Until the tarmac road from Azilal was opened in 2001 the Ait Bougmez area was well and truly isolated and was known as the ‘happy valley’ due to the contented disposition of its villagers.

This piste carries along the valley then climbs out and over into a glacial valley and then a beautiful ride along the Ahansal river to the Cathedral rock. Thereafter tarmac onwards to the Bin El Ouadine reservoir.

This is a mixture of blue (non technical) pistes and well-graded green (novice) pistes. The route could possibly be undertaken in a 2WD vehicle, however there is a short awkward ascent with some loose stones at km24.

This is a mix of photos from three separate trips, hence variations in weather and motorbikes!

km9.2: mint tea and apple doughnuts at Gite Timite...

...with its typical gite accommodation

km11: pisé buildings in Tabant

km29: John Cressey on a BMW G650 X-country at Tizi n’Tirgbist

km32.2: Tizi n’Tsalli at 2770m

km36: bleak area heavily eroded by glacial action

km48: ancient twisted Thuriferous Juniper trees, known locally as Androman trees

km52: the spectacular rockface of Jbel Aroudan soon towers over you as you descend

km65: Zaouiat Ahansal was rocked on 14 March 2011 by a minor quake of 4.4 magnitude

km68: Dar Ahansal guest house

km76: waterfall dropping directly into the Ahansal river

km78: power of water—old and new Bailey bridges

km80: swimming spots in mid summer

km87: this ford could be a problem point in times of high rainfall

km89: small cirque with the Cathedral rock in the background

km106: the Cathedral is popular with rock climbers

km119: Bailey bridge on outskirts of Tarla

km124: last look backwards at the Cathedral

km152: the Laabid Bridge on the eastern end of the Bin el Ouidane reservoir

km155: haematite or iron oxide in the soil is the cause of the intense red colour