Hike in the Atlas - Morocco

The Toubkal is the tallest mountain of North Africa with 4167 mt and the summit can be reached by a trail (this mountain is one of the easiest among the 4000 mt to reach the summit and does not required any technical skill BUT required a good physical condition ). Our itinerary: Day1:Around noon, transfer (by taxi) from Marrakech to Imlil (1700m). Once we reached the village of Imlil, we met our guide, our cook and his assistant (wow this is luxury :) ! ! ), and had a frugal lunch (tagine). Immediately after, we went to buy some water for our hike, we loaded our bag on 2 horses. After checking and double checking if our caravan was ready, we started our trek to Taghrat bivouac (2700m) via Sidi Chamharoush (holy place well known by local pilgrims). We walked around 5 hours. Looking back at the 5 hours we walked, we knew it will be a very challenging trek, the path is very rocky, narrow and steep and yes we were drained but we had the exclusive opportunity to have our bivouac on a platform made of huge rocks with a fantastic panorama of the valley (the perfect place to sit and take a tea while looking down at the valley). After our dinner, we went to bed in our tent (it was 7pm...). Well I have to admit, we didn't sleep at all during the entire night. The reason: the wind. We had this wind hitting the tent and we thought we will fly away or a huge rock will roll on our tent :) Day2:Wake up at 5am, after our breakfast, we trek from the Taghrat bivouac to Amsouzert. We reached Tizi n taghrat pass at 3100m around noon, then walked down to Tisldai village and the green valley of Tifni. It took us around 8 to 9 hours to reach the valley if Tifni. We had our lunch just after the pass, our cook was always very creative in his menu (don't expect fine cuisine but it was very yummy) that make us always super happy and satisfied. A quick note about our guide and his crew: they belong to the Berber people, Berber have their own language, their own culture, berber are scattered in Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya and Algeria. My guide spoke well French but also English. They are extremely caring and very jolly, and always ready to offer a whiskey berber (mint tea with tons of sugar). I remember hearing them singing also traditional songs while walking. We reached Amsouzert late afternoon, we stayed in a local and spartiat guesthouse (we were the only one in the guesthouse. Our cook brought us a huge couscous for our dinner (it was very good dish but we able to eat only half of it) ...after the dinner, we went to our room were matelas were scattered and we fall in the arms of morpheus ... By the way, we have not seen for the last 2 days any hikers in the region. Day 3: Amsouzert-Ifni Lake In the morning of day 3, we left Amsouzert and hike towards west and went through several small villages. Our goal is to reach Ifni lake which is located in the massif in front of us, the lake is surrounded by rocky mountains and giant heaps of rubble. We were expected to arrive by lunchtime and spend the afternoon relaxing at the shore but well we are slow walkers, we did lot of stop (for taking pictures, enjoy the scenery, rest ..) so we arrive around the second half of the afternoon, we set up our tent in the shore of the lake. The surface of the lake has this incredible jade texture. Ifni Lake is also the meeting point with other caravans of hikers, as from now on, we will follow a common path which is the base camp of Toubkal mountain that should be reached the next day. The evening was very "international", we were around 25/30 hikers ....I was starting to miss my quiet night of the last 2 days :) but overall it was enjoyable. I know a lot of you are wondering if we can swim in the lake, well you can but apparently not to the center, as several people lost their life, it seems there is a kind of vortex at the center of the lake... Just for you to be aware. Another factor is: the temperature. We are above 3000 meters, and the temperature can be cold and turn you off :) Day 4: Ifni Lake-Tubkal Nelter Hut As usual, wake up at 5am, I start to be used with this routine. We are getting used also with altitude as well. Our guide informed us this is the hardest part of the trek. Well, I was thinking that the last 3 days were hard :), how could it be possibly harder ? We left the shore of the lake and carried on the valley for a while before starting to make our way along a steep path that will bring us to the pass at Tizi n'Ouanoums (3664 m). We reached the pass around lunch, well actually I lost track of the time, I could feel the effect of the altitude. Crossing the pass consist of a narrow ledge between two shafts of rock. From here it is a long zigzag descent to Nelter Hut, a mountain refuge (base camp of the toubkal) where we spend the night (actually we decided to camp outside, because it was a bit crowded). We spent the evening on the terrace of the refuge, drinking whiskey berber, playing chess and enjoy the view of the Mt Tubkal. Day 5: Mt. Toubkal - Imlil Final day, time to go back to Imlil village through villages if Sidi Chamharouch and Aremd, and then following the Mizane River and. We left around 9 Am and we walked for 5 hours until our destination. The descent was very enjoyable, easy, but most importantly, while walking we had a feeling of accomplishment and also of well being. We spent the night in a guesthouse and had fantastic time, and also it was the perfect opportunity to recover from our walk in the Atlas and time to say goodbye .... Overall, this hike has been a great experience, aside of enjoying the scenery, you learn a lot about yourself, you cut yourself with the daily routine and come back to the basic ! I would recommend hiking in the High Atlas, it can be physically demanding, but well worth it.

Hike data

Photo Album


Hiking in The Atlas