours..

Chamharouch village men

After a cafe au lait, bread and jam and a fresh orange I was ready again. The section out of the village follows the river, climbing over massive boulders as I made my way south to the next stop, over 4 hours away the Refuge du Toubkal situated at 3207m.


REFUGE DU TOUBKAL (3200) This mountain hut holds over holds up to 75 people and is French run (as all of the mountain huts are in Morocco). A 10 minute coffee stop before starting off on the last section of the climb. I met some of the guides who tried to explain that I would not be able to make it on my own..They were punting for a job, so I quickly left the hut and headed up again, across the waterfall away from the crowds of the trekking world which were sitting on the steps of the refuge.

tents on the way up

The section above the hut is the hard bit. Its was now 15.00 Hrs and the top was 3 hours way. So no stopping as I had to get back down again before sun down at least to the hut.

Toubkal last 300m vertical to go

THE TOP OF NORTH AFRICA The path climbs its way through the scree slopes, the angle increases as one foot is put in front of the other, the altitude starting to tell. I reached the top at 17.30, the only person.. the view was breath taking, the surrounding mountains reflecting the setting sun. Toubkal 4167m.

Top of Toubkal Mountain at 4167m

Time to leave. A fast decent was needed as the light was starting to go. Scree running was the only way.. My 5ft staff is the break, as I jumped into the first gully, I lost altitude with an exhilarated rate as the fine rocks kept "la Glisse", the staff slowing me down when gravity took over.

Toubkal on the way down written : 2002 updated : 2020