When you think of Morocco, it’s likely sprawling deserts and bustling medinas that come to mind. But just 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Marrakech, lies a towering range of peaks just waiting to be hiked by hearty adventurers. At 13,665 feet (4,165 metres), Mount Toubkal is the highest summit in North Africa and, with a little patience and determination, anyone in good shape can reach the views at the top. Beyond the satisfaction of summiting, you’ll meet traditional Amazigh people in their villages, stop for mint tea and home-cooked meals, and sleep in rustic mountain refuges. Sound wonderful? It is and we’ve got ten dreamy photos to prove it. Let’s climb!
1: Leave Marrakech and meet your pretty pack mules
It may be hard to leave the chaotic joy of Marrakech behind, but under the leadership of your qualified mountain guide, you’ll soon be greeted by mountain views and Morocco’s Amazigh communities in the Atlas Mountains. In Imi Oughlad, you’ll meet your mules and muleteers who will haul everything but your daypack up the hill for you. You may not see them for long stretches so keeping your water, camera, jacket, and whatever you need handy is key.
2: Admire unexpectedly lush green valleys on the trek
In contrast to the barren rock and baked clay homes, you’ll be awestruck by the verdant loveliness and terraced green fields surrounding hillside villages like Asni and Imlil. You’ll pass juniper and pine forests, hanging valleys, peaceful pilgrimage hamlets, waterfalls, and rushing streams.
3: Pause to take in the sheer vastness of your surroundings
We mentioned keeping your camera handy for good reason, as every turn opens up a fresh memory to make and photo opportunity. From the colourful textiles on the pack mules to the sheer massiveness of the surrounding mountains, you’ll want to capture every moment. Plus, it’s a good excuse to catch your breath.
4: Refresh by waterfalls and remote orange juice stands
Making sure to fill up with a hearty breakfast at each mountain gite is important, but there are a lot of ways to replenish your energy en route. A quenching glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice is pretty easy to come by and you can sit by the mist of waterfalls at several stops.
5: Explore traditional villages cut into the hillsides
6: Stop for Amazigh hospitality and Moroccan mint tea
7: Bed down at your mountain refuge base camp
8: Wake and make your way up to the Toubkal summit
9: Tap that summit marker to make it official
10: Make the descent and celebrate your climbing crew
Source: gadventures blog
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