Imlil Travel Guide

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Imlil is the ideal base for trekking, hiking or camping in the Atlas mountains. If you are coming from Marrakesh your first stop will be Asni. Asni is the end of the line for bus and taxis coming from Marrakesh. From here, you can take a pick-up or taxi. The 17 km trip from Asni to Imlil is startling in its natural beauty. As the road begins to climb, the beauty of the valley, river and small villages look more like paintings than reality. The air in Imlil is crisp and clear as the town stands at an altitude of 1740 meters. Although the town has no particular sights it has a relaxed and refreshing atmosphere. Paths and streams are plentiful in the area, if you need to stretch your legs after the trip. There are a number of auberges / hostels ex Dar Adrar which is run by one of the best known mountain guide ; Mohamed Aztat

For mountain guides, check out the "Mountain guides office" bureau.guides@yahoo.fr tel: 00 212 24 485626. They are based in a corner of the main car park, opposite Cafe Soleil, where there is a noticeboard.

The big hike is from here to the top of Toubkal. After the snow has melted, it is a walk rather than a climb, a serious effort, but quite straightforward. Aroumd is the next largest community in the valley and a spectacular village with one of the most fertile stretches of the Atlas.

From there you can walk to Sidi Chamarouch (8 km) which is stands near a small waterfall. Moroccan pilgrims come here to visit a marabout shrine (strictly forbidden for non-Muslims). The shrine probably originated from an ancient nature cult. There are a couple grocery shops and rooms here, if you need a refresher.

The Toubkal refuge, marking the spring snow line at 3200 meters, is your next stop. You can sleep at the refuge for 30 DH. They also prepare dinner for 25 DH. The hut can be quite full in summer. This is where the trail begins so you may want to talk to trekkers coming down about the conditions of the trail. The climb up the mountain should take about 3 hours from here doing the Southern circuit. The Northern circuit is a more ambitious ascent (4 h30 m) and a bad way to descend. The WSW Ridge (Ounoums) circuit is recommended only for experienced rock climbers.

In winter the peak deserves respect and full winter alpine gear. The weather is ussually fine, but storms do blow in quickly in the winter season, so be prepared. It has been known for lightly equipped parties to be caught out by bad weather as late as June, and there often patches of snow around into July.

Contributors

October 14, 2007 change by jamaltrek (1 point)

January 13, 2008 change by matthc

May 14, 2009 change by med

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