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Mount Toubkal’ the Highest Peak in Morocco & the Tallest Mountain in North Africa

Story Highlights

  • Climbing Mount Toubkal
  • The Best Time to Climb
  • How Much Does it Cost
  • Equipment Needed to hike Mount Toubkal
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Standing at 4,167m, Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco and the tallest mountain in North Africa.

Mount Toubkal or Jebel Toubkal (Jebel is a term primarily used in North Africa and the Middle East to refer to mountains and mountain ranges) lays at the heart of a network of trekking trails that offer striking high altitude mountain scenery, lush valleys and Berber communities relatively untouched by progress.

Mount Toubkal is located in the Toubkal National Park which itself is nestled within the towering and majestic Atlas Mountains, about 60km south of the popular city of Marrakesh in southwestern Morocco.

The peak of Toubkal is the highest summit in Morocco, the Arab World and North Africa. It stands at 4,167m high and can be seen from Marrakesh, over 60km away.

Climbing Mount Toubkal

 

Mount Toubkal' the Highest Peak in Morocco & the Tallest Mountain in North Africa

Mount Toubkal is a non-technical summit – you don’t have to be an expert climber, but you do need to have a good level of fitness and an appetite for adventure! The fitter you are and the more you train prior to the challenge, the more you will enjoy it.

The main difficulty for most people who climb Mount Toubkal is altitude sickness and if you’re new to trekking then you may well struggle, however with the correct preparation and a good guide team, then the vast majority of people will successfully summit.

Altitude

Trekking to the summit of North Africa’s highest mountain involves walking and sleeping at altitude, therefore altitude sickness is a possibility.

Mild symptoms may be experienced, such as headaches, nausea and lack of appetite. The best way to adjust to altitude is to walk slowly and rest as often as possible – in addition, make sure you drink plenty of water during your trek!

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Difficulty in Climbing Mount Toubkal

Mount Toubkal' the Highest Peak in Morocco & the Tallest Mountain in North Africa

Mount Toubkal is an achievable aim for most people and with the correct preparation and a good guide team, then the vast majority of people will successfully summit.

If you plan on trekking in the winter months then you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the use of crampons and possibly an ice axe too, but as long as your boots are crampon compatible you can learn these skills on the climb, read up on health and altitude in the mountains, acclimatising safely pages.

The Best Time to Climb

Mount Toubkal can be climbed all year round. If you don’t fancy trekking in the summer heat then it’s better to avoid mid-June to August, the traditional trekking season is from mid-April to early June and September to mid-November, the winter climbing season is from December through to early April.

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How long does it take to climb Mount Toubkal?

The Mount Toubkal ascent only takes three days, with most of the walking done on the first. Leg one of the trek takes around 5 hours during which we’ll follow 11 kilometres of mule paths zigzagging up into the rocky valley towards towering snow-dusted peaks on the horizon.

What is the Weather Like

Mount Toubkal is often considered a hot trekking destination. However, while temperatures in Marrakech will range between 28°C and 37°C during the trekking season, the valleys of the High Atlas Mountains are typically cooler, especially the further up you walk.

The weather is mostly dry, with very little rainfall and clear blue skies, but clouds of mist can roll in over the mountains as you gain altitude. In winter the temperatures can drop to around -5°C at night, while in summer on our Toubkal Long Weekend they stay above 10°C on average.

How Much Does it Cost

The cost varies depending on whether you are going for the summer or winter option and the length of time you plan to spend on the mountain, it’s a lot cheaper to ascend and descend on the normal route (Ikhibi Sud) with a 3 day itinerary and gets more expensive if you plan to use one of the more adventurous circuit / traverse routes which spend a couple of extra days in the region exploring different routes and peaks.

Equipment Needed to hike Mount Toubkal

Mount Toubkal' the Highest Peak in Morocco & the Tallest Mountain in North Africa

To make the most of your Mount Toubkal trek, make sure you’re well prepared. The weather can change in an instant up in the mountains so pack layers of moisture-wicking clothing that you can easily add or remove depending on the conditions.

Temperatures tend to drop dramatically at night, so a warm fleece, a good-quality down jacket and a wind and waterproof shell jacket are essential. We recommend bringing some breathable walking trousers rather than jeans, and on summit day, you’ll also need a warm hat, scarf, waterproof/windproof gloves and a head torch for the pre-sunrise trek.

For your feet, we suggest walking boots with ankle support paired with liner socks under a pair of reasonably thick loop stitch socks.

Good-quality sunglasses or ski goggles will protect your eyes from glare at high altitudes and make sure you use a high factor sunscreen.

A high-quality sleeping bag is an absolute must, whatever the time of year you visit Mount Toubkal.

A 3-season sleeping bag is recommended June – August and a 4-season one in May, September and October. A silk or fleece liner is also useful.

Bring a refillable water bottle and make sure you pack for any special dietary requirements that you may have.

There won’t be electricity at some of the stopovers, so bring a power bank to charge your phone or camera, and you might want some extra batteries for your torch.

Finally, take a 20-30 litre backpack to carry everything you need during each leg of the hike.

The rest of your kit will be carried up to the next camp by the team vehicles or mules.

 

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