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A 2 Day Hike In The Anti Atlas Mountains, Morocco

A 2 Day Hike in the Anti Atlas Mountains, Morocco

One of the highlights of our vacation in Morocco was the two day Anti Atlas Mountain hike we did from Igmir to Amtoudi. It was like no other trip we’ve ever done. There were no route signs or other hikers and nor were there any facilities though the one village we walked through would probably have had some food available. It would be best to go well-prepared or better yet, hire a local guide and put some money into their economy.

We had a guide, Hassan, a local from Amtoudi who knew the area well. He leads many hikes in the general area with some trips that are up to a week long. If you are adventurous, and you spend a little time on Google Earth you could figure out the Anti Atlas hike we did quite easily but getting a map might be a problem.

The hike took us up a canyon starting in Igmir to a small village accessed via a tunnel through the mountains followed by a climb to a plateau. From there it was several hours of easy hiking across the plateau to Hassan’s property where we spent the night in a comfortable tent – but with no washing facilities to speak of.

The first day of our 45 kilometre, two day Anti Atlas hike

 The trek started off in a palm lined canyon in Igmir
The trek started off in a palm lined canyon in Igmir
Head into a tunnel through the mountains to save walking around to the village of Aoukerda
Head into a tunnel through the mountains to save walking around to the village of Aoukerda
 Looking out towards the canyon from the rock tunnel
Looking out towards the canyon from the tunnel

We took some time to wander through the village before climbing out of the canyon. Ladies covered from head to toe checked us out with curious but laughing eyes and in short order we were invited to tea.

The schools we saw in Morocco were always colourful
The schools we saw in Morocco were always colourful

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The hole in the rock lets you shorten the route to the village by cutting off the hike around the promontory
The hole in the rock lets you shorten the route to the village by cutting off the hike around the promontory
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
The local dressed in green decided to join us for a partial trek out of the canyon on our Anti Atlas hike – just because
 Hassan our guide making lunch with his wife's home baked bread as a base
Hassan our guide making lunch with his wife’s home baked bread as a base – and yes that’s a significant drop-off behind him
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
We followed this women as she descended from way up high herding goats and scrambling over precarious rocks
 Watching the two ladies descend with their goats back to the village
From our Anti Atlas hike, we watch two ladies descend with their goats back to the village
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Climbing out of the canyon through wiggly hills of brown
We spend a few hours walking on the plains
We spend a few hours walking on the plains – where a road with the occasional car in the distance can be seen. Directions to this hike could be given based on location of the occasional argan tree.
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
We end up at a property owned by Hassan and four other families – and this is where we eat
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
We sleep in a new tent on rugs (super-comfortable) on the top of a roof of one of his unfinished buildings

Day 2 of hiking 

Our second day of hiking took a solid seven hours. There wasn’t much elevation gain so it wasn’t hard hiking but we did thank our lucky stars that it wasn’t stinking hot.

We continued hiking from Hassan’s property that was studded with flowering almond trees across a desert plateau, filled with cacti for many hours until we reached the top of a canyon.

The descent was swift and the last few hours of hiking were spent in a beautiful gorge where the locals go swimming when the temperatures heat up.

We passed huge walls that looked like they belonged in a cave, a Kasbah or fortress that spoke to difficult times when attacks were a threat in the area and finished in the pretty village of Amtoudi, perched below a stunning granary.

Here’s what the second day of hiking in the Anti Atlas Mountains looked like from start to finish

We pass this fellow with his goat at the start of our second day of hiking
We pass this fellow with his goat at the start of our second day of hiking
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
We walked the open plains for hours – passing interesting hills with circular patterns
Unusual patterns on the hills; the small bushes are all cacti
Unusual patterns on the hills; the small bushes are all cacti
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
We pass a few close to deserted villages where the people still left rely on wells for water
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Our lunch stop in the shade of argan trees
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Watch where you step
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
I know it doesn’t look like much but it’s a dance floor! Nomads would meet up and pack down a spot and dance under a full moon
 Break time on our hike
Break time
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
An abrupt change from the plains to canyon country
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
An easy descent into the gorge
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Lovely to walk alongside water
Skirting pools with interesting conglomerate around
Skirting pools with interesting conglomerate around
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Heading for a weeping wall that looks like it belongs in the interior of a cave
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
We pass a precariously perched kasbah just before arriving in Amtoudi
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Another view of the kasbah just before we reach Amtoudi
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Amtoudi, our home for the night sits beneath a stunning granary and is the home of about 300 Berber families
A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco
Sunset from our hotel El Malara in Amtoudi

We organized our hike (and full two week trip) through Sun Trails Morocco. Both John and I would describe this hike as one of the highlights of our trip – despite the fact it was what I would describe as rustic and bare bones.

Further reading on Morocco

Click on the photo to bookmark to your pinterest boards.

A 2 Day Hike in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Southern Morocco

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 14 Comments
  1. This hike looks amazing! Morocco is high on my list of places to go- I’ll definitely keep this type of trip in mind.

  2. As we drove through the country I’d look at those canyons and wonder what it would be like to hike there. Looks like it was every bit as amazing as I thought!

  3. Wauw, I would love to do this hike as well. Do you have any contact information of Hassan? I curruntly live in Marocco so maybe i could call him to meet?
    And you have any idea of the km/hours you walked each day?

    Thanks!

    1. bonjour je me presente je suis Ahmed Guide de montagne origine de l’Anti-Atlas pour les gens qui sont interesse pour faire cette rando dans le canyon de Aoukerda je serai à votre disposition .
      telef : (Whatsap) +212672779936
      Mail : antiatlas.aventures@gmail.com

  4. Hi, I would like to thank you for this beautifull trip and photos…
    I was born and rised in aoukerda, beautiful place. i ‘m living in france, i really miss my little village.
    Once again many thanks

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