High Atlas

The High Atlas (Grand Atlas) is the largest part of the Atlas mountain system; the highest mountains in North Africa.

Berber tribes live in a hard-to-reach and little-known region here. They keep the traditional culture and worldview. Their way of life has been formed over the centuries, as well as the economy of the region.

The High Atlas lies from the plains near the Atlantic to the Algerian-Moroccan border. The total length of the mountain wall is about 800 km, and in some places, it reaches 100 km. The height of the mountain peaks reaches 3000-4000 m. There are steep gorges and uninhabited rocky plains between them.

The gorges and slopes of the High Atlas were a refuge for fugitives, lonely persons, and for entire nations. The resettlement of nomads has lasted for many centuries. They tried to save themselves from the empty lands of the Sahara. Nomads moved to the north, where they fought with the sedentary communities of the highlanders for rare areas suitable for cultivation.

The inhabitants of the mountains built fortified houses during the days of feudal troubles, so many of them have survived. Today, local Berbers live in tigrems – buildings with thick impregnable walls. There are small fields and vegetable gardens among the little houses on the mountain slopes. Local people cultivate every piece of land which is suitable for agriculture. They also water the plants with the river water. Cereals (barley and wheat), corn, alfalfa, turnips, and potatoes are grown here. Local people also grow sheep and goats. When you travel with Tripety, you will be highly impressed with the culture of the local people and will see how friendly they are. 

In winter, there are heavy snowfalls in the mountains. Sometimes, because of such weather conditions, the Berber communities of the High Atlas are cut off from the outside world. However, for Berbers, this is a familiar situation because it is usually winter weather for many centuries. It is better to avoid traveling there for Tripey travelers in winter. 

The highest peak of the High Atlas is located in the western part of the massif – this is the Jebel Toubkal Mountain (4167 m), the highest mountain in North Africa. There are several small villages with small houses and vegetable gardens on the slopes of Jebel Toubkal. Tripety travel app will help you to find the best location with the most lovely view from the highest peak.

There is the Jebel Mgun Mountain (4068 m) in the middle of the ridge, which is surrounded by the Tessaut, Ait-Bugemez, and Ait-Bu Ulli valleys. Tripety travel app will help you to get from valley to valley only by narrow mountain paths. There are wadi rivers along the bottom of the valleys, and villages with fortified houses are near these rivers. Behind them, you may see cultivated fields and vegetable gardens.

In the eastern part of the High Atlas, there is the Jebel Ayashi Mountain (3737 m). There are flocks of sheep graze from late spring to early autumn. Plan your trip with the travel weather planner to see the most beautiful nature in your preferred places.

  • High Atlas stretches around 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles) through Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
  • The Atlas Mountains are not a continuous chain of mountains but a series of ranges separated by wide areas of land, which are called plateaus.
  • Toubkal, located in Morocco, is the highest peak in the range, and in North Africa.
  • High Atlas extends for some 560 kilometers (350 miles) through the center of Morocco and has an average elevation of around 3,050 meters (10,000 feet).
  • Over 80 million years ago, the first phase of Atlas Mountain formation began. 
  • There are deposits of iron ore, lead ore, copper, silver, mercury, rock salt, phosphate, marble, anthracite coal and natural gas among other resources.
  • The mountains were home to the Atlas Bear which is now extinct.

The highest peak of the High Atlas is located in the first part – this is Mount Jebel Toubkal (4167 m), the highest mount in North Africa. On the slopes of Jebel Toubkal there are several small villages with adobe houses and small vegetable gardens.

In the middle of the ridge, surrounded by the Tessaut, Ait-Bugemez and Ait-Bu Ulli valleys there is Jebel Mgun Mountain (4068 m). You can get from valley to valley only along narrow mountain paths, where mules walk, and through mountain passes. Wadi rivers flow along the bottom of the valleys, and villages with fortified houses crowd around the water. Cultivated fields and vegetable gardens are visible behind them.

In the eastern part of the High Atlas, there is Mount Jebel Ayashi (3737 m), mountain plateaus stretch to the horizon, where flocks of sheep graze from late spring to early autumn.

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