6 unforgettable places to go trekking in Morocco
Jebel Toubkal North Africa’s highest peak. vaults 4167m into the heavens in the Central High Atlas, dishing up views that more than reward the effort of trawling up there. This quasi-mythical mountain is the most eulogized peak in the country, and it well-deserves the praise heaped upon it. In summer, it is an experience that most reasonably fit people can take in two or three days from Imlil – sunstroke, altitude sickness, and dehydration permitting – and the Kasbah du Toubkal is an excellent base that lies at the trail start. In winter, when the roads are thick with snow, Toubkal is an even more serious animal requiring specialist gear and skills. For an exhausting but exciting challenge, there is also the Toubkal Circuit, a grueling trek that takes around a week to complete.
M’hamid El Ghizlane Desert
Morocco’s deserts are an exceptional and glorious landscape that rewards exploration. The dunes of the Sahara, the world’s largest desert, offer a harsh and beautiful scenery in which civilization and nature have bloomed, and the best way to explore this exceptional landscape is by embarking upon a trek, often by camel, and with the option to sleep under the vast starry skies. Whether it’s exploring the deserted white sands of Plage Blanche or gazing upon the tallest dunes in the world in Erg Chegaga, there is an adventure waiting for everyone.
When the snows make the High Atlas difficult, the mountain range of Jebel Saghro offers stunning wintry landscapes but with fewer challenges. A line of the Anti-Atlas, it has slightly cooler temperatures and trails that are usually still accessible without the same level of difficulty as Toubkal‘s snowy wastes. The highest peak, Amalou n’Mansour, is much lower than the High Atlas peaks at 2712m, so the risk of altitude sickness is commonly less of a problem. The local cave paintings are a bonus.
The crossing of the M’Goun Massif in the Central High Atlas must not be as taxing as taking on Toubkal if you avoid climbing the high peaks such as M’Goun itself (4071m). This lets you spend more time enjoying the drama of the mountain scenery and valleys that are home to the local Berber tribes. The area is at its best in late spring with rugs of wildflowers and exciting snow-melt rivers in valleys like the Ait Bougmez and the Tessaout. If you’ve got a week to play with, you can enjoy exploring the lower slopes and valleys, or use your time to acclimatize properly and tackle M’Goun itself.
The Anti-Atlas is a much less proclaimed mountain range than the High Atlas and extends in the south of Morocco, but it still owns a great number of tempting peaks. Sirwa, a chunky 3304-meter-high volcanic mountain, actually connects the two ranges. From Atougha Mount Sirwa can usually be ascended in two days, the guide is completely recommended, especially for the potentially dicey final section. Alternatively, make a week of it taking time to walk through the Berber valleys, with their steeply terraced fields, on a week-long round trip from Taliouine.
Morocco’s northern Rif Mountains are not as famous as many of the country’s mountain ranges but are a firm ideal with local walkers, especially families. Base yourself in Chefchaouen and multiple day trip options beckon. An excellent relaxed half-day saunter is along the lines of the Ras el-Maa river. You can select your duration, then just return your route or catch a taxi back. More difficult is the long day hike up Jebel al-Kalaa, which faces the town. For late overnight hiking trips, the Talassemtane National Park tempts.
At Desertbrise Travel, we understand that experienced travelers want to get truly off-the-beaten-track. That’s why we’ve created experiences with local experts to help you get the best trekking in morocco that are packed with personality and stimulating adventure – at all levels of comfort. If you love planning, but find arranging the logistics exhausting, you’re in the right place.