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4000m peaks of the high atlas
4000m peaks of the high atlas
4000m peaks of the high atlas
4000m peaks of the high atlas
4000m peaks of the high atlas

Plan your High Atlas adventure

Kandoo's View

On this 12 day trek into the heart of the High Atlas range we will climb four peaks over 4000m.  But this trip is more than just a challenging physical adventure, it is an immersion in the culture, landscape and history of this spectacular part of the world.  We will climb a remote peak rarely visited by anyone from the outside world, pass through pastoral villages where the Berber people still live as they have for hundreds of years, swim in the lakes and rivers and enjoy authentic local foods. 

Reaching four peaks over 4000m will give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction but it is your first glimpse of the idyllic Lac d'Ifni that will truly take your breath away.   We will climb up hidden valleys and over high passes that feel a million miles from civilisation.  Test ourselves on steep and exposed ridges as we scramble to the top of the difficult summits before descending with a grin from ear to ear.  

Please note that although the itinerary below is the one we intend to follow, there is still a chance that it may need to be changed in the event of heavy snow.  Even in the summer months low-lying snow can make some of the trails too difficult for the mules to negotiate.  In these conditions we will follow an alternative route.  Your guide's main focus will be to ensure your safety and the success of the trip. 

Trip dossier, route maps and profile

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4000m Peaks of the High Atlas Animated Route Map
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Detailed itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Marrakesh

Arrive in Marrakesh and transfer to your hotel where you will meet the other members of your group.  Depending on your arrival time there may be a chance to explore the city a little. 

  • Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Marrakesh
  • Meals: not included
Day 2Marrakesh to Tachedirt

Today we transfer by minibus from Marrakesh to Oukaimeden, a journey of around 2 hours. We will meet our mule drivers, load our luggage and begin our trek.  Our first objective is the pass of Tizin’Eddi at 2980m.  From the top we will have panoramic views of the Imane valley and the High Atlas summits.  We descend to the village of Tachedirt and continue a little further to Fousaou where we set up camp at 2300m.

  • Ascent: 620m
  • Descent: 840m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch dinner
Day 3Tachedirt to Yabassen

This morning after breakfast we head east up the valley to reach the col of Tizi n’Tachedirt at 3172m.  From the top there are awesome views of the summits of Bouignouane (3882m) and Jebel Aksoual (3842m).  A rocky track takes us steeply down again until we are back among trees and cultivated terraces on the valley floor. We continue down to Yabassen, a colourful old village surrounded by walnut trees, and make camp at 2150m.

  • Ascent: 680m
  • Descent: 1030m
  • Walking: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4Yabassen to Agadir Ait Boulmane

Today we follow a balcony trail on the northern side of the valley and descend over 700m to the meeting point of the Ourika and Adrar n’Dern valleys.  Along the way we will pass through the villages of Anfli, Tadrart and Chiker and eventually arrive at the gorges of Agadir n’Ait Boulmane.  Here we will have lunch and set up our camp under walnut trees on the banks of the river.  A relaxing afternoon swimming, exploring waterfalls and taking photos.  

  • Ascent: none
  • Descent: 750m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5Trek to Boukchoud Azibs

From our camp by the river a secluded track climbs up to the beautiful secret valley of the Tamatert and Amenzel villages.  On route we may spot barbary monkeys in the trees above us.  Keep your sandals to hand today as we will be negotiating gorges that may still be flowing with water as we head towards the pass of Tizi n’Boukchoud.  Akchoub means “wood” in the Berber language and we set up camp at the base of the pass surrounded by small juniper trees.

  • Ascent: 1500m
  • Descent: 500m
  • Walking: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6Trek to Adouz Azibs

This morning we cross over Tizi n’Boukchoud at 2976m and take in the spectacular views of the high peaks and the wild and lesser known side of Toubkal.  Dropping down into the next valley we reach the village of Adouz Azibs at the entry to the Tifnoute gorges.  The peak of Adrar n’Dern, our next day’s objective, towers above us.

  • Ascent: 780m
  • Descent: 580m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7Adrar n'Dern

We are now in a part of the High Atlas that sees very few visitors and feels a thousand miles from civilization. Today is a tough day with a lot of ascent as we climb a remote ridge toward the summit of Adrar n’Dern at 4001m.  The views become more and more spectacular as we gain height and gaze across at Jebel Sirwa and Jebel Toubkal.  After a rest at the summit we descend to the foot of Tizi n’Ourai and make camp in a meadow at around 3000m. 

  • Ascent: 1750m
  • Descent: 1500m
  • Walking: 8 to 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 8Aourai to Amsouzart

After a gruelling day yesterday, we take today a little more slowly.  A short rise from camp takes us to the top of Tizi n’Ourai at 3100m.  We then slowly descend through a volcanic landscape into the green Tizgui Valley and eventually find our way to the village of Amsouzart where we will spend the remainder of the afternoon and sleep in a local shelter. 

  • Ascent: 100m
  • Descent: 1350m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Shelter
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 9The beautiful Lac d'Ifni

Leaving Amsouzart we ascend gradually towards Tizi n’Ouanoums, easily the most spectacular of all the High Atlas cols.  We pass through Imhilen and Ait Igrane, villages buried deep within the enormous mountain landscape.  Above Ait Igrane the track becomes steeper and zig-zags up to the spectacular Lac d’Ifni, flanked by the two highest peaks in the range, Toubkal and Ouanoukrim.  After pausing for lunch by the lake we continue to the entry of the Ouanoums Gorge and make camp at 2700m.

  • Ascent: 1040m
  • Descent: 0m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 10Ouanoukrim

Another big day today as we bag our second 4000m peak!  3 to 4 hours of climbing will take us to the top of Tizi n’Ouanoums at 3600m.  We are now standing directly in between the two highest peaks in the Atlas and the views are phenomenal. At the col, the summit of Ouanoukrim is only 400 vertical meters above us and our route to the top requires some scrambling over steep rocky sections.  Once at the peak we are standing on the second highest peak in Morocco at 4088m and Toubkal lies directly in front of us.  After pausing for some photos, we descend to the Nelter Refuge at 3200m.

  • Ascent: 1590m
  • Descent: 1090m
  • Walking: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 11Mount Toubkal

We will leave before sunrise, climbing a steep rocky track up the mountain side to reach a hanging valley known as the South Cwm where huge boulders are scattered around the track.  We continue up steep scree slopes to hit the summit ridge at 3940m and follow the crest of the ridge to the summit pyramid at 4167m.  You have now climbed to the highest point in North Africa!  On a clear day the views extend all the way to Marrakesh and all the valleys of the High Atlas are laid out below you.  We descend the northern side of the mountain and return to the Nelter Refuge.

  • Ascent: 960m
  • Descent: 960m
  • Walking: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 12Bouiguinoussem

Today we climb out of the valley on a steep track, with some scrambling required at times, to reach the pass of Tizi n’Tadat at 3800m.  Looking east, we have fantastic views of our route up Toubkal the day before.  From here we take on our fourth and final big peak, Bouiguinoussem (4025m).  To reach the summit we climb a steep ridge from the col which involves some scrambling in places and is certainly the most technical terrain we have encountered so far.  At the summit we have the satisfaction of knowing this is our fourth 4000m peak in the last few days, we have succeeded in this epic journey and that makes the views all the more enjoyable.  We descend carefully back to the col and continue down to the shelter at Tazarat.  Here the Ighouliden waterfalls cascade down the mountainside and we can take a swim at Melloul Assif.  We make camp at Tamsoulte at an altitude of 2100m.

  • Ascent: 825m
  • Descent: 1925m
  • Walking: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 13Trek to Aremd

Today we take it slow and spend time taking photos and drinking in the awesome scenery as we meander through juniper forest to Tizi n’Mzik at 2400m.  From here we have views across to Oukaimedem peak near where our journey began.  We descend to the village of Aremd where we will spend the night (in a real bed!) at one of the local shelters.  As the sun starts to go down and the temperature cools, a walk around the village is a nice way to say goodbye to the mountains and the people who have been so welcoming to us for the last 13 days. 

  • Ascent: 350m
  • Descent: 600m
  • Walking: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Shelter
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 14Return to Marrakesh

After breakfast we walk to the trailhead at Imlil and transfer to Marrakesh. We will arrive late morning and check in to our hotel.  We then have a free day to soak up all the fascinating sights of the city. Visit the Majorelle Gardens, Bahia Palace and Jama El f’na Market.  A guided tour with an English speaking guide can be arranged. 

  • Ascent: 0m
  • Descent: 150m
  • Walking: 1 to 2 hours
  • Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Marrakesh
  • Meals: Breakfast. Meals in Marrakesh not included
Day 15Depart for home

Today we will check out of the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight home.  

Meals: Breakfast

Availability and prices

Last Updated June 1 2020
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Route
Arrival
Days
Price
Comment
 
 
Arrival: June 12 2021
Days: 15
Price: £799 $1035 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: July 10 2021
Days: 15
Price: £799 $1035 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: August 7 2021
Days: 15
Price: £799 $1035 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: September 4 2021
Days: 15
Price: £799 $1035 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Arrival: October 2 2021
Days: 15
Price: £799 $1035 €0
Comment: Minimum 4
Included
  • Airport transfers
  • Qualified Berber Mountain Guide
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • Tent and mattress for wild camping trips
  • Full board whilst trekking
  • Crampons and ice axe for winter climbs
Not Included
  • Flights and visas
  • Drinks during the day or at meal times
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals in Marrakesh

Comfort

Comfort Level 1/5 CAMPING

During your trek we provide a good quality 3 man tent per 2 people to allow for maximum space and comfort.  We will also provide a foam mattress per person and a dinning tent for use at meal times and as a communal area.  There are chairs, tables, cutlery and crockery provided. 

During the trek we will stay in two shelters, one in Amsouzart and one in Aremd.  The shelter in Amsouzart on day 8 is very basic. It has four dormitories with mattresses placed on the floor and two shared bathrooms with cold water.  In Aremd the shelter has 6 dormitories with real beds, hot water, communal lounge area and access to a hamam (Turkish bath).  

In Marrakesh you will be staying in a comfortable 4 star hotel in an en-suite twin or double room. There is a swimming pool, restaurant, bar and free WiFi.

Difficulty

Difficulty Level 3/5 MODERATE

Daily Walking time: maximum 8 to 9 Hours

Daily Accent: maximum 1750m

This journey through the High Atlas requires you to be in good physical condition and have some experience of walking for up to 6 hours a day for several days in a row.  The trail will vary from easy paths to very steep and rocky terrain where  some scrambling will be required.  There will be changes of altitude as you climb above 3000m to cross the mountain passes and descend again.  A good amount of endurance is necessary but mental stamina is the most important thing.

This programme does not require any technical climbing ability or experience but you should try to be in the best condition possible before departure.  You will be accompanied by a qualified Berber guide at all times as well as your cook and mule drivers.

If you have any questions about your suitability or how to prepare for this trip please do not hesitate to contact us. 

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