Climbing the Atlas Mountains

The Atlas range extends 1,500km across the northwest corner of Africa, through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The highest point in the range is Jebel Toubkal in Morocco, one of the most famous climbs in the Atlas Mountains. There are also a number of other peaks over 4000m high. The character of the peaks is very different in summer and winter with lots of snow and ice in the winter allowing winter climbing and mountaineering in the high Atlas Mountains. We offer trips in both seasons to this mountain and a combination of treks in the area with the summit. 

For more information regarding trekking the Atlas Mountains, see below.

About Mount Toubkal

Mount Toubkal stands 4,167m tall and makes for a fantastic climb any time of year. First recorded ascents were in June of 1923 by Marquis de Segonzac, Vincent Berger and Hubert Dolbeau. As the highest point in North Africa, it is a sight to behold.

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One of our climbing groups headed towards the summit of Mount Toubkal

Located around 40km outside of Marrakech, Mount Toubkal is a relatively accessible mountain. Both winter and summer climbs begin in Marrakech where you explore this ancient red city. Marrakech contains many exotic souks, palaces and gardens among the normal hustle and bustle of a larger North African city.

The adventure continues in Imlil, a quiet Berber village nestled in the Atlas Mountains. Both winter and summer climbs begin in the charming village of Imlil. From here, most visitors and mountain enthusiasts begin their ascent of Mount Toubkal.

Climbing Mount Toubkal in the Summer

Climbing Mount Toubkal in the summer does not require any special mountaineering skills. This is a non-technical walk-up peak that is done in five days starting from Imlil. Adventure Alternative takes a less trafficked route up Mount Toubkal this time of year.

Mount Toubkal - Summer (1)

The tallest mountain in North Africa, Mount Toubkal, as seen in the summer months

Expect to have some strenuous days of uphill walking, but the views and fresh mountain air will soon have you forgetting that you are climbing a mountain. The trail network is pristine throughout the area, making this climb a truly enjoyable experience.

Adventure Alternative focuses on safe ascents with proper acclimatization. Our itinerary builds in extra days to ascend to higher camps before continuing forward. Summit times typically occur in the mornings, allowing for the best possible chance at clear, sunny skies. In the afternoons, clouds typically roll in, blocking the view.

Climbing Mount Toubkal in the Winter

Mount Toubkal in the winter offers an excellent opportunity to try winter mountaineering without the commitment of high altitudes. The climb is wonderful for anyone looking to do something different with their stay in Morocco.

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A far cry from images of the desert, the summit of Mount Toubkal in the winter is covered in snow and ice.

Previous mountaineering experience with an ice axe, crampons, as well as a rope is preferred, but not required. However, you will need to ensure you have the proper footwear for your climb. Understand what types of boots take crampons and which ones do not. Furthermore, this climb is still physically demanding, despite the low altitude.

Just like the summer climb, our itineraries focus on building in days to acclimatize in order to summit safely. Be sure to take care of yourself while ascending in altitude. If you feel as if anything isn’t right, let your guide know.

Trekking the Atlas Mountains

A walking trek through the Atlas Mountains takes you through the lands of the Berbers who have a history that pre-dates the arrival of Islam and the Arabs. Walking through the Moroccan Atlas is a wonderful way of exploring the area. You not only get to enjoy the scenery, but experience the famous hospitality the Berbers are known for. If that’s not enough, the food alone is well worth the trip. This is an ancient culture and in many ways the people have changed little, their friendly nature and hospitality is a big part of the experience of being in the mountains. 

Toubkal Valley - Berber Villages Trek (3)Toubkal Valley - Berber Villages Trek (3)

Experience the fantastic way of life of the Berber people.

We have our own operation based in Marrakech with wonderful guides and staff who enjoy showing you their country. We can offer either camping trips or accommodation in simple mountain lodges or the more luxurious Kasbahs. Transport into the Moroccan Atlas can be by car or helicopter, but beyond the town of Imlil you are on foot supported by mules to carry the luggage and Berber guides. It's a simple way of life, experiencing the beauty and solitude of the mountains with the added challenge of reaching the summit of Mount Toubkal. 

Hiking M’Goun Massif in the Atlas Mountains

Trekking across this gem is one of world’s best kept secrets. Dramatic gorges separate jaw-dropping ridge lines along this fantastic trek. The M’Goun Massif is the second highest point in North Africa. The trail covers a variety of landscapes, allowing you to take all of the beauty in from different angles while enjoying the local Berber culture and hospitality.

Atlas Mountains - M'Goun Trek (2)

Contrasting landscapes make for stunning scenery along the M'Goun Massif trek.

Luxury hiking and trekking in the Atlas Mountains

This personalized trekking experience is a rare opportunity to explore the mountains, while staying in fantastic Kasbahs, where royalty traditionally resides. Your own personal guide will attend to your needs for the duration of your trek. Stay in the fantastic Kasbah du Toubkal nestled in the Atlas range and enjoy the best rooftop views in North Africa.


Trekking never felt this lavish.

In true luxury, a mule and muleteer will handle the carrying of all of your gear. Since the trip is completely customizable, you can enjoy a relaxing trekking experience if you so choose. Or perhaps you are a little more intrepid, then trek to the top of Mount Toubkal and stay in some of the most lavish accommodation in the Atlas area.

Berber Village Treks                              

For an authentic experience, trek to remote Berber villages nestled high in the Atlas Mountains. Avoid the tourist path and experience what life in this unique culture is all about. Trekking from village to village you will be surrounded by stunning mountain vistas without the worries of being at high altitude. This is a perfect experience for those seeking to get off of the beaten path, but do not want to embark on the strenuous activity of being on the tops of peaks.

Toubkal Valley - Berber Villages Trek (2)

Berber villages provide an insight into an ancient way of life that has been preserved in the beautiful Atlas Mountains.

The Atlas mountain range is special in that it is a natural barrier between the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines and a buffer to the Sahara Desert. The mountains extend almost 2,400 kilometres through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. To visit here is to experience a particular climate and culture that has been built on a way of life that began in the oases of the great desert. The architecture of the mosques and the Kasbahs is perfectly in tune with the environment, an exotic escape just a few hours from northern Europe.