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Is hiking Bouiblane mountains listed in your bucket list? This guide will be your passport to have an unforgettable trip to this white gem hidden in the Middle Atlas of Morocco.
Most trekkers who visit Morocco, usually go on route for the ascent of Toubkal, the highest peak of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco and North Africa.
What most of these adventurers do not know, is the fact that in Morocco there are a lot of mountains that are more beautiful and rough than Toubkal. Bouyeblan or Bouiblane is one of these mountains.
Hiking Bouiblane mountain
Moroccan middle Atlas
Mountains in Morocco are the great chain of the Atlas and the Rif mountains. The Atlas is divided into three chains: High Atlas, Middle Atlas, and the Anti-Atlas.
Bouiblane mountain belongs to the Middle Atlas mountains which is 250km long, more watered but much lower than the High Atlas, It is also known for its forests and scrublands.
The Middle Atlas is composed of two massifs with different forms and altitude:
Western part:To the west, from Khenifra to Ifrane, it is composed of flat lands of medium-altitude with many valleys and forests of oaks and cedars. Its slightly wavy heights shelters many small lakes.
If you are a lover of mountain walking, rest cures, fishing, and hunting, hiking this part of the Middle Atlas will be an unforgettable experience for you.
Eastern region:If you are a hiker who likes to rough it up a little, then you have to check the eastern part of the Middle Atlas, Bouyeblan’s massif.
The highest point of this region is Jbel Bou Naceur (3346m) followed by Jbel Moussa ou Saleh culminating an altitude of 3192m.
Given its elevation, the Middle Atlas benefits from an early and abundant snow cover. This makes it a great destination to practice ski hiking from December to May.
Hiking Bouiblane mountains
Bouiblane or Bouyeblan is the common name of this massif, the name of its highest peak is “Moussa ou Saleh”. There is a legend behind this name I will share it in a separate article.
“Bou Iblan” is a berber dialect word meaning “The white”. The massif took this name from the snow covering its summit throughout the year.
To the summit
We had a good breakfast at BHP property, then we drove our Mercedes 207 through a rough mountainous road for about one hour and a half. We finally arrived at the old rural commune of Bouiblane where we have left the vehicle, packed our picnic lunch, distributed crampons and started the climb through Tisrouine pass.
In the beginning, a shy sun was shining but it was so cold. As we were moving up, the wind becomes stronger and everything around turned into a vast white scenery.
Walking, walking, and walking
We carried on our progressive climb through the abrupt hills for more than 5 hours. The ceremonial walk will lead us later to a very vast semi-flat plateau where we have encountered strong icy winds.
In the middle of this plateau, the temperature was around -20C, the water we were carrying became frozen and it was unlikely to breathe without a neck gaiter.
The plateau was overlooking the vistas of Bouiblane mountains, the summit is lastly visible, and we can see the highest peak of the Middle Atlas Bou Naceur in a picturesque view.
The location was stunning that I had a real feeling of remoteness and pure isolation
We got finally to the top, the weather was incredibly volatile, a shy sun shines for a moment then the winds became stronger and we find ourselves inside of snowy clouds. We have taken some photos and we got back up so proud of our strong determination, patience, and endurance in such unstable weather.
Getting down from Bouiblane peak
Because of the steep slopes and the road that was full of gravel, rocks, and ice at times, getting down from Bouiblane mountain summit was much more challenging than landing. Nevertheless, we had a crazy motivation, we were so excited by the delicious Moroccan Rfissa and the firewood waiting for us in BHP home where we were hosted
The incredible views
While hiking Bouiblane mountain, we were not walking through valleys between the surrounding peaks. Rather we were hiking the slopes of these mountains themselves. Even it was a hard hike since it was windy and snowing most of the time, we were able to see breathtaking views.
From the summit, you can see the highest peak of the Middle Atlas Jbel Bou Naceur as you get also a panoramic view of Tazeka national park.
While landing from the summit we got the chance to watch a spectacular sunset (I’m a big lover of sunset )
Few adventurers frequent these regions. You will be exploring new found lands when hiking there. This explains why along Bouyeblan’s trail, there are no mountain auberges or shelters.
Any closer accomodation to Bouiblane mountain?
The closest accommodation is refuge Taffert, a spectacular site built in the 1936s, nested in the heart of Taffert’s Park. This site is a property of a Moroccan Ministry but it can be opened sometimes for tourists. Since it is severely degraded, it will be more comfortable to camp in front of it or to use it as a parking spot to explore the surrounding landscapes or to hike Bouiblane mountains.
What about another kind of accomodation?
If you are a solidarity traveler who likes to immerse in the culture and meet locals, I heartily recommend you to stay at Bouyeblan Hikers Paradise home. A young wonderful couple who are doing huge efforts to promote tourism in this region banned from Moroccan’s political map.
BHP is located in a very small Berber village called Aghbal where only six families are still resisting the ferocity of nature to keep this region alive.
At BHP, you will have the chance to taste the best meals in this region in a warm and friendly ambiance.
How to get to BHP?
We have left our vehicle in Ahermoumou, also called Ribat Al Khayer. Then in a Mercedes 207, we drove to Douar Aghbal through the slopes of the mountains where this beautiful village is nestled.
It has taken us around two hours to drive there on steady degrading roads. The last 10km was a mountainous forest track which is not passable in a standard vehicle.
What to know before hiking Bouiblane mountain?
Bouyeblan’s trail is a long hike, prepare yourself physically before your trip.
Even it is a 3192m high, Bouiblane mountain is a very difficult one due to its steep slopes. My friend Mohamed who is a high atlas experienced guide confirmed that Bouyeblan is much more difficult and beautiful than Toubkal and other Moroccan mountains.
The trail is not that visible, especially when it is snowing. Having a local guide with you is an obligation. It’s also a good idea to have a map and to know how to read it.
Weather conditions can shift in a second and increase the difficulty of the trail, make sure to be equipped with the right gear and clothing:
- Good hiking shoes suitable for walking for many kilometers a day over abrupt, rocky terrain.
- If there is deep snow, consider having gaiters which will help to keep snow out of your shoes.
- Waterproof jacket, pants, and gloves
- Since in Bouiblane mountain peak, it is always so cold, a neck gaiter will be good to protect your nose and cheeks.
- Crampons are also a must for this hike.
There are no mountain huts along Bouyeblan’s trail and all accommodations are far from the foot of this mountain. Consider hiring muleteers to take care of camping and cooking supplies.
When to come to Bouiblane
The best period to hike Bouiblane mountain is from November to May. This is also the most snowy period. Check carefully the weather before planning your trip as roads get closed when it is snowing deeply.
Planning this journey
We were a group of adventurers united by mountains’ love. The trip was organized by Ammouddou, a Moroccan travel agency specialized in hiking and solidarity tourism.
I do recommend traveling with this amazing group due to their vast experience in this field. They helped many Moroccans and foreigners discover remote and isolated beautiful places which were undiscovered areas as they have deep knowledge of various regions of Morocco.
Why this group?
Usually, when I go for a hike with this amazing group, we stay with local villagers in their homes. This lets us create a healthier relationship with them and discover the reality of the region through their eyes.
This is the way of travel I like, a mix of adventure, learning and connexion with yourself through nature
So will you hike Bouiblane mountain?
I’m glad you reached this line, I wish you have enjoyed this article. If you are interested about other destinations, check out my last travel and hikes articles.
Let me know in the comment section how you find the trip and if you need any extra information.