Trekking Toubkal, Morocco’s Highest Peak

Mt. Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa at  4,167 meters. Situated in the High Atlas Mountains about an hour from Marrakesh it is very accessible to the hiking inclined. From Marrakesh you can share a grand taxi, stuffed with 4 in the back seat and three in the front seat of a sedan sized taxi, to the town of Imlil situated at the foothills of the mountains.

The trek itself usually takes about two days, although it can be completed in a single day if you want to punish your calves. The last few hours of the trek are quite steep and there’s a lot of scrag that creates unsure footing. Pairing this with the thin air and possibility of altitude sickness most people choose to spend the first night at the base camp refuge and complete the remaining grueling climb the next morning, when clouds are less likely for a better view.

For the second day’s climb to the peak I joined a pair of young Moroccan guys Reda and Anass who were a lot of fun to hang out with, sharing some clutch dates for some extra energy along the climb. I was whipped during that last ascent, way more than most other climbs I’ve done. Gaining that much altitude really takes a toll but the views are worth it.

The top of Toubkal overlooks the Atlas Mountains. 360 degrees of impressive nature. Apparently goats don’t find the hike so difficult as a herd casually walked past as we chilled on the peak. The walk back down the mountain was actually more difficult as all the loose rocks tag teamed with gravity to ensure that we slid and surfed our way down the mountain more than hiked. I fell flat on my ass more than once and I wasn’t the only one.

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If you have a few days to spare the hike is well worth doing. A sharp contrast from the chaos of the city is only a stone’s throw away. When you’ve eaten too much of the ever present bread in Marrakesh (like I did), you can always hike it off in pristine nature and conquer Morroco’s highest peak.

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