Trekking in the High Atlas mountains is an amazing experience for adventure travelers who love mountains and culture. It is also an opportunity to bag a peak, the Jbel Toubkal, North Africa and Morocco’s highest peak at 13,671 feet (4,167 meters) above sea level. You’ll also experience Berber culture in the several villages including Imlil, the heart of the Toubkal National Park.
Last April I had the opportunity to visit this amazing region and develop the treks offered by Adventures Within Reach. Trekkers have two options for visiting the region – choosing to visit during the snowy season or during the summer season.
Summer Season: Late May Through September: Most people visit the high Atlas during this period. You can trek to the summit of the Toubkal without worry about snow, although light snow cover is still possible in May. July and August are very hot in Marrakesh, but temperatures are fine in the mountains and great for camping at high altitude.
Snowy Season: October Through Early May: This period can be a great option for experienced mountaineers. October can still be pretty dry and an extension of summer trekking conditions although with cooler temperatures. By February enough snow has fallen to usually make for excellent ski touring conditions. April and May are Spring conditions and climbing the Toubkal usually still requires crampons and an ice axe.
In April 2011 there was still enough snow for ski touring at the higher elevations and enough snow to stop the mules about 1 kilometer before the hut. Here is a photo of snow conditions at the hut:
Despite the abundant snow at higher elevations there is still excellent trekking below 10,000 feet. For a clear idea of the conditions and experience you can view my video of my trip:
Please contact us if you’d like to consider a trip to this amazing destination!
– by Tilden Daniels