Hiking in the Ourika Valley
In February of 2017, some friends and I drove from Casablanca to Marrakesh, and from there up into the High Atlas Mountains. Instead of heading to the Imlil valley, the jumping-off point for Mount Toubkal hikers, we followed a winding road up the Ourika valley. We parked along the river that rushes between the snow-capped peaks. The valley is a popular escape from the heat of Marrakesh for tourists during the summer, but the riverside restaurants were not overly crowded in February. Instead of sitting down for a tajine, we crossed a rickety bridge straight out of an Indiana Jones film and hiked a steep trail up to a small Berber village where we spent the night.
The following morning, we ate breakfast on the roof, with views of the green terraced pastures and snow-capped mountains in all directions. We took a tour of the village, where locals and the Moroccan government had recently cooperated on innovative projects to bring clean indoor running water to village homes for the first time. Reluctantly, we descended via a different trail and completed a loop back to the cars parked down in the valley.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip: