The Best Toubkal National Park Guide (2023)
If you are visiting Morocco and looking for a great dose of wild nature, the Toubkal National Park is an absolute must-see.
Extending over 100,000 ha, the Toubkal National Park has an incredibly diverse fauna and flora. Its grasslands present floristic originality, and the forests of holm oaks, cedars, and junipers crossed by rivers with translucent water are a treat to the soul.
Located in the Moroccan Atlas mountains at around 70 kilometers – 43.5 miles – from Marrakech, this beautiful national park is easily accessible by car. Besides the incredible landscapes, visiting the park is the perfect way to immerse in the mountain dwellers’ lives—something to remember for a lifetime.
How to Get to the Toubkal National Park
The Toubkal Park is accessible from the Ourika Valley, approximately a 1-hour car drive from Marrakech. The most frequented entry points are marked by entry signs, like in the picture below. You enter the heart of the park from these entry points, and you can only get around on foot or on the back of a mule.
What to Do in the Toubkal National Park
The Toubkal National Park offers many activities for visitors. Your first stop should be the ecomuseum of the Toubkal National Park, located at the foot of the High-Atlas Mountains, between Imlil and that of Asni. Besides holding expositions about the park’s history, geography, and ecology, this museum is packed with practical information to plan your exploration.
There are many hiking circuits in the Toubkal National Park with various difficulties. For most hikers, the Tamadote green circuit is an excellent option with a 6 km distance, allowing the discovery of the high mountain forest. Throughout the courses, hikers can enjoy local food at traditional lodges or picnic under the trees with incredible views.
The beautiful village of Imlil is a charming and lively Moroccan village nestled between the mountains and a great place to recharge, eat delicious tagines, immerse in locals’ life, and get a few souvenirs.
The most adventurous visitors can climb Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa and the Arab world. Accompanied by a certified guide, the journey takes two days.
For a wholesome experience in Toubkal, you can check Toubkal Community, founded by a group of local Toubkal passionates. They offer one of the best backpacking adventures in the park and know every bit of it. You will be sure to get the most out of your discovery.
You can also download the Toubkal parc official mobile app for Apple and Android for up-to-date information about hiking trails, available certified guides, local restaurants and accommodations, the fauna and flora, and many more tips to explore this protected area in complete safety. I would still highly recommend hiring a guide to get the best of your experience and soak up some of the most beautiful views in the world. If you’d like to try it, ask for Omar at Maratrek.
The Toubkal National Park Wildlife
The park is home to many vulnerable and endangered species like the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), the Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), the Magot Monkey (Macaca Sylvanus), and the thuriferous Juniper (Juniperus thurifera), a forest species that have highly regressed in Morocco and which the survival of mountain populations depends on.
Is Mount Toubkal Safe?
Following the tragic death of the two Scandinavian women in 2018, the local authorities at Toubkal Park established many security measures to ensure climbers don’t take too many risks while climbing Mount Toubkal. These security measures include:
- To stop the ascent of Mount Toubkal after 3 p.m.
- To spend the night at an authorized place. Bivouacs are non authorized.
- To be accompanied by a qualified local guide like Omar (recommended above).
The Best Time to Visit Toubkal National Park
The Toubkal National Park is open all year round. If you want to take advantage of its forests and greenery, the best time to visit is from Mai to October. The cold season lasts from early February to late April and offers many skiing and snow-shoeing activities.
Where to Stay at Toubkal Mount?
There are many huts at the Toubkal National Park to rest and spend the night. To avoid any nasty surprises, make sure you book early at an authorized place. You can find more information about the available accommodations in the Toubkal mobile app (seen in the section above) or the Toubkal National Park official site.
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