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High Atlas

high atlas mountains

The high Atlas

The high Atlas Mountains is the highest in Morocco and all North Africa, and it has different snowy summits. Its landscape reminds of the Alps or Caucasus. Its highest summit, Toubkal (4,167 meters) can be seen somedays from Marrakesh, which is located just 60 kilometres away. The climb to the top of Mount Toubkal is achievable for anyone in good shape, but only with an experienced guide.

The Toubkal National Park:

is named after this mountain, and it is the perfect place for mountain tourism. There live weird animals such as the Barbary sheep or the Schokari Sand Racer and also otters, birds, Jackals, wild felines…

The High-Atlas Mountains are inhabited by Berbers, who live from agriculture and pastoralism in the valleys. In the steppe zone of the High-Atlas, where precipitations are low, the locals created a smart technique in managing the low precipitations and the weak soil. They turn the rather semi-arid lands into fertile valleys called locally by Agdal (a garden in Berber). This technique has intrigued many Western agriculturalists, which they were impressed by the high efficiency of this agricultural system. Many scientists, particularly French scientists, make yearly expeditions to observe the community and their living system.

Tizi n Tichka pass:

Tizi n’Tichka is a mountain pass in Morocco, linking the southeast of Marrakech to the city of Ouarzazat through the High Atlas mountains. It lies above the great Marrakesh plains and is a gateway to the Sahara Desert. 

Climate and elevation:

From November through March, snow can often fall on the pass, but it can be warm all year round in the strong sun. It reaches an elevation of 2,260 metres (7,415 ft) above sea level and is the highest major mountain pass in North Africa. The road was constructed along the old caravan trail by the French military in 1936 and is now part of National Route 9 (formerly Route P-31)

Tizi N’Test:

Tizi N’Test is a small pass in the High Atlas mountains. A road crosses the pass, connecting Marrakech and Taroudannt. The pass is at 2,093 metres (6,867 ft), where a commemorative plaque certifies that the road was laid between 1926 and 1932.

The road connects Asni, Ouirgane, Talaat-n-Yacoub and Tin-Mal. The road is particularly challenging on the 1,600 m descent from the high pass to Taroudannt.

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