The Todgha Gorge, High Atlas, R703, Tinghir, Morocco
GPS: 31.589386023491, -5.5905303571773
Located in the hinterland of Ouarzazate in the Sahara Desert of southern Morocco, near Morocco’s city of Tinghir, the Todra Valley (Todgha or Toudra) is the cradle of a vast canyon or passage with massive walls up to 400 metres high. Resembling a narrow trench dug in the mountains, this limestone rock valley (wadi) has been shaped for millennia by the Todra River for miles. Although this river is today partly dried outside the flood periods, the monumental proportions of the Todgha Gorge suggest the spectacular power generated by this river when it sculpted this fabulous landscape of rocks bathed by the sun.
Halfway on the 1,000 kasbahs main road (citadels or old adobe fortifications) between the cities of Ouarzazate and Erfoud, the highly recommended Todgha Gorge is at the feet of the highest peaks of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, mountain ranges which can be looked at with awe from a viewpoint. Some peaks in this eastern part of the High Atlas exceed 4,000 metres above sea level. Including the neighbouring Dades Gorges, more than 40 km of canyons are dug through the cliffs and mountains. This arid region is endowed with colorful green assets so precious for its inhabitants, like its lush palm groves with beautiful palm trees and its large oases of freshness. An ingenious traditional berber canal irrigation system, perpetuated from ancient times by the inhabitants of the wadi aware of the scarcity of water resources, promotes market gardening and the growth of many fruit trees including fig trees providing a carpet of shade which is a great place to rest on a hot desert day.
Various hiking trails will allow you to roam the steep landscapes of the High Atlas mountains on your own or accompanied by mules and camels. You will have the opportunity to discover many Berber villages residing in the Drâa-Tafilalet region who traditionally receive a small commission at no extra cost to say to the inhabitants thanks for sharing their life with visitors. The cliffs and rock walls of the Todgha Gorge, well provided with climbing lanes, have become of global importance site for rock climbers seeking exhilarating climbing routes. In winter, it happens that this natural site is covered with a layer of snow (as it was the case in 2016). An excursion by car from Marrakech or Merzouga to Tinghir and the Todra Gorge, allowing you to drive through the high terrace walls from the entrance to the exit will stun every visitor to this arabic marvel of nature.