Best time to trek Mount Toubkal

I was looking forward to the challenge of climbing Toubkal in winter, but my hydration backpack tube froze! So pack a thermal tube, along with thermal everything else.
For people new to trekking at high elevations, the best time to climb Mount Toubkal is in the spring months of Apr-May, or the autumn months of Sep-Oct. This way you avoid extremes of hot or cold. Some trekkers relish the challenge of winter climbs, which take place between Oct-Apr using crampons, ice picks and a lot of determination. Treks do take place in summer, too. Of course, the mountains are cooler than the desert plains, but you will still need to be prepared for searing heat on ‘dem hills.

Mount Toubkal Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
3
17
5
FEB
-2
19
6
MAR
2
21
12
APR
3
23
6
MAY
7
26
6
JUN
12
26
20
JUL
18
27
0
AUG
18
26
1
SEP
15
25
3
OCT
4
18
2
NOV
-1
12
9
DEC
-4
13
5

The best time to climb Mount Toubkal

For many people, the best time to climb Mount Toubkal is September and October. The busy tourist scene is over, the temperatures average in the 20°Cs and there is little or snow. Or perhaps just enough to make it fun. In June, July and August you will be hit by the heat when arriving in Marrakech, which can be in the high 40°Cs. So, although it will be a good 10°C cooler in the mountains, be prepared for the urban heat. Hiking sunhats are a must as there is little shade. If you are trekking during Ramadan, please respect the cultural rules around feasting and fasting and remember that your porters and guides will be doing so. For the next few years Ramadan falls May and June, and then April and May. While trekking in the High Atlas, wildflowers do finally emerge from the landscape that has been frozen through winter. It’s hard to predict the spring here though, with poppies known to appear as early as February and blankets of pink and purple scabiousa springing up around April or May. Yes you can climb Toubkal at Christmas, with some group departures in late December, or January if you want to start the New Year with an exciting challenge. The north facing slopes of Toubkal will be worse when it comes to snow and ice. Even though the south face may be clear by the end of March, the north could still have coverage into May. Snow starts to cover the slopes again in October or November.

Our top Mount Toubkal Vacation

Mount Toubkal climb in Morocco

Mount Toubkal climb in Morocco

Pass through remote villages and terraced fields

From US $695 to US $855 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 21 Apr, 5 May, 26 May, 2 Jun, 9 Jun, 16 Jun, 7 Jul, 21 Jul, 11 Aug, 25 Aug, 1 Sep, 8 Sep, 15 Sep, 22 Sep
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Mount Toubkal or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Things to do on your Mount Toubkal vacation

Things to do around Mount Toubkal...

Berber people are indigenous to the Atlas Mountains and you will experience their fascinating culture from bottom to top of Toubkal. And all the way back down again. Treks start in the Berber village of Imlil with family run ‘gites’ and porters. Your Berber support team will prepare traditional tagines and tea, and engage in Berber banter whether you speak their language or not; their bubbly and buoyant personalities carrying you all the way up to the peak. Traditional, subsistence farming is the norm here, with smallholdings bearing fruits and nuts, and sheep and goat herders who practice traditional transhumance in the mountains. There is more to Toubkal than the summit of course, with the High Atlas proffering many other trekking trails. Take a longer trekking vacation in the Atlas to discover natural heritage beauties such as the juniper forest of the Azzaden Valley, Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass at 2,500m, the slippery scree slopes of Kissaria Gorge and other peaks such as Yagour on its eponymous plateau between 2,300 and 2,700m. Or the two-for-one peaks of Mount Ouanoukrim which some trips include with Toubkal summits. Toubkal is far out trekking, with wild camping and mountain refuge as sleep spots. Basic food, basic beds, but the most beautiful landscapes and camaraderie. You can get a hotel and hammam in Marrakech when you come back down. Most trips include a trip to the city that bombards all the senses.

Things not to do around Mount Toubkal...

Rush to the top. Attitude sickness can be a feature of climbing Toubkal with nausea often kicking in around 2,800m, the peak being at 4,167m. Go on a longer trek that allows you to acclimatise slowly, and always tell your guide if you are feeling sick or dizzy. Don’t be shy about it, it can hit anyone. It is very important to stay hydrated, too.
Buy plastic. Plastic bottle waste is an issue on Mount Toubkal, so please bring a filtering water bottle with you so that you can use stream water when necessary. Or purification tablets such as Biox Aqua drops. If staying in a mountain gite, use their water wisely too, as it is a rare commodity in the mountains. And take all litter with you after camping or rest stops.
Disrespect the Berber culture as these mountains are their home and they have been stewards for generations. Always ask before taking a photograph, if eating with your hands remember to only use your right hand, and learn some of their language. Read more in our Atlas Mountains Responsible Travel guide.
Trek with a donkey that is wearing a traditional Berber iron bit, as they cause the animals a lot of pain. Also, your mule should never carry more than 75kg on short treks and, for longer ones, you can half that amount. A responsible tourism operator should ensure ethical use of donkeys for trekking on Toubkal.

Mount toubkal travel advice

Cultural tips

Cultural tips

Simon Clifford from our leading supplier of Mount Toubkal trips, Exodus, shares his top tips for trekking vacations here:
“Make sure you visit a traditional, mountain hammam if you can. There are lots of tourist friendly ones in the city, but they’re more like western spas. If you’re not lying on the floor, you’re not in a traditional hammam!”
“Tagines are the most common Atlas Mountains meal, but is also the best. They usually contain chicken or lamb, with couscous and vegetables all slowly cooked together – lovely!”
Is this trip for you?

Is this trip for you?

"Climbing Mount Toubkal is quite challenging and we wouldn’t recommend it to first time climbers, or people not used to walking. Go for a gentler Atlas walking vacation instead.” (See our Morocco Walking vacations for more details.)
The best time to go to Toubkal

The best time to go to Toubkal

“I think the best time to visit the Atlas is April, May and September, when it’s warm but not too hot, and the highest peaks will have a little snow, adding to the beauty of the views on offer."
Packing advice

Packing advice

“Try and get small denominations of dirhams, as locals struggle to change large notes. Wet Wipes and hand gel are really useful, it’s hot dusty and you do get dirty.”

TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.
We have selected some of the most useful Mount Toubkal travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation – and the space inside your daypack.
Learn some minimal Berber/Arabic in order to reciprocate the generous and courteous welcome offered by local people.
- Nicola Webb
“For the Mount Toubkal climb, I would say GET FIT. Do lots of climbing practice – both ascents and descents and practice with a day pack on your back. Also bring a camera that can take good photos – the scenery is stunning.” – Pam Harris

“Take walking poles; take the fact you will be in a Muslim country seriously and no vests/skimpy tee-shirts and shorts for women; bring a book to read; try and get as much loose change (coins) in dirhams as you can as in remote places they find it hard to change large notes.” – Amanda Dudman

“Be prepared for a VERY long summit day – After reaching the summit and getting back to the Toubkal refuge you still have another 3-4 hour walk back down the mountain... All in all you are walking for around nine and a half hours... Not a problem for us but we were rather knackered that evening!” – Ross McLagan
For the Mount Toubkal climb, I would say GET FIT. Do lots of climbing practice – both ascents and descents and practice with a day pack on your back.
- Pam Harris
“Make sure you're in the best possible shape. Some days can be way tougher than one might imagine. And follow the example of the locals: always smile!!... All scenery was superb, summit days being special and rewarding. But the memorable part will be the excellence of our guide Mohammed and his team, and the contact with the Berber way of life.” – Otto Pereira

“Morocco still has a terrible problem with litter and it was sad to see all the rubbish – plastic bottles, papers, discarded items lying all over the countryside and all around the little villages. We could try our hardest to use local water with purification tablets, but it is still much easier and it is encouraged by the locals to buy bottled water. I always gave my empty bottles back to a shop or our guide to ensure they were disposed in a more environmental manner (at least I hope so).” – Pam Harris

“Learn some minimal Berber/Arabic in order to reciprocate the generous and courteous welcome offered by local people. Also be prepared (whatever your walking pace) to compromise and to work as a group member – helping each other out and finding ways round any challenging moments.” – Nicola Webb
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Julia Maudlin] [Temperature chart intro: Jason Rogers] [Things to do : Sergi Coll] [Cultural tips: Andy Wright] [Cultural tips 2: Rob Taylor] [Is this trip for you?: Mickael T] [The best time to go to Toubkal: Mickael T] [Packing advice: Cytech] [Tips intro: fredsharples] [Quote 1: David Rosen] [Quote 2: Julia Maudlin]
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