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Destinations Guide to Climbing Mount Toubkal

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Guide to Climbing Mount Toubkal

Mount Toubkal, known locally as Jbel Toubkal or Jebel Toubkal, is a majestic mountain that towers over northern Africa. This prominent peak is a relatively short trek but the journey from foothills to summit is an iconic one and the views offered from the top are truly breathtaking.
Hikers near Mt Toubkal

Where is Mount Toubkal?

Mount Toubkal is situated in Toubkal National Park in Morocco. It is part of the High Atlas Mountains, which stretch from the lower Atlas Mountains at Agadir in the west across the top of the Sahara Desert into Algeria.

How high is Mount Toubkal?

Toubkal is 4,167m high. As far as high peaks go, the height of Toubkal doesn’t put it up there in the top 10 highest mountains in Africa, but she only just misses out. The beauty of trekking Mount Toubkal is that it is a relatively short climb but is incredibly rewarding. No mountaineering experience is needed, and the climb is not technical, unless you decide to climb Mount Toubkal in winter.

During the winter months the mountain is blanketed in snow and ice, so crampons and ice axes are used to navigate the slippery slopes. Experience of this can be beneficial for your winter ascent but on our Kandoo trips we offer full training and it’s a great opportunity to put your new skills into practice.

How long does it take to climb Mount Toubkal?

When searching online for Toubkal trekking experiences, you’ll see tour operators offering the trip in 2 or 3 days. Yes, it is possible to race up the mountain in 2 days, but the team at Kandoo Adventures wouldn’t recommend it. Whilst Toubkal isn’t seriously high, you are still trekking to altitude, therefore taking your time and acclimatising is essential to the success of summiting the peak. We stick to the golden rule of trekking at altitude – trek high, sleep low.

Added to this the fact you’re trekking through beautiful mountains, stunning and remote countryside and you’re literally on the edge of the Sahara, why would you want to race to the top without taking time to enjoy the landscapes through which you’re walking?!

Kandoo offer Toubkal treks that take 5 days with plenty of time to explore the heady culture of Morocco before and after your climb. You can’t visit Morocco without exploring the souks of Marrakesh to barter for souvenirs, meeting the nomadic Berber people and sleeping under the endless starry skies. There is absolutely no reason to rush this experience and taking your time will reward those who do.

Cold weather high on Toubkal

Who was the first person to climb Mount Toubkal?

The first recorded ascent was in June 1923 by the Marquis de Segonzac, Vincent Berger and Hubert Dolbeau but it is likely that the peak was summited before this by Moroccans living in the Atlas Mountains.

There are many farmers who have cultivated the foothills and lower slopes of the Atlas Mountains for livestock and crops who have been here for centuries. To assume that some of them haven’t wandered to the top of Toubkal to navigate the surrounding territories is probably naïve.

When is the best time to attempt the Toubkal hike?

The best time to enjoy climbing Toubkal mountain is from June to October. During the spring and summer season, the temperatures during the day are mild to warm, there is less rain, and the nighttime temperatures are tolerable. Do bear in mind that the balmy temperatures at sea level will slowly become cooler the higher you climb in altitude.

For those looking for a more challenging Mount Toubkal trek, climbing this peak in winter offers a whole new perspective. For budding mountaineers, winter enthusiasts and those with a good level of fitness wanting to try winter trekking, there is no better mountain to climb than Toubkal, in our humble opinion.

Why is climbing Mount Toubkal different from trekking elsewhere?

The country of Morocco is an endlessly fascinating place to visit with a vibrant culture very different to the one we’re used to. Influenced by both French and Spanish colonisation, yet firmly rooted to the culture of the African continent in which it sits, Morocco is an exotic mish mash of modern and traditional, reserve and exuberance. The sights, smells and sounds of the cities are like nowhere else we’ve been, truly.

As soon as you leave the sensory overload of the busy centres and journey into the countryside, peace and tranquillity reigns and offers glimpses into the traditional day to day lives of those living here. The opportunity to meet Berber people, sample their cuisine and sit down over a glass of super sweet mint tea is not to be missed.

In addition to experiencing the magic of Morocco at sea level, Toubkal is a very unique peak itself. There are not many high peaks in the world that sit on the edge of a desert, the Sahara no less. As the highest peak in the Arab world, the highest mountain in North Africa and the highest point in Morocco, the views from the summit are just incredible.

The juxtaposition of the bustling towns with the relative quiet of the mountains will leave you wondering if you have entered another country by mistake! To climb Toubkal is an experience that every trekker should have under their belt and one that will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Winter ascent of Toubkal

Interesting facts about Toubkal

  • Mount Toubkal is the tallest mountain in north Africa
  • Toubkal is the highest peak in Morocco
  • It is also the highest mountain in the Arab world
  • The name Atlas comes from a giant of the same name in Greek mythology
  • The nomadic Berber people were here before the Arabs, and it is estimated that there are almost 20 million living in Morocco alone
  • Although the majority of the Atlas Mountains are made from sedimentary rock, Mount Toubkal is comprised mostly of volcanic rock
Trekking through Morocco is a memorable adventure and with small group sizes, plenty of support and local guides throughout, Kandoo Adventures are the best people to trek with. For solo travellers or groups of friends, trips to Morocco with Kandoo offer plenty of culture, excellent hiking routes and intriguing insights into this fabulous country. Talk to our travel experts today and book your Morocco adventure holiday.