Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Ifrane in the Middle Atlas Mountains in north Morocco

The cool green district of Ifrane in the Middle Atlas Mountains in north Morocco.

Atlas mountains

Morocco Mountains Map

Atlas and Rif Mountains Map

Morocco’s Atlas offer not only monumental rocky views for trekkers and challenges for climbers but due to the relatively high rainfall there are plenty of lush valleys, rivers and waterfalls too.

Villages – generally home to colourful Berber people – provide comfortable if basic and not attractive accommodation for trekkers but especially budget backpackers.
Hikes ranging from half-hour to 10 days or horse/mule expeditions can be arranged by travel guides based in the Ourika Valley and elsewhere. And in wintertime the views go white and reasonable ski slopes or cross-country skiing can be found.

High Atlas Activities

Many activities are possible in the High Atlas mountains in summertime when the rest of Morocco is boiling the mountains are a blue and blissful space for hiking, riding and mountain-biking. Azilal is a popular base for these sports. For those looking for water-based activities then Ahansal wadi and the Assif Melloul provide white-water rafting, canyoning, kayaking, and whatever the latest craze is. Waterzorbing?
In winter the High Atlas offer cheap and cheerful skiing/snow boarding options. January Skiing Photos below.

Some areas of interest

On the north side of the High Atlas range are: the Aït Bouguemez valley, the Ouzoud waterfalls and the Imi-n-Ifri bridge, while on the south side: the valley and gorges of Mgoun and Dades Valley and Todra Gorge.

Climbing

Mount Toubkal is the second highest peak in Africa at 4167m (after Kilimanjaro) and can be climbed in two and a half days, while Mount M’Goun at 4068m can be climbed in six days.

Middle Atlas and Anti Atlas Activities

Typical Ifrane village, Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco

A typical mud-brick village in the Ifrane district, aka ‘Little Switzerland’.

Located in Morocco’s north, the Middle Atlas mountains are also fine for hikers and mountain-bikers, though being about a kilometre lower than the High Atlas, Middle Atlas the sights will involve a lot more green forests and meadows, blue lakes and pinkish mud-brick villages. The slightly lower altitude is better for horseback riding and there are plenty of rental opportunities. Some popular destinations are the Ifrane National Park, Virgin waterfalls and the Aïn Leuh cedar forests.

The Anti Atlas range runs south down to the Tafraoute region where the town is dominated by Jbel El Kest, a 2278m high peak. Again, hiking and horse riding are favoured activities in this area with trails passing through various fortified villages and spectacular scenery.

Lake El Ouidane, Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The artificial lake of El Ouidane in the Azilal district, Middle Atlas, a fine place for carp fishing.

Carp fishing in Lake El Ouidane, Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Just nipped out for a quick gasper; going back inside soon.

High Atlas snow

High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

High Atlas mountain photos taken at more-or-less at the same time as the Middle Atlas pix, in January.

Oukaimeden ski resort, High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The Oukaimeden ski resort, just 80ms (50 miles) from Marrakech but upwards of 2, 600 metres in the High Atlas mountains.

Oukaimeden ski slopes, High Atlas mountains, Morocco

Oukaimeden is near Jebel Toubkal in the High Atlas and does have some ski rental facilities though don’t expect too much as snow here is a bit unreliable. Still, it’s not far to go if you’re in Marrakech.

Oukaimeden cross-country skiing, High Atlas mountains, Morocco

Oukaimeden also does accommodation such as these charming chalets. Kidding! But there are a couple of OK hotels.