Ighil M'Goun belongs to the unique mountain massifs higher than 4000m in altitude in Morocco. Unlike the other mountains, climbing it is easy, making it a hiking delight. This massif, with a peak that reaches 4071m, is located at the crossroads of the High Atlas and the Pre-Sahara. The mountain offers amazing landscapes, as well as a variety of sites to visit, particularly during the months of April and October.
With significant ecological significance, it is at the focus of the region’s new ecotourism initiative, besides the Irqui National Park and Ksar El Khorbat, and other sites.
A once-in-a-lifetime trip, the beauty of the landscapes and interactions with people there, will remain within the memories of explorers forever.
Cultural and ecological heritage
The landscape of the foothills of Ighil M’Goun is unexpectedly diverse, filled with beautiful greenery and rocky stones formed by Ighil M’Goun’s river. Assif M’Goun, which rises from the center of the mountains, irrigates gorgeous and fertile valleys filled with kasbahs, collective granaries, and archaeological sites.
Hikers will find limestone massifs while climbing the trails, where erosion has sculpted stunning gorges with orangish cliffs. Once at the summit, climbers can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire High-Atlas, including the Valley of Roses, the Jbel Saghro, the Dades Gorges, as well as wide desert-like regions further south.
Ighil M’Goun is a million-year-old geological and ecological site that, together with the Valley of Roses, forms the M’Goun Geopark, which is also recognized by UNESCO.
A sensational climb
Just like Jbel Ayachi, Ighil M’Goun provides a variety of levels of adventure, ranging from short hikes to multi-day treks to the summit.
This mountain is a high trekking site that offers enjoyable and accessible hikes to a large public. It takes at least four days of walking to reach the peak, covering 1180m and a vertical descent of 1470m. The most popular route is a tour that begins in the Ait Bouguemez Valley on the Atlas’s northern side. The presence of mountain guides is necessary and required.
The massif’s summit is permanently covered with snow and runs for a few kilometers under the form of a rocky hill. Its northern part includes valleys formed during the Late Pleistocene, making it a unique natural wonder. Thus, the place turns out to be the top destination for adventure seekers, who may even practice alpine skiing outside of the fields.
It is normal to come across camels at an altitude of 3000m while trekking over the Ighil M’Goun mountains! Several nomadic tribes, such the Ait Atta, proudly maintain transhumance between the desert and the High Atlas.
During the summer, these nomads seek refuge with their goats, sheep, and camels in the highs, as well as the hills, the valleys, and the foothills, to take advantage of the rich grasses and escape the desert’s intense heat. When winter hits, they return to the Draa Valley, where the weather is warmer.
Meeting the kind and friendly locals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about unique culture and an old lifestyle.