So you want to climb Mount Toubkal? Who wouldn’t want to conquer North Africa’s highest summit?! Here’s how you do it.
The Bucket List Company’s complete guide to climbing Mount Toubkal
So you want to climb Mount Toubkal, do ya? Well then, welcome to your complete guide to conquering the roof of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco! Get ready to embark on a journey that will make you want to climb Mount Toubkal again and again, or… maybe just ten more times.
As you ascend, breath-taking views of the Atlas Mountains will leave you gasping for air—both from the awe-inspiring scenery and the physical exertion (more on fitness in a mo). Green valleys will greet you, and endearing Berber villages will make you feel like you’re in a real-life fairytale.
If you think you might like to climb Mount Toubkal, you’ll find everything you need to know about the adventure that awaits you right here. Let’s get started.
It might be where legends are made – but where is Mount Toubkal?
Mount Toubkal, or as the locals fondly call it, Jebel Toubkal, reigns supreme as the tallest peak in North Africa. It proudly takes its place within the majestic Atlas Mountain Range, adorning the southwestern part of Morocco, about 60km south of Marrakech.
When you climb Mount Toubkal with The Bucket List Company, you get just the right amount of Marrakech thrown in for good measure. Find out more about the main itinerary here or the winter (and more technical) version here.
Can I climb Mount Toubkal?
Friend, didn’t you see our itineraries just up above? If not then let us allay your fears – you can certainly climb Mount Toubkal (and we really think you should). Being moderately challenging and yet still non-technical, a Mount Toubkal climb is a great option for anyone finding their feet on mountain terrain.
And with a summit at 4,167 it’s a great first foray into altitude climbing. Plus it offers you a bird’s-eye view of a border where land, ocean, and desert collide in a spectacular fashion.
When it comes to routes, there are two paths that’ll take you to the summit, the South and the North. The Southern approach is simpler and more popular. But if you fancy yourself an experienced hiker, the Northern route might just be your cup of adventure.
How long does it take to climb Mount Toubkal?
The good news is that you can conquer this behemoth and still have time to spare.
In just four short days, you can experience the thrill of trekking the mountain and conquering the summit. On our TBLC Toubkal adventures, we always include a fifth day for acclimatisation, to make sure you’ve got the best chance of reaching then top without a hitch. If you want to find out more about why acclimatisation’s so damn important, click here.
For most people, that means there’s enough time to bookend the Mount Toubkal climb with some time in Marrakech – which is exactly what we do on our trips! Our typical itineraries look like this:
Day 1 – Touch down in Marakech and explore the souks
Day 2 – Guided tour of Marrakech plus a hot air balloon ride if you fancy
Day 3 – Transfer to Imi Oughlad and begin trekking to Tizi Oussem
Day 4 – Trek from Tizi Oussem to Imlil via Tizi Mzik Pass
Day 5 – Trek from Imlil to Refuge Toubkal
Day 6 – Trek to the summit! Then descend back to the refuge
Day 7 – Head back to Marrakech for one last delicious tagine
How fit do I need to be to climb Mount Toubkal and can I climb Mount Toubkal alone?
A moderate fitness level and an eagerness to hike should do you just fine. When you climb Mount Toubkal with a small group, you get the benefit of having porters join you for the duration, which means all your food and stuff is carried up the mountain by mules for you. You’ll just need a day-pack to carry your water, snacks and camera.
We’re not saying you can’t climb Mount Toubkal without a guide, by the way. It’s totally possible for experienced hikers and there are plenty of places along the routes where you can stop and refuel (or ask for directions if you need them!). Refuges do get pretty busy during peak season though so make sure you book ahead.
If you haven’t got many peaks under your belt and you’d prefer to have the company and cost benefits of a small group, we can’t recommend out Toubkal climbs enough. We’ll organise the whole shebang for you (flights, food transport and Marrakech included), give you options for funding your trip in manageable chunks, and give you the opportunity to make friends for life.
On all our Bucket Lister Toubkal trips, you’ll have both a UK guide and a local guide to make sure you’re safe, secure and have everything you need throughout your adventure.
When is the best time to climb Mount Toubkal?
Ah now, here’s another reason why this mountain is such a great option for anyone looking to get a significant peak under their belt – you can climb Mount Toubkal all year round.
In our humble opinion though, you might want to avoid the super-hot summer, although there’s nothing stopping you if you’re a fan of the heat. Just make sure you protect yourself from the sun’s rays properly and drink plenty of water throughout your trek.
Our favourite time to climb Mount Toubkal is during the shoulder months around summer – March – June and September – October.
Now we say you can climb Mount Toubkal all year round, but it’s a lot more of a technical climb in winter, so you’ll need special equipment and ideally some experience with ice axes, crampons and fixed rope climbs too.
How hard is it to climb Mount Toubkal?
We give our Mount Toubkal treks a 3/5 rating on the challenge front, because the hiking itself is pretty easy and the route’s straightforward enough too.
The thing that can put a spanner in the works is the altitude (which is why we always chuck an extra day into the trekking itinerary for acclimatisation).
If you can get out to the Peak or Lake district and practise hiking at higher altitudes then you’ll put yourself in better stead for to climb Mount Toubkal too. Always best to try and replicate the sort of hiking you’ll be doing during the main event too. So if you can squeeze in a few multi-day hikes that see you hiking for at least four hours each day, even better.
Some cardio in the months running up to your trek will always help too, though if you’ve accomplished multi-day treks before without any bother, you should be just find.
The technical expertise required for the winter treks do make climbing Mount Toubkal from December to February more challenging. You’d do yourself a favour by taking a basic winter mountaineering course first, and should be confident trekking on 30°slopes.
How do you get to Mount Toubkal?
Getting to Mount Toubkal means flying to Morocco. The North African country has a lot of airports, but you’re best off flying into Marrakech if you want to head over to the mountain shortly after. The international airport in Marrakech is Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) – which isn’t much more than a four-hour flight from London Heathrow.
We always say Morocco’s the best value you can get for your airmiles if you’re looking for a culture shock!
In terms of visas, you currently DON’T need one to enter Morocco, so long as you’re staying less than 90 days. There are a couple of simple enough entry requirements though – click here to find out everything you need to know about visas and passports in Morocco.
When you’re ready to head towards the mounting, you can often get a shared taxi all the way from Marrakech to Imlil for about 75 dirhams (about £6) – in which case, head to the shared taxi station near the Sidi Mimoun Garden.
If you’d prefer a private taxi, expect to pay more like 300 dirhams (£24). Make sure you negotiate the price before you let the driver put their foot down too!
Never forget: when you travel with The Bucket List Company, you don’t need to worry about things like finding taxis or transfers from the airport to your riad – we’ll sort your transport, your accommodation, lots of your food and all your adventure for you. You just turn up at the departure airport and say hello.
What gear do you need to climb Mount Toubkal?
So you’re really doing this, huh? That’s AMAZING. Now let’s make sure you’ve got all the right kit to have the very best experience climbing Mount Toubkal in Morocco.
Head to our Kit List page for Mount Toubkal and you’ll find everything you need. Click HERE to get that equipment checklist.
Ready to climb Mount Toubkal and want to make sure you have the best experience ever?!
Of course you are. And you will, when you climb Mount Toubkal with The Bucket List Company.
Everything organised for you, manageable monthly payments, helpful guides from take-off to touch-down and – of course – Mount Toubkal herself too. If you want to tick a spectacular peak off your Bucket List and do it with a friendly group of likeminded people who’ll egg you on all the way, why not just bite the bullet and book? Click HERE to get the low-down on our next Toubkal climbs (or here for the harder Winter version). And we’ll see you at the airport!