The spectacular High Atlas Mountain of Morocco is a hiking/trekking paradise. Most trekkers flock here with the goal of ascending Mt. Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa (4,167m/13,671 ft.). For those, like us, who do not have enough time to go for this popular ascent, a day hike in this scenic mountain is just as rewarding.
We hired a car in Marrakesh to take us to the High Atlas Mountain. We traveled about 60 kms south to the mountain village of Imlil, from where we started the hike and where we engaged a licensed guide for the hike.
The day hike in the High Atlas Mountain provided a very refreshing break from the intensity of Marrakech. The air was fresh, the trail was peaceful, the view was breathtaking and the village people we met on the trail were some of the warmest and friendliest we met in Morocco.
Some of the beautiful children we encountered on the trail. After they saw us taking photos of them they politely told us, “no foto, no foto.” The children and women we met during the hike were all warm and friendly, but shunned photography.
We stopped for lunch at the beautiful Kasbah du Toubkal. It is considered as the premium mountain retreat lodge in Morocco.
The trail that descends to Imlil.
One of the locals we encountered as we reached the end of the trail in Imlil.
- To hike the High Atlas, you need to hire one of the official guides at the Bureau des Guides in Imlil, otherwise you may get into trouble. Unbeknown to us, our driver was trying to hire an unlicensed guide for us. One of the licensed guide found out and confronted him, an altercation ensued and the two men were brought to the police station. (We were in shocked because we didn’t ask the driver to arrange for a guide for us as we knew that we had to go the Bureau. Turned out he was doing it for a commission.)
- We highly recommend a lunch stop at Kasbah Toubkal. You have to let the Bureau de Guides know if you plan to do so and they will make a reservation for you before you start the trek.