Route of Caravans: Morocco Traverse (South)

  • Distance

    700 Mi.

    (1,127 KM)
  • Days

    16

  • % Unpaved

    74%

  • % Singletrack

    3%

  • Difficulty (1-10)

    8

  • % Rideable (time)

    98%

  • Total Ascent

    41,000'

    (12,497 M)
  • High Point

    9,400'

    (2,865 M)
Introducing the first half of the forthcoming “Morocco Traverse” bikepacking route. The 700 mile Route of Caravans is a tour through the wondrous southern half of Morocco, from its coastal plain to the High Atlas. Beginning within Tiznit’s old medina, the route follows mostly dirt roads and piste as it climbs into the mesmerizing Anti-Atlas. It then dips into the Sahara and follows caravan passages through oases and arid hills before ascending the mighty Atlas.
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To preface, this ‘new’ route formerly existed as three disconnected segments — some of the first routes created on this website — which have been joined and reworked to make up the larger Morocco Traverse. The Route of Caravans is a monumental bikepacking route that explores three distinct regions in southern Morocco, the first of which is the incredibly vivid Anti-Atlas Mountain range. It is one of the least visited areas in Morocco and a region of stark contrasts. High aromatic wildflower meadows at its red-granite peaks collide with the harsh expanse of the Sahara Desert to the south. From the heights of these mountains, ancient caravan routes — trading thoroughfares first established in the 3rd Century — funnel through mineral rich red cliff gorges with palm-filled oases and mud brick villages at their floors. It is a spectacular place.

From the Anti-Atlas escarpment, the route drops to the edge of the Sahara. This section guarantees riders will find sand and camels with a slight chance of dust storms and flat tires. Despite its hazards, it’s also quite enchanting, with an austere emptiness like nowhere else on Earth. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to experience geologic marvels, palmeraies, authentic and remote oases villages, Berber culture, and incredible sand dunes. However, be warned, due to the heat and lack of water, this also makes for some challenging riding.

  • Route of Caravans, Morocco Traverse South
  • Route of Caravans, Morocco Traverse South

Once through the Sahara, the Route of Caravans takes riders on a slow climb north through the Draa Valley, a magical river valley lined with palm oases and ancient mud-brick kasbahs. It then begins it’s ascent back over the eastern Anti-Atlas Mountains, where the High Atlas range suddenly dominates the skyline with its 4,000+ meter snow capped peaks.

The ROC is designed to be ridden from south to north, in the spring, when 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 in the High Atlas are melted by the quickly warming air. The perfect time of year… when mountains beckon.

Ultimately the Morocco Traverse will continue north to Tangier with a second segment of similar length. But, the Route of Caravans segment ends in the small town of Imilchil, deep within the High Atlas Mountains. This actually makes a pretty good stop as there is a fairly easy exit point there. There are several ways this route can be done on it’s own or even in parts. See options in the Trail Notes below as well as a more detailed itinerary through each of the main segments.

  • Route of Caravans, Morocco Traverse South
  • Route of Caravans, Morocco Traverse South
  • Route of Caravans, Morocco Traverse South
Route Development: This route is a little different than many we post. After riding 85% of it during our trip (cut in pieces due to two major mechanicals and this misadventure), we envisioned the ultimate Moroccan bikepacking route. As such, there are two sections that haven’t been scouted: from Tiznit to Thmani, and from Tata to Tissent. In addition, we are currently planning a northern tier from Imilchil to Tangier (via Fes) that will connect with another one of our favorite routes, the Altravesur. And, finally, we are also looking into options for a different approach into the High Atlas; while the Dades Gorge is beautiful, and popular with cyclists, a little more dirt could make it even better. If you’d like to get involved by scouting any of these sections, get in touch. We already have a route drafted north of Imilchil, so if you are planning a trip and would like to help, please reach out.

Route Difficulty: This route crosses a diverse collection of terrain, so there are varying degrees of difficulty at different stages. While there are a few spots with steep and rocky climbs, the overall route is more or less non-technical in nature. However, be advised that there are sandy stretches and very rugged tracks peppered throughout. The biggest challenge on route is having enough drinking water, especially during the section from Foum Zguid to Mhamid. This is the Sahara Desert and should not be underestimated. Sand storms occur frequently and extreme dehydration is an ever present possibility. Be well prepared and check with locals before setting out. Also, make sure to read the Trail Notes below.

  • Highlights

    camera

  • Must Know

    alert

  • Camping

    home

  • Food/H2O

    drop

  • Trail Notes

    signpost

  • The mesmerizing folds and peaks of the Anti-Atlas as they descend through oases into the Sahara.
  • The crunching of piste in the empty silence of the Sahara.
  • Foum Zguid and other interesting desert towns.
  • Erg Chigaga and its amazing sand dunes.
  • Camping amongst oasis, palmeraies, and ruins.
  • Cycling through small villages and being greeted by countless locals.
  • Invitation to Friday meals from friendly families across Morocco.
  • Amazing mud brick kasbahs along the route, such as Zagora.
  • Passing camels and nomads along the way.
  • Beautiful dirt and piste roads that traverse the ever scenic High Atlas, with views of snow-capped peaks and endless wild flowers.
  • Finding fossilized seashells at 8,000′ above sea level.
  • Getting to the route start: There are regular bus lines that run the eastern corridor of Morocco. The 10 hour bus ride from Casablanca to Tiznit will cost you about 240 Dirham (65USD) via CTM, the largest bus line in Morocco (at the time of this writing). Busses will carry bikes on the roof or in the cargo hold. CTM charges 10dh per bike and up. Ours were still in boxes so they were stored underneath. Before booking, check with CTM to make sure that your bikes will be accomodated.
  • Route changes: We started our route in Agadir, but our course was slightly botched. We mapped this version from Tiznit based on a goal to evolve this route. We used simple dirt, gravel, and B roads for the first workaround, so it should be fairly straightforward. However, we are also open to suggestions. There are two other changed connectors, so make sure to read the Route Development section above and see the green arrow icons on the map.
  • When to ride: The best time to ride this route is in the early spring (Late-February/March/April) or in the fall. Southern Morocco gets very hot, but there is also snow-cover in the Atlas. So it was designed to be timed with the cooler late winter/early spring in the south and allow time for snow to melt in the mountains. We started at the beginning of April, which seemed almost perfect for spring in the very high mountains. Starting in March would be ideal.
  • Direction to ride: As mentioned, the route was designed to be ridden from south to north and ultimately connect with the Altravesur in Spain to form a larger meta-route. The ROC could be ridden in from north to south as well. This would likely require an autumn start in the Atlas, however, this would make it slightly difficult to get to the start.
  • Mechanicals: There aren’t many modern bike shops in Morocco outside the bigger cities. So be prepared. There are a lot of thorns and spines in the desert; we had 8 flats in 24 hours (some were due to faulty tubes); make sure you run tubeless and bring plenty of spares and patches.
  • Hassles: The children in villages can be aggressive on occasion. They are notorious for grabbing the bike as you are moving, chasing you down, and occasionally throwing rocks. In my opinion, irresponsible tourists are at least partially responsible for this type of behavior. Handing out gifts to children promotes begging, discourages education, and ultimately hinders tourism and the local economy.
  • Tire size: It is highly advisable to use plus-size tires on this route. You could get away with standard 2.1″ mountain bike tires, but you will likely be pushing in sand on several occasions. There are a lot of rough and chunky dirt roads as well as sand along the ROC. No, this route is not doable on a cross bike.
  • Don’t forget: A Buff. It can get very dusty in the desert. Also, make  sure to have plenty of water storage capacity. We carried over 8 liters each through the Saharan section.
  • There are guesthouses and auberges in Tiznit, Tafroute, Monsour, Zaouia Timguidcht, Tata, Foum Zguid, the flats of Iriki, Mhamid, in both Zagora and Agdz, Imilchil, as well as other small towns along the way.
  • Expect to pay anywhere from $15-60, and up, depending on the location and your level of comfort.
  • In the desert we were told it is OK to camp anywhere.
  • There is an oasis near Tata with free camping; it’s marked on the map.
  • There are also plenty of wild camping options. If you camp in an oasis, ask someone if it’s OK (if you happen to see anyone).
  • There are plenty of lodging options around the Dades Gorge that are fairly inexpensive.
  • In the Atlas, wild camping is available in the more remote sections, but it’s often tricky as much of the land is very arid and desolate.
  • Wild camping is harder to come by near civilization as much of the land is farmed. We found a couple of places by asking local farmers. Most of the time they have no problem with it. Just make sure to stay out of the site of pesky children… they can be fairly exhausting in Morocco.
  • The Moroccan people are incredibly hospitable. You will most likely be invited to a family meal at some point during your travels. Graciously accept the offers, as these experiences are likely to be the most rewarding of your entire trip.
  • The three places where food and water are scarce are from Tiouadou and Imitek (40ish rugged miles), the desert section between Foum Zguid and Mhamid, and the massive climb from the Draa valley at Afra to the Oued Dades.
  • We carried about 7-8 liters each in the Sahara. I would advise more if possible; consult the map and analyze the terrain based on your personal water needs.
  • There is a small village in the hills below the escarpment around Lake Iriki that has water, but you will need to carry all of your food and water on that stretch.
  • There are food options and shops in the larger cities and small shops in many areas between. Lentils and rice can be found in even the smallest of shops. Guests and non-guests alike can purchase inexpensive and hearty meals at auberges.
  • Along the Oued Draa, water is ever present in the river, and there are plenty of wells all along the way too.
  • There is very little food available from the end of Dades gorge until Imilchil. There are a couple of small villages with shops, and even a campground along the way, but in our experience they tend to be closed when you need them most.
  • Alcool a Bruleer (for alcohol stoves) is best found in open markets, look for the guy selling gasoline. It can also be found at hardware stores. Best to bring your stove with you to show them what it’s for.

While the Route of Caravans can be ridden in either direction — and may even be a little more fun from north to south, where it would be trending downhill — it was designed to be ridden in the spring, from south to north, allowing the snow to melt in the High Atlas Mountains.

The Anti-Atlas (from Tiznit to the Sahara)

The Route of Caravans starts at La Source Bleu, an historic fountain in the old medina of Tiznit, a town of about 75,000 that’s known for its historic charm and Berber jewelry. From there, the route leaves the city and quickly finds its way into the country via tertiary roads and dirt tracks. As with many bikepacking trips, the first day will likely be one of the most difficult. Those words ring especially true on the Route of Caravans, as it quickly ascends from the coastal plain into the Anti-Atlas Mountains. As mentioned in the Route Development section above, the beginning of the route is largely unscouted. We took a very similar set of tracks from Agadir and met up with the route near mile 50. We’ve rerouted this section, because the geography looks a little more interesting and the new route is contains more unpaved roads. On day one, if you are very strong, you can get to the first marked campsite (wild camping). However, this would be a very big day of climbing. If you aren’t quite up to it, there are additional wild camping options several miles after a resupply in Anzi.

Note that once the route turns to dirt after Anzi, there is a particularly steep ascent and descent that goes over a lovely pass. However, if you are on a heavily laden bike and not interested in the scenery, you may choose to take the road around. See map for details.

After dropping down from the higher Anti-Atlas, the route meanders into the bustling town of Tafroute, the center of the southern Anti-Atlas. You may stay in town or find a camping spot just outside of town, where it joins a dirt road. This leads to the Painted Rocks, an art installation on the edge of town comprised of giant boulders covered in light blue paint. I didn’t think much of it until I saw the rocks… it’s definitely worth a look.

The next 15 miles dish out a hearty 3,000′ climb that eventually gives way to a long freewheel down the escarpment. There are two options you can take here. The ROC follows a lesser road that gives way to dirt and gravel, leading through Taghaout and continuing to Tizerkine. We later learned about this passage from other cyclists and opted to add it to this route. However, during our trip, we unknowingly took the alternate paved road through Vallee d’Ait Mansour, a beautiful oasis surrounded by dramatic red cliffs. However, this way is paved, more touristed, and requires a little jog north to rejoin the route and a final resupply, so we recommend staying onroute. From there, the road ebbs and flows before dropping the final escarpment to the edge of the Sahara.

The Sahara (Escarpment to Tagounite)

It then turns east on a 45km remote piste road that weaves through an amazing desert full of sculptural rock outcroppings. The dirt ends at an intersection with a tarmac road around mile 145 (km 235). So begins a 30+ mile stretch of pavement just before Imitek. Expect a couple towns and oasis scattered in between. There is likely a dirt option cutting some of this out by utilizing the track marked at mile 141 (km 227). However, we were completely out of water when we reached the road and it’s hard to discern whether this track connects via Google Earth. There are regular busses from Tata to Foum Zguid if needed. We also included an unscouted section as mentioned in the Route Development section. This begins at mile 192 (km 309).

The 90 mile section from Foum Zguid to Mhamid is real-deal desert riding. It starts as an unbelievably rough track full of embedded stones that shake you to your core. Luckily the terrain changes continuously. There are a few places where you can actually stumble onto nice singletrack carved out by camels and the occasional motorcycle. The smooth and serpentine gashes through the Martian-like surface are nice reprieves from the rocky doubletrack.

Eventually the road turns to sand, and it’s easier to stay on the northerly track that turns in to the flats of Lake Iriki. There, the track continues across the ancient salt lake and is marked only by the occasional cairn.

About 20 miles prior to the road split to Mhamid, the track skirts the edge of the main attraction, Erg Chigaga. Unfortunately we missed it, due to a massive dust storm that clouded visibility. Otherwise, it’s advisable to plan a night on the dunes.

The Draa Valley (Tagounite to Agdz)

The Oued Draa (river) flows from the High Atlas and erupts in a series of lush oases as it inches toward the desert, particularly between Zagora and Agdz. This segment follows a long dirt track that flows up river through the Draa Valley and meanders through a continuous wave of green palmeraies and oasis towns. It’s also known as the Kasbah Trail, named for the many bud-brick cities en route. This same route has been trodden for centuries by caravans from the Sahara.

This dirt road parallels a main road that is sometimes far out of site and, at other times, visible. This is an excellent way to reach more untapped villages, people, and landscapes in an otherwise touristed area.

Make sure to allow time to visit a few of the Kasbahs along the way, such as Zagora.

The Atlas Mountains (The Draa to Imilchil)

With snow capped peaks at over 4,000 meters, the High Atlas Range dominates the skyline for miles to its south. The ROC takes a fairly safe approach into the mountains. This segment was planned via local maps and advice from people we met along the way to create a route through the Dades gorge and over the eastern portion of the Atlas.

This quickly developing area still has a scattered reserve of sublimely beautiful riding options, but, as warned by a mountain bike guide we met, “There are plenty of dirt roads here, but you can’t go by the maps. They might show them as piste [in the legend], but they are paving as we speak. You might find a great dirt route, then come back the next year only to discover that it’s been tarred.” This section has a share of tarmac, especially on the initial ascent, but it’s good in that there is little to no traffic, and the section of dirt in the middle is dreamy. That said, we are open to finding options on the initial ascent, should something prove worthy to the route as a whole.

Route Options

If you are taking on the Route of Caravans on its own, Beni Mellal is a good place for an exit. There are plenty of interesting ways to get there, but the most obvious choice is about 1-2 days ride from Imilchil — 8 miles and 8,000′ of climbing (129km/2400mt). From Beni Mellal, you can get busses to Marrakesh, Fes, or Rabat.

Interested in a shortened desert version of the ROC? Agdz makes another easy exit point. There are direct busses to Ouarzazate, a fairly large city from where  you can catch a bus almost anywhere.

Terms of Use: As with each bikepacking route guide published on BIKEPACKING.com, should you choose to cycle this route, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road closures. While riding, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow the #leavenotrace guidelines. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. BIKEPACKING.com LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individual riders cycling or following this route.

  • Very nice track Logan!
    I will be in the High Atlas in April for a 18 days circle bikepacking trip!

  • Paul – 2lovecycling.com

    Fabulous. Brings back some memories. We rode part of that route in 2012. Great landscapes, good food, good coffee and lovely, hospitable people. I’d go again in a heartbeat.

  • Thanks! Nice. Do you have your route planned yet?

  • Yes! I called it The Tajine Route. 1480km all around the High Atlas.

  • mikeetheviking

    Super cool.

    What was your max water capacity?

  • Kevin Machtelinckx

    I’ll be there too doing a 9 day bikepack near the Jebel Toubkal. See you there :)

  • Matty

    What type of rear rack is on the ECR w/ Saddlebag?

  • Thanks! I think I had 7 liters on the bike, then an overflow compressible backpack with 3 more…

  • Flavio

    I am heading to ride in Morocco on the 5march
    Do you mind if I contact you?
    Thank you
    Flavio

  • Darren McElroy

    Great writeup Logan, and incredible shots! Morocco is one of the most stimulating places I have ever been, and this route looks too dang good not to ride! SOLD.

  • Mark Troup

    There’s some seriously impressive pictures in that slideshow. The light in that shot of the guys playing chess? The composition of the woman in the light blue room? Super pro! (You always have great pics, but those two really are just next level, National Geographic-type stuff!)

  • Very cool! I would love to go back and try the entire traverse…

    “And, finally, we are also looking into options for a different approach into the High Atlas,” I might have an idea? We spent a bunch of time researching potential routes for Morocco on bikepacking.com and elsewhere before settling on one, which we promptly threw out the window minute 1 of our trip when a guy at cafe in Azilal pointed out a track (new in 2017) over the ridge of the High Atlas. Five days later, we popped out in Kalaat M’Gouna, near the south entrance to the Dades Gorge. Let me know if you want the route!

    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49ddec14525d85e5b83c506e83323c6e50feda1b56449a1b9d3b21f55a8eeacb.jpg

  • Cool, I’ll shoot you an email!

  • Thanks for the kind words!!

  • Thanks Darren. I agree with all of that!

  • Sure go for it. I will send you an email…

  • April Marshke

    What time of year did you do this? Any suggestions based upon weather patterns?

  • Read the must know tab (or triangle icon on mobile)…

  • I hope so! Have a nice trip man!

  • Eric Cornell

    I think I’ve noticed this about other photog-reporting on Morocco, but the colors there are just so different from anywhere else. Its like a whole different palate was used. Great shots!

  • Thanks! Yeah, they have a lot of red granite and that against the blue sky is frighteningly vivid.

  • Jaakko Lipsanen

    Hey!

    I biked a bit similar route in reverse couple months ago and I tried biking the “unscouted section” between Tata and Tissint. The first half, from Tissint until mile 204 was nice, although the road turned into a single-track and at one point the path disappeared. Although I’m not 100% sure if I went the exact same route as what is marked on the map.

    But the route after mile 204 (when coming from east) is military area and I was stopped at around mile 202 by some military guys and told that I can’t go further. There is also a military checkpoint at mile 204 between the mountains. I was able to go back to the main road there, but had to wait some time for some higher ranking officers to come and give permission. I’m pretty sure that the area is not super highly patrolled and that I had some bad luck, but just it might be a good idea to think of an alternative route in there.

    There is another road that goes more to the south, closer to the Algerian border. I have no idea if that road passes through the military area or not, but it could be an alternative

  • So the checkpoint is to the north of the mountains? Would it be safe to eliminate the stretch west of mile 204 and keep the track to the east, or do you think the patrol wouldn’t let people through? Any idea what the checkpoint is for? Thanks for the feedback!!

  • Fabrice Keller

    Hi Logan
    First of all, I have to thank you guys a ton for putting so much effort into this website, the amount of invaluable information I get reading your articles is just incredible!
    As I don’t really know where else to put it, I’ll allow myself to ask you a question underneath this write-up.
    I’m currently looking into purchasing a bikepacking rig for backcountry touring/exploration on varying terrain (basically anything from dirt roads over singletrack and trails). The two main options I consider are as follows:

    1. Surly Ogre 2017 built up with a Rohloff speedhub, 27.5+ DT Swiss wheels, Jones H-bar, brooks saddle, basically all the goodies you can dream of ( nearly ;) ) ridden for about 1000 km’s, costing $2250.

    or

    2. Surly Pugsley 2015 specced with stock components. This was a test bike at a bikeshop, so it’s nearly brand new, costing $800.

    I still might be able to negotiate a slight price deduction on the Ogre, but going with the Pugsley would leave me with $’s to spend on upgrading the bike (eg dynamo hub) and investing in other gear.
    The high quality components on the Ogre speak for themselves, I think it’s a totally desirable bike. For most of the riding I intend to do, the Ogre with 3″ 27.5+ tires should be more than adequate, but the go anywhere aspect of the Pugsley really appeals to me. And with it being significantly cheaper, I might even be able to fund an additional 27.5+ wheelset for the Pugsley for increased versatility.
    So basically, I’m really torn in between the two options.
    I’m aware that you can’t make this decision for me, but nevertheless, I would really appreciate to hear your thoughts on this matter.

  • Smitty

    Beautiful ride! Thanks for putting this route together. Did parts of the route back in 2006, can’t wait to get back!

    I downloaded de GPX file and tried to open it in Garmin Mapsource. Unfortunately Mapsource can’t open the file, it says it does not recognize the file type which is strange because I regularly open GPX files in Mapsource. Could the file somehow be corrupt? Thanks again!

  • Hmm. Try it now. I reexported the GPX and uploaded it again…

  • Thanks Fabrice!

    One thing to keep in mind is that the rear wheel has to be built 17mm offset with the Pugs. That limits other bikes you could use the wheel with. My first reaction would be to get the Ogre — if you can get a little off the bottom line and it is in good condition. 3″ tires will take you a lot of places. I’ve never needed a full fat bike on any trip I’ve done, personally. That said, of you plan on winter trips or coastal trips, that’s where a fat bike shines. Do you know how many miles are on the Rohloff? Not that it really matters, those things last forever. Also, have you had a chance to ride each of them? Comfort is key, so making sure it’s a good fit for you would be top priority…

  • Fabrice Keller

    Thanks for your swift response! I really appreciate you taking your time to advise me on this decision. Both bikes are as good as new – including all the components – so there’s nothing really setting them apart in that regard. Funny thing is, I might have somehow wanted you to recommend me the Pugs, although knowing the Ogre might be suited better to most of the riding I’ll be doing. Although I would love to do some true backcountry exploration tours as the Tian Shan Traverse, the Khangai Mountain Traverse or the Kokopelli Trail, the terrain around my hometown doesn’t really call for a fat bike. The question is, whether the higher speed of the Ogre carries authority. Do you consider the Pugs’s offset frame to be a big drawback and do you see the Ogre having any other advantages over the Pugs apart from it being faster in less demanding terrain and said offset? Furthermore, do you think the Ogre costing between 2 1/2 to 3 times more than the Pugs is adequate regarding its higher spec? As for comfort, I have ridden them both, really like them both, and should be good on either of them following some minor tweaks – decisions, decisions…

  • For the value the Rohloff and DT Swiss wheelset alone, I would pick the Ogre (that would cost between 1600-1800 new). That said, I simply think plus bikes are more versatile as a bikepacking/touring bike. All the routes you mentioned are perfect plus bike routes. IMO, most backcountry bikepacking is doable on plus tires and fat bikes are simply too much (but others might argue that). There are also some hidden perks with the Ogre (such as easy tubeless setup); the 2015 Pugs probably has Marge Lite rims which can be a little challenging. In addition, the dropout on the Ogre is more versatile. Make sure to read Cass’ review; http://www.bikepacking.com/bikes/2017-surly-ogre-review/

    P.S. if you have any further questions, maybe leave them on that post; I may delete this thread or see if I can move it since it doesn’t involve this route. No problem, just housekeeping.

  • Fabrice Keller

    Thanks again for your valuable advice, I for example wouldn’t have thought of dropout versatility. I agree, the Ogre has a lot going for it and the value of its components relativizes it’s hefty price tag quite a bit. Depending on whether I can bargain a discount on it certainly is an interesting option to say the least.
    PS. I totally understand you wanting to move the thread as it really doesn’t belong here, I just wanted to post on a recently published article to make sure my post gets noticed.

  • No problem! Good luck with the decision… let me know which way it goes.

  • Smitty

    Hi Logan, thanks for uploading it again but I still can’t open the file in Garmin Mapsource; I can however in Garmin Basecamp…

  • Antonio Gallardo

    Hey @loganwatts:disqus !

    I really admire your photo work and your trips are very inspiring to me. Congratulations!

    I have a gear question, out of topic; sorry i think you receive a lot of this kind..,
    Ive made long bike touring for some years, most related to pavement on 700c bikes.
    I’m planning South America soon (maybe 1 year duration), and i think is time to go for Bikepacking•Fatbike mode.
    I am newbie on this so maybe you can help me

    I read your ECR reviews and im exactly your size: 6′ and 33 inseam. the thing is i just found and incredible price offer
    (almost 50% off) of a brand new 2017 ECR frame , including rims. The price is crazy but is medium

    My other option is the get new Ogre (normal price) on large, in this case im confused in selecting 29×2.5 or 27.5×3, but maybe this model offer versatility and i can get it on my sizing.

    Which you recommend ECR vs OGRE, based on your experience, beside of price?
    What do yo do in my case?
    And one last question, what do you think using dirt drop bars in this kind of bikes? I also considered VO Piolet

    Thanks!

  • Gareth

    Great, super photos. We’ve just come back from cycling the “Morocco’ s Great South” trip with Exodus. Fabulous and it covers a fair chunk of what you show here, from the Atlas Mountains near Marrakech, through the Anti-Atlas Mountains via Agadir and Tafraout to Essaouira and then back to Marrakech. Not nearly as adventurous as your trip but enough for us softies :) I’ve posted some photos on Instagram if anyone wants to take a look ( I’m on Instagram as @wavygravy76) again not nearly as good as yours!

  • Hi Antonio. Thanks. First off, I think the medium ECR would be too small. Regarding a choice between the two, that really depends on your preference of 29+ or 27.5+. From a geometry standpoint, they are both going to have a similar ride feel, although the ECR has a little slacker front end and more stack, which IMO make is a little more fun and comfortable.

  • Daniel Attwell

    Gday
    I too will be heading through Spain to reach Morocco by June or July (hot!) and am keen to research some routes.
    I’m starting to research now and using Morocco Overland by Chris Scott as a starter (which seem to mirror a lot of this route). Next phase is Google Earth.
    If you’d like a scout to see through this new section I can help out.
    Many thanks

  • I wanted this cycle this route but couldn’t get enough time off work however I’ll fly to Granda in a few weeks and get the ferry over to the north coast – might try and book it and return by picking up the Altravesur route from Algeciras. Seems like a lot of pavement but if anyone has any backpacking routes for northern Morocco would love to hear from you!

  • Filippo Graglia

    Hey Enrico! I will cross Morocco from middle of march until end of april….maybe our routes will cross somewhere!

  • Filippo Graglia

    Hey Antonio! Have a look to the videos of ths guy, Iohan.

    http://www.bikewanderer.com/video/

    1. they are beautiful, and really inspiring. Some moments are really touching;
    2. the lastones are made in South America with a fatbike

  • Ciao Filippo, I hope to meet you on the dirt!
    What’s your plan? I have build a circle track taking parts of it from different sources. I will start and end in Marrakech, getting around the High Atlas. I will follow part of this Marocco Traverse but when I built this track I used the old version of Route of Caravans and the Naturaid Track taking account that I want to climb the Tizi’n’Test. This new version called Marocco Traverse takes almost the same path that I built.

  • Filippo Graglia

    Contact me here: fg_tycos@msn.com :)

  • Filippo Graglia

    Mainly i’ll go south like: Tanger, Fez, Midelt, Imchil, Dades and then probably following the Logan’s traverse :)
    Let’s keep in touch!

  • Nick Levin

    Hey Logan, many thanks for the write-up! Since reading this and some other accounts of biking Morocco, a couple of us from New Mexico are planning on heading out to Marrakech on April 1st and gave ourselves 5 weeks to make it to Lisbon. We’re interested in connecting the Imilchil to Tangier section, crossing the straight and then riding on from there. Do you have beta on getting from Marrakech to Imilchil (we’re okay busing this section)? and then we’d also love to look at what you have scouted for the Northern section and can be guinea pigs of sorts..

  • Howard Matthew

    I travelled round Morocco in 1995 with my sister – not on bikes we mostly hitch hiked – I remember riding in a luggage rack on top of a cattle truck in the high atlas and passing a mountain biker laden with panniers – I thought what we were doing was crazy – he was pedalling through the summer heat!

    We also did the Dades Gorge but sadly as a poor student I didn’t have a camera! Your images bring some of the memories back – so envious of your trips. Thanks for sharing

  • Daniel Attwell

    Im keen, send me an email and I’ll help out. I’ll be in Morocco for a good few months and have heaps of time to explore

  • Peter Gold

    I’d love to see the route too if that’s OK?

  • Nice, thanks!

  • Hi Nick, I will send you an email. There is actually a route from Marrakesch that looks pretty interesting too….

  • Emma Millar

    I would also love to see that route!

  • Sure thing: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?hl=en&mid=1-MKlCzyaUA4DuaxhrW1HNLiUhMHfkEd2&ll=31.645199187820076%2C-6.32786747343755&z=10

    Our route is in blue. Labels are a little wonky, but should make sense. The route wasn’t on our map – we did it with about 3 minutes of beta from the guy in the tea shop in Azilal. Plenty of camping everywhere, lots of lodging options in Bouguemez Valley, and a guesthouse in Tighrement (village has no electricity, one sparse shop). 4 climbs of 3,000′ to passes at around 10,000′ – real leg burner.

    The light orange route to the west probably goes, and was something we considered. The dark orange route to the east also likely goes, and is what we were calling the Wild Anergui route – likely a bit of wading and navigation to get through.

  • Tommaso Zanaica

    Do you think the route is feasible in this period of the year? No risk of canyon awash? I’m thinking in trying your route for my imminent trip to Atlas. Thx