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Mt. Toubkal (Jebel Toubkal)
Mt. Toubkal (Jebel Toubkal)

Mt. Toubkal (Jebel Toubkal)

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Morocco

The Basics

The trail up Mount Toubkal starts in Imlil, a town about 1 hour from Marrakech. On the first day, head up to the Toubkal Refuge, located at about 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) above sea level, where the air is crisp and cool, then take the final approach before dawn the next day up a steep, scree-laden slope. Many visitors hike the mountain with a tour operator that provides food and accommodations.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • You must be physically fit to climb Mount Toubkal; many parts of the climb are challenging.
  • You can make the climb to the summit in two days, but a less rushed three-day itinerary is optimal.
  • While many travelers take an organized trek up the mountain with a tour operator, a guide is not required.
  • Be aware that the trek takes you up to high altitudes; make sure you have plenty of water and take precautions against altitude sickness.
  • Tours are not wheelchair accessible, and some may have age minimums.
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How to Get There

The drive from Marrakech to the base camp at Imlil takes about 75 minutes. You can hire a private driver to take you to Imlil or take a “grand taxi” (a shared ride). Most travelers come with tours that include round-trip transportation.

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When to Get There

The best time to climb Mount Toubkal is in the spring (April or May) or the autumn (September or October). Climbing Mount Toubkal in the summer (June through August) is difficult due to the heat. From November to May, you may need to use an ice axe and crampons.

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Wildcard

What Goes Up Must Come Down Most climbers descend the same way they go up—via the South Col, which is the most direct route. There is, however, another, more adventurous and dramatic way to head down: via the North Col. This route is less direct and passes the scattered remains of a Portuguese Army cargo plane, which crashed in the 1960s. From there, it’s about 4 to 6 hours to the refuge, where weary trekkers can enjoy a hearty meal.

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