PRICE

$2900

SCHEDULE

Spring
May 23 – June 1, 2019
June 6 – June 15, 2019
June 20 – June 29, 2019

Fall

September 1 – September 10, 2019

September 26 – October 5, 2019
Lead Guide: Dennis Broadwell

October 17 – October 26, 2019

DETAILS

10 days in Morocco
Trekking Grade: Intermediate

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

Experience Morocco’s rugged High Atlas Mountains and rich Berber traditions. Trek through Berber villages, the coastal city of Essaouira, and the Western Sahara Desert. Ride camels into the dunes to spend a night in Berber tents after touring Ait Ben Haddou.

Few roads give way to this mountain stronghold where the agrarian way of life has little changed for hundreds of years. As we trek, we see Berber women in brightly colored dresses tending fields amid picturesque mud-brick villages, higher up, we meet nomadic shepherds in summer pastures. The High Atlas Trek is a pure trekking experience which combines hiking through Berber villages, the coastal city of Essaouira as well as the Western Sahara Desert. The High Atlas trek reaches North Africa’s highest point, Mount Toubkal. The hike to the summit is challenging but requires no mountaineering experience and the panoramic view from the summit makes the hard work worthwhile.

High Atlas Trek • Mount Toubkal • Camel Riding • 10 Days

Embark on an epic Moroccan adventure. Make your way through the High Atlas Mountains on foot, exploring ancient towns & villages along the way, and end your trip with a camel ride to a Berber desert camp. Start in the once medieval kingdom of Marrakech, located near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Explore the old city as you walk the sun-bathed streets and take in the vibrant markets full of rich spices, handmade carpets, leather goods, and snake charmers. We make our way to the High Atlas Mountains where we continue our adventure solely on foot. Enjoy the scenery while carrying only a light day pack. Our friendly guides will lead mules carrying the group’s heavy trekking gear.

Over the next few days we trek and climb Jbel Toubkal through Berber settlements, crossing high mountain passes, first reaching the lush village of Azib Tamsoult at 7,380 feet / 2,250 meters. From here, we trek along a moderately steep path to Tizi Aguelzim Pass at 12,045 feet / 3,670 meters and descend to Toubkal basecamp. We leave before dawn and climb to the summit of Toubkal at 13,671 feet. We enjoy beautiful views of the entire Atlas range and the Marrakech plains beyond. We descend to the trailhead at Imlil.

The next morning, we drive to Essaouira where we explore the ancient coastal city with its fortifications, narrow pathways and colorfully inviting markets. Our adventure now takes us across the spectacular Tizi N’Tichka Pass towards the Western Sahara Desert. We explore a riverside oasis and barren hillsides clustered with Kasbahs and tour the Ait Ben Haddou UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then drive to Zagora, with beautiful views of the Draa Valley along the way as we ride camels into the dunes and spend the night in Berber tents. You will experience a beautiful desert sunset and enjoy a traditional Berber dinner.

What can I expect on my Moroccan adventure?

Your adventure will take you from the ancient city of Marrakech to the top of the High Atlas mountains, then on to the Atlantic coastal city of Essaouira and the edge of the great Sahara Desert.

Mountain Gurus, High Atlas Explorer makes for a perfect adventure for those who want to experience Morocco’s diverse landscape and culture within ten days. The trek of Mount Toubkal is snow-free and considered non-technical, only requiring good fitness and the ability to hike 6-8 hours per day. Our friendly guides will watch over you and keep you safe throughout the expedition. The trek is supported by our local staff, using mules to carry all our heavy trekking gear. We enjoy the taste of Moroccan cuisine throughout our journey. In Marrakech and Essaouira, we discover and tour the colorful markets, rich culture and architecture of these former medieval cities.

We conclude our adventure with a camel ride in the Western Sahara Desert. The long journey travels diverse landscape clustered with Kasbahs and a stop at the famous Ait Ben Haddou fortified city. Imagine yourself riding though ancient lands while watching the sunset over the dunes of the great Sahara.

Your adventure will take you from the ancient city of Marrakech to the top of the High Atlas mountains, then on to the Atlantic coastal city of Essaouira and the edge of the great Sahara Desert.

Mountain Gurus, High Atlas Explorer makes for a perfect adventure for those who want to experience Morocco’s diverse landscape and culture within ten days. The trek of Mount Toubkal is snow-free and considered non-technical, only requiring good fitness and the ability to hike 6-8 hours per day. Our friendly guides will watch over you and keep you safe throughout the expedition. The trek is supported by our local staff, using mules to carry all our heavy trekking gear. We enjoy the taste of Moroccan cuisine throughout our journey. In Marrakech and Essaouira, we discover and tour the colorful markets, rich culture and architecture of these former medieval cities.

We conclude our adventure with a camel ride in the Western Sahara Desert. The long journey travels diverse landscape clustered with Kasbahs and a stop at the famous Ait Ben Haddou fortified city. Imagine yourself riding though ancient lands while watching the sunset over the dunes of the great Sahara.

Trek Highlights

  • 10 days exploration in Morocco
  • 3 days trekking Atlas Mountains
  • Ascent of Mount Toubkal
  • 6 nights hotel in Marrakech, Imlil and Essaouira includes breakfast
  • Guided tours in Marrakech and Ait Ben Haddou
  • Western Sahara Desert Camel ride and overnight in Berber camp
  • Comfortable tented camps or refuge during the trek
  • Fully supported trek includes meals with mule service
  • Land transportation
  • Friendly MG office staff will help prepare you for the adventure

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Marrakech
Day 2 • Marrakech
Day 3 • High Atlas Mountains
Day 4 • Toubkal Valley • 11,810 ft
Day 5 • Jbel Toubkal • 13,671 ft
Day 6 • Essaouira
Day 7 • Marrakech
Day 8 • Zagora
Day 9 • Marrakech
Day 10 • Depart

ITINERARY

Morocco High Atlas Trek

Trek begins and ends in Morocco

Day 1 • Arrive Marrakech

Arrive Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco (RAK). Transfer airport to hotel. Orientation and overnight at the hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel in Marrakesh

Day 2 • Marrakech

After breakfast we begin our day with a walking tour of the old Medina, our city guide will explain the history, architecture, handicrafts, and culture of Morocco. We visit the historical sites of Jemaa El Fna Square, Royal Palace Dar El Makhze, Tombs Saadiens, Mosque and Gardens Koutoubia. Shop the local markets or check out the snake charmers in the main square. Prepare for morning departure into the mountains.

Accommodations: Hotel in Marrakesh
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Day 3 • High Atlas Mountains • 7,380 ft

We depart Marrakech and drive to the High Atlas Mountains (1 hour) where we meet our team at Aguersioual (approx 5,259 feet, 1,600 meters) the starting point of our trek. We hike with light packs towards Tizi Oudite Pass (7,280 feet, 2,219 meters) passing Berber villages, supported by mules carrying all our overnight gear. Once we reach the pass, we enjoy great views over Imlil valley & Azzadene valley. We walk downhill to Ait Aissa at 5,880 feet (1,790 meters) where we take lunch before continuing to Azib Tamsoult at 7,380 feet (2,250 meters) passing via Tizi Oussem village.

Altitude ascent: 3,500 feet
Altitude descent: 1,400 feet
Trekking times: 4 hour morning hike, 1 hour lunch, 3 hour afternoon hike

Accommodations: Mountainside Refuge at Azib Tamsoult
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Tizi Aguelzim Pass • Toubkal (Imlil) Valley • 11,810 ft

After breakfast, we set out eastward up a narrow ravine to a beautiful waterfall, then hike up open hillside for spectacular views of the High Atlas landscape. We break and climb moderately difficult winding mule tracks (an 82 switch back path) to the Tizi Aguelzim Pass at 11,810 feet (3,600 meters), thence a long but gradual descent to the Toubkal Refuge which marks the spring snowline at 10,520 feet / 3,207 meters. We enjoy lunch and dinner once at Toubkal basecamp.

Altitude ascent: 4,430 feet
Altitude descent: 1,450 feet
Trekking times: 6 hour morning hike, 1 hour snack at the pass, 2 hour afternoon descent hike

Accommodations: Tented Camp at Toubkal Basecamp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 5 • Jbel Toubkal • 13,671 ft

We begin the day early and enjoy the sunrise from Northern Africa’s highest point Jbel Toubkal at 13,671 feet (4,167 meters) in the High Atlas Mountains. After descending from the summit to basecamp for lunch and tea, we then hike and descend to Sidi Chammharouch for a rest break, and then down to the lush village of Imlil at 5,708 feet (1,740 meters) via the main route to Toubkal.

Altitude ascent: 3,150 feet
Altitude descent to Basecamp: 3,150 feet
Altitude descent to Imlil: 4,850 feet
Trekking times: 3.5 hours to summit, 2.5 hour descent to basecamp, 1 hour lunch, 4 hour afternoon hike

Accommodations: Hotel in Imlil
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Essaouira

After breakfast, transfer to the coastal city of Essaouira (4 to 5 hour drive). We often enjoy the opportunity to stop at an Argan Oil “woman’s cooperative” along the way. This region of Morocco is known for the Argan tree, which only yields its rare oils in this unique desert like, but humid coastal climate. Once in Essaouira, explore the sandy beaches of the North African Atlantic coast, it’s fishing pier and fortifications of this ancient medieval city. Enjoy Moroccan cuisine in one of the old Medina’s fine terrace restaurants and shop for local handcrafts through its narrow streets and colorful markets.

Accommodations: Hotel in Essaouira
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Day 7 • Marrakech

After breakfast tour and explore the old medina and markets of Essaouira on you own. In the afternoon, transfer five hours back to Marrakech where we spend the night.

Accommodations: Hotel in Marrakech
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Day 8 • Zagora

First we cross the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass (7,415 feet) of the High Atlas Mountains (4 hour drive). We pass through many Berber villages, and once in the desert, the riverside oasis and barren hillsides are clustered with Kasbahs (ancient fortifications). We have the option of hiking to the summit of Ait Ben Haddou a UNESCO World Heritage Site for outstanding views of the surrounding landscape (1 hour). After lunch we drive further to Zagora (4 hours), with remarkable views of the Draa Valley. We arrive early evening and ride camels into the dunes, where we spend the night in Berber tents and served local tea “jokingly known as Berber Whisky” by our camel driver. After experiencing a beautiful sunset among the western Sahara hills and sand dunes, we enjoy a fantastic Tajine dinner, local music and song by an evening camp fire.

Accommodations: Berber Desert Camp in Zagora
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 9 • Marrakech

After viewing an early morning sunrise and light breakfast at the camp, we ride camel’s back to the main road where we meet our van driver. A quick photo stop at the fork to Timbuktu and drive back to Marrakech, again via Tizi N’Tichka Pass. You will arrive in Marrakech early evening (7 hour drive).

Accommodations: Hotel in Marrakech
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch (B, L)

Day 10 • Depart Marrakech

Transport to Marrakesh Menara International Airport for flights home.

Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Itinerary Notes
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Price

$2900

Rates are quoted based on double sharing hotel accommodations while in Marrakech, Imlil and Essaouira. Single room fees apply.

Deposit and Payments

$700.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application
Balance due 90 days prior to departure

Price Includes

  • Scheduled land transportation in Morocco
  • Hotels in Marrakech, Imlil and Essaouira
  • Refuge and tented accommodations
  • Guided sightseeing tours
  • Camel riding in Zagora
  • Scheduled meals during the trek
  • Professional English-speaking trekking guide
  • Scheduled mule service based on the itinerary
  • Baggage transport (limited to 15kg – 33lbs)
  • All group equipment for the trek

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare and meals during travel
  • Visa fees
  • Airport transfers (Non-scheduled)
  • Non-scheduled meals
  • Personal gear
  • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Single room (hotels only) $350
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Early departure fees
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Tips and gratuities

GEAR LIST

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/ synthetic, one that covers the ears.
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.
  • Scarf or Bandana 

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic short-sleeve shirt. One synthetic long-sleeve shirt.
  • Softshell Jacket: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof shell. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Light Insulated Jacket: Light synthetic insulated jacket

Handwear

  • Lightweight Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
  • Mediumweight Ski Gloves: Insulated glove or mitten. Optional

Lower Body

  • Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations in the mountains.
  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Trekking Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated
  • Hardshell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants.

Footwear

  • Trekking Socks: Four pair synthetic medium weight
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes large enough to be comfortable with sock.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag: Bring a warm bag (rated to 20ᵒ fahrenheit).
  • Sleeping Pads: A full-length closed-cell foam pad or inflatable pad.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 30L pack with good support, adequate to carry personal.
  • Duffel: One medium duffel for transporting gear via mules.
  • Liner Bags: One large plastic contractor bag.
  • Travel Bag/Luggage: One medium size, store non-mountain gear at hotel during the trek.

Trekking Gear

  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible.

Hydration

  • Water Bottle: Two, 1L wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©
  • Hydration System: CamelBak© or bladder style. Optional

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications

TRAVEL & FITNESS

Travel

Program Location:
Begins and ends in Marrakesh, Morocco

Visa/Entry Information:
A valid passport is required for American citizens to enter Morocco. American citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 30 days for tourism.

Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry into Morocco.

Flight Travel Information:
Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK), Morocco

International Departures:
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.

Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.

Gear:
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Morocco Explorer Fitness & Training

Trekking Grade: Intermediate

This trek requires good physical conditioning and previous trekking experience. We will be trekking between 4-6 hours each day with time to rest at huts, camps, and lodges at night.

Prior to the expedition we recommend running, hiking local peaks, backpacking and trekking to gain strength and stamina for the climb.

Here’s a suggested progression of treks before attempting the Morocco Explorer.

  • Mount Fuji, Machu Picchu, Mustang Explorer, Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Northwest Climb (Mount Baker), optional

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the physical requirements needed for this trek?

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small day pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and excellent physical conditioning are required.

What are the accommodations like?

Pricing is based on a shared (double occupancy) room in hotels, mountain refuge and tents. Hotels are smaller, boutique style hotels with a friendly atmosphere and high quality experience, and tents are high-quality mountaineering tents.

Who will be guiding the trek?

Our High Atlas treks are led by a Moroccan guide with extensive experience leading our trekking teams. They will be accompanied by assistant local guides.

On occasion we offer specialty treks led by an experienced American mountain guide. These climbs typically cost more due to the expense of having a Western guide lead the trek.

How much will my pack weigh?

During the trek you will only carry the gear you’ll use for each day. Mules will carry all your extra clothing items and overnight gear. At no point will you carry camping gear or equipment for overnight. Daypacks should not weigh more than 15-20 lbs. for your comfort.

Do I need mountaineering experience?

Ice axe, crampons, or special equipment are not needed to hike Mount Toubkal. Only trekking poles and a day pack. Mountaineering climbing experience is not required, and anyone with strong physical fitness is welcome to join the trek. The trail is snow free during the spring and fall trekking seasons. Trekking during mid-summer is not recommended due to the hot climate.