A Walk in the Dades Gorge, Morocco

DA 01The River Dades was an important trading river along the Route of a Thousand Kasbahs, and it has carved a beautiful gorge to explore. One of the features that makes the Dades gorge stand out is the mountain ridge called Monkey Fingers, a formation of rocks that have been smoothly eroded to look like fingers rising from the earth, sometimes intertwining in wonderful combinations.

Even though I am still suffering from the head cold that has afflicted me since Marrakech, I cannot pass the chance up to walk in this wonderful place. My guide today is Hussein, a young local man that guides many tourists through this area. Hussein explains that very few English speakers visit here, mostly it is French and Italians, thus his English is not fluent but it is enough that we can communicate, although sometimes requiring a mix of other languages (and Google Translate).

We start the walk at a bridge near the beginning of the valley, crossing the river we follow the road through a village then down to the river. The path we take has a great view of the Monkey Fingers reaching up to the sky. Soon we take a side path through a cleft in the rocks and walk a path eroded by centuries. There is a small amount of bouldering to be done but it mostly a dry creek paved with pebbles.

DA 04

You emerge from the gorge to a series of hills rising up to a plain. The Monkey fingers gradually change to common rock faces as the land flattens out. Here there is a choice in the path – to the left is a broad downhill leading to a dry river bed and back to the township, or to the right a longer walk of around four hours that takes you around the back of the Dades ridge. Through the walk so far, I have had several coughing fits due to my illness and so I opt for the easier path, but if I return to Morocco, I am taking the other path. Hussein also tells me that there are several multi day hikes in the area as well (which is enticing me to return even more).

DA 02DA 03DA 05

We make our way down to a dry river bed, past stone circles used by nomads to erect their tents when they visit in late summer, and make our way back to town, stopping for lunch on the side of the Dades River. My hotel is at the end of the valley and Hussein takes me on a variety of paths along the Dades ridge to get back. Some of the paths are well worn tracks, while others are the edges of farm plots, or irrigation canals. After a few kilometres, we emerge from the river into a town and make our way by road.

DA 06DA 07

DA 08DA 09

It was an excellent day out and I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good bushwalk, and to any who want to experience more there are many wonderful opportunities to explore.

Walking the Dades Gorge, Morocco


Other Experiences in Morocco:
Marrakech to Imil
The Route of a Thousand Kasbahs
A Night at Erg Chebbi, the Sahara 
The Middle Atlas
Northern Morocco and Gouffre du Friouato


Joomla! Debug Console


Profile Information

Memory Usage

Database Queries