Entering The High Atlas

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Once again we ran for the hills…

With snow capped peaks at over 4,000 meters, the High Atlas range dominated the skyline for miles as we moved north. Right now the air is still crisp in these mountains. The sky is a deep sea of cobalt creating a tack sharp contrast with the reddish brown rock that zigzags across the horizon. The streams are swollen as the last traces of snow are being smelted by the quickly warming spring air. A time of year when mountains beckon.

We pieced together several routes from Google Earth, local maps and advice from people we met along the way. Here are photos and stories (part 1 of 2):

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Playing some mountain music.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas, Dirt Road Routes

Old roads crumbling.
The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The valley floor creates a green carpet far below.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas, Dirt Road Routes

A long steady climb over 2 days.
Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas, Dirt Road Routes
The last bit of pavement we’d see for a while.
The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco
One of my favorite things about high altitude is the strange shapes and textures that clouds form.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas, Dirt Road Routes

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Surly Troll, Surly ECR, Bike Touring

Stopping in the last village where we might find a Coke for a couple of days.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Women and their donkeys returning from the fields.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The deep skies and clouded sunlight continued to capture my camera’s attention.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Delicate and interesting little plants high in the crags.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

A strange building complete with Berber writing, illustrations and a sheep skin.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas, Dirt Road Routes

Goat tracks disappear into a gorge.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas, Dirt Road Routes

The next morning we begin day 2 of an eternal climb.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Goats cling to the side of a steep mountainside.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

Looking back on a long valley.

Bike Touring Morocco - Dirt Route, The High Atlas

A switchback we rounded some time ago.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

GORP, or ORAP (only raisins and peanuts), as Gin mistakenly called it.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The beautiful dirt road that we were putting behind us.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Watering hole.

The High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

These puffs of briars and brittle branches seem to keep you company as they cling to the hills.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

Gin clearing another ridge switchback.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

The descent into the next valley.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

Swatches of green are painted by springs in the valley below.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas
A Berber shepherd.

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

Bike Touring Morocco - The High Atlas

Snowy peaks show themselves in the distance.

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Stay tuned for the next set of photos from the High Atlas…

For more information on this route, including GPS and logistics, click here. Also, check out our growing list of bikepacking and dirt road touring routes.

Tags

  • John Q.

    Thank you. John Q.

  • Ciclogenesis

    Caballa del Eroski, XD. One of the meals of cycle travels you are near of spain.
    Nice photos of the Atlas roads.

  • http://www.godrotations.co Quirker

    Fantastic images, I have wanderlust!

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Thanks!

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Thanks… like sardines, right?

  • El Taraumara

    Hermosas fotos, hermosa aventura… ride on!

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Gracias!

  • samu

    would it be possible to include a map of this route or even better a gpx. track? It seems superb….

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Check out the new Routes section of the site. Here is that route, complete with map and GPS: http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/routes/bikepacking-morocco-eastern-atlas-mountains/

  • samu

    Just spotted it,thanks again. The site is a pearl,fantastic effort.

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