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Standing in the Toubkal National Park, which itself is nestled within the towering and majestic Atlas Mountains, the peak of Toubkal (4,167m) is the highest summit in Morocco and the Arab World, and is one of the most popular climbing destinations in North Africa.
Located only 63km South of the immensely popular and large city of Marrakesh, ascending Toubkal is a superb option for those climbers wishing to test themselves on an interesting and rewarding North African peak. There are challenging moments when climbing Toubkal, as sufficient acclimatization time is needed before tackling each section due to the increasingly thin air, as well as the sheer steepness of the ascents and the sharpness of the vertical drops.
The views of the landscape, scenery and terrain on offer are absolutely stunning, with the lower reaches of the climb featuring more rocky and arid conditions, as well an encounters with traditional Berber huts and villages. Higher up the climb is when the sweeping panoramic views open up over the peaks, valleys and ridges of the rest of the Atlas Mountains, making for some truly awesome and inspiring sights.
Here are some of the best tips to help you start planning an ascent of Toubkal.
The starting point for all tours is the village of Imlil, located in the Atlas Mountains themselves at 1800m high and just 60km South of Marrakesh.
Flying to Marrakesh is the easiest option, and from there you can stay in the city itself or in Imlil, with taxis being the easiest and most regular mode of transport between the two.
Most trips are over the course of 3-5 days, with the first couple of days being spent acclimatizing to the high altitude, before tackling the summit on the last couple of days.
Longer trips (6-10 days) often entail combining the ascent of Toubkal with other prominent nearby peaks such as Akioud (3900m), M’Goun (4071m) and Imeghras (3900m).
Depending on how long your trip is, climbing Toubkal can be easier or more challenging, with the shorter trips often proving more challenging due to less acclimatization time to the high altitude.
As such it is recommended that participants have a decent level of fitness and acclimatization, as this will make the trip more enjoyable and less strenuous.
All tours take roughly the same route in order to reach the summit.
Every trip will begin at the village of Imlil, which acts as the base camp for the mountain. From there it is approximately a 7-8 hour climb to the Toubkal Refuge, which stands at 3200m high. From the refuge to the summit is then roughly 6-7 hours, before descending back to either the refuge or all the way down to Imlil.
Acclimatization days are built in to most trips.
The Toubkal Refuge is an alpine-style mountain hut located 3200m high up the peak of Toubkal, and is the main stopping point en route to the summit. Most trips spend the night in the refuge, where dorms and bathroom facilities are provided.
Due to being so high up in the Atlas Mountains, it is consistently cold higher up the climb all-year-round, with temperatures often dropping below 0 degrees Celsius.
It is recommended to climb in Spring and Autumn (March-May and September-November), as it will be pleasant weather before and after you climb the mountain, whilst avoiding the intense Summer heat and cold Winters.
Pricing generally depends on the length of the trip and number of people in the group, but for 3-5 day trips prices for large groups (5-8 people) are generally 300-400 EUR per person, with smaller groups (3-4 people) increasing to 400-500 EUR per person.
These typically include guiding fee, accommodation, meals and transport.
Morocco is a wide open land full of a wide array of landscape and terrain, not to mention the ancient and fascinating cultures that still exist and thrive.
There are several popular outdoor activities to indulge in, with trail running being just one, and you can read our blog post about the top 3 places to go trail running in Morocco.
Climbing Toubkal is a truly epic and magnificent experience – start looking at our trips and challenge yourself now!
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