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