Azilal is a small garrison town, rather uninteresting to tourists but useful as a jumping-off point for routes into the southern highlands, especially toward the M’Goun Massif in the High Atlas, north of Ouarzazate. The gravel trails south of here become a maze of loops and tracks, great for exploring, but the main route forks 28 km (17 miles) after Aït Mohammed. To the right (southwest), the 1809 road descends into the Aït Bougmez valley, passing ksour (villages or tribal enclaves) at El Had and Agouti and looping eventually back to Aït Mohammed after a tough, tremendous 120-km (72-mile) trek that’s much more effectively absorbed on foot than from a car.


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