High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Travel Inspiration Mountains in Morocco

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Mountain Ranges in Morocco

Mountains and Morocco might not be two things you would associate with each other at first thought but there are plenty of peaks in Morocco to explore for those looking for a challenge away from the crowds of Nepal and the Himalayas. Perhaps surprisingly, Morocco is home to not just one but two mountain ranges – the Rif Mountains and the Atlas Mountains. Whether you realised it or not, there are a wide range of Morocco trekking opportunities in this exciting, exotic north African country.

The Rif mountains in Morocco are hidden in the far north of the country and cup the northern coastline between Tangier to the west and Nador to the east. These mountains are not heavyweight high peaks, with the top elevation only just shy of 2,500m, but they are the wettest place in Morocco and the rich fertile lands have been home to the Berber people for hundreds of years. For a taste of rural Morocco way off the beaten track, the Moroccan Rif Mountains are ideal. Use the enchanting blue town of Chefchaouen as a base and spend your days hiking across varied landscapes and your evenings delving into the aromatic souks of this unique hideaway.

The bigger and better-known Moroccan mountain range are the Atlas Mountains. This high range stretches from where the Atlantic Ocean meets Agadir on the western coast of Morocco inland eastwards through Morocco then northeast to Algeria and Tunisia on the northeast corner of Africa. The largest part of the Atlas Mountains is in Morocco and the highest peak in north Africa can be found here, Mount Toubkal, which is around 40miles or 65km south of Marrakech.

The Atlas Mountains can be split into four different regions, the highest of which are all in Morocco. The Anti-Atlas Mountains rise from the Atlantic south of Agadir and sprawl northeast where they meet the High Atlas Mountains which rise to the northeast above Agadir. The Middle Atlas Mountains split off towards the north in the direction of the Rif mountains. This dramatic ridge of mountains forms a spine stretching latitudinally across Morocco separating most of the country from the Sahara Desert.

The Atlas Mountains are famed for their stunning views, varied terrain and relatively quiet trails. The combination of the hustle and bustle of Moroccan towns contrasted with the vast, rolling countryside, high mountains, sprawling coastline and dry, dessert regions, make Morocco a must-visit place for adventure seekers.

High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The Highest Mountains in Morocco

1.      Toubkal – 4,165m

2.      Ouanoukrim – 4,089m

3.      M’Goun – 4,071m

4.      Afella – 4,043m

5.      Akioud – 4,030m

6.      Jebel n’Tarourt – 3,996m

7.      Biquinoussene – 4,002m

8.      Tazaqhart – 3,980m

9.      Taska n’Zat – 3,912m

10.  Jebel Aksousal – 3,910m

All ten of the tallest mountains in Morocco are in the High Atlas Mountains which offer stunning views across the lush countryside down to the sea to the east and the Sahara to the south. Many of these mountains are technical climbs and require a certain amount of experience, equipment and support and some of these peaks have only a handful of documented ascents. But let’s take a look at some of our favourites.

Mount Toubkal

As mentioned, the highest mountain in Morocco is Toubkal which towers across north Africa at 4,165m. Of the many treks in Morocco you can experience, the Toubkal trek is one of our most popular and one of the most exciting. Travellers generally head from Marrakech to the foothills of the High Atlas to begin their trek and the journey to the mountains alone is a fascinating one. Watch the locals herding livestock along dusty tracks, see women washing textiles in the rivers, children playing outside and hear the distant calls of the muezzin calling people to worship. This is a land of sounds and smells as well as glimpses of a culture and people influenced by a mixture of Spanish, Arabian and African neighbours.

Climbing Toubkal involves a multi-day trek and needs to allow time for acclimatisation to avoid altitude sickness. The ascent itself is steep and rocky but no technical skills are needed and those intrepid travellers that summit her peak are rewarded with stunningly beautiful vistas from the top across the whole of north Africa. What makes the Mount Toubkal trek such an unforgettable experience is the opportunity to meet the nomadic Berber tribes, sleep in tents under endless starry skies and sample the mouth-watering cuisine of these fascinating people.

You can climb the highest peak in Morocco in both summertime from June-September and escape the dry heat of the lower regions to the much cooler high altitude, or you can trek Mount Toubkal in winter from January-March. You don’t have to pick one of these seasons but if you want weather conditions that are conducive to a successful expedition then avoiding the rains is probably a good idea. The difference in trekking experiences is mainly down to the weather, terrain and temperature. Climbing the tallest mountain in Morocco in winter will involve trekking in winter conditions, so expect snow and ice so equipment such as crampons will be essential. Toubkal is a great peak to try out your mountaineering skills in winter conditions, but the climb will be challenging and physical so plenty of preparation is needed. Saying that, experiencing the High Atlas encased in snow and ice is a pretty special sight and there’s nothing like catching a glimpse of the Sahara from the snow – providing the skies are clear!

Mount Toubkal, Morocco


Some might say that climbing the second (and third!) highest mountain in Morocco is more spectacular than summiting Toubkal. At 4,089m high Ouanoukrim has two peak points along its top ridge, hence the reference to it/them being the second and third highest mountains in Morocco, and north Africa. The higher of the two summits is Timzguida at 4,089m with its slightly shorter twin, Ras Ouanoukrim, or Ras for short, standing 6 metres shorter at 4,083m. Those who love a good scramble will find this trek fun as the terrain is varied, the trails quiet and the views of both nearby Toubkal and the seemingly endless landscape below to the warm Sahara sand are truly rewarding. This is a challenging climb so mountaineering experience is beneficial, especially if attempting to climb Ouanoukrim in winter. Expect unforeseen obstacles, unpredictable conditions, loose debris and steep scrambles. If that floats your boat  and sounds like fun, consider climbing both Ouanoukrim and Toubkal at the same time, albeit not on the same day!


Not only does this mountain have the most fun name of the ten highest mountains in Morocco, climbing it is one of the most popular treks in Morocco. The M’Goun massif has a prominent peak and is surrounded by terrain that looks almost lunar. At 4,071m this is another multi-day Morocco trek but one that is less challenging than its two High Atlas neighbours. Trekking around and up M’Goun will take you through lush gorges, past rapid rivers and through charming local villages, offering insight into the daily lives of Moroccan farmers that the tourist trail fails to see.

M'Goun shares its name with the M’Goun UNESCO Global Geo Park, areas which are designated for their important geological history. This Geo Park in particular contains important dinosaur fossils and footprints as well as evidence of tectonic structures instrumental in forming the Atlas Mountains.

M'Goun Ridge, Mountain in Morocco

Trek Mount Toubkal with Kandoo Adventures

Kandoo offer incredible Moroccan trekking holidays. Our Toubkal treks include both summertime and winter departures depending on your experience, skills and how much of a challenge you fancy. Both itineraries tackle the terrific trio of Morocco’s highest peaks as well as including time before and after your trek to experience the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Whether it’s your first time or fifth time visiting this magical place, there is always something new to see or do.  Check out our blog on the top 10 things to see and do in Morocco or click below to find your next Morocco trek.