Quick Links

Morocco is no stranger to spectacular tourist attractions. Within the striking landscape of the Dades Gorge lies one of the continent's highlights, The Monkey Fingers. The Monkey Fingers show the mesmerizing things nature can do. As the name suggests, the outstanding rock formation through erosion presents itself like a primate's fingers rising from the Dades River. The Monkey Fingers, locally known as The Cliffs of Talmat, add up to the length of Morocco's natural wonders that even Moroccans can't get enough of.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

The destination is perfect for any rock climber, but one has to be prepared. This guide will provide the necessary information and equipment needed to make a trip to The Monkey Fingers worthwhile.

How To Get There

The Monkey Fingers is located about nine kilometers from Boulmane near Tamellalt City. The shortest route to get to this geologic curiosity is the road from Marrakech to the Sahara, which is about a five-hour drive. Travelers who enjoy learning about culture can tour the Berber settlements, unique for their reddish color. Surprisingly, most houses in the region merge with the rock structures in the Dades Valley. Most locals are friendly and hospitable, but they are uncomfortable with photographs.

On reaching the Dades Gorge, the Monkey Fingers are visible from the road. The closest trail begins near Auberge, located 400 meters from the Monkey Fingers viewpoint. Parking your car in Auberge is recommended, although leaving at the viewpoint is also an option. There are many picturesque viewpoints in Dades Gorge. Photographers should also take advantage of the palm groves and green oases, which are picture-perfect.

Related: Backpacking Vs. Travel Hiking: How To Pack & Prepare For Each Type Of Hike

Why Hike The Monkey Fingers Without A Guide?

These rocky outcrops are particularly charming in the sunset. However, most travelers prefer to hike the Monkey Fingers alone for reasons ranging from guides with a speedy hiking pace to language barriers. Avid Hikers prefer a challenging terrain, and doing it without a guide makes it more interesting. Here are a few options to consider when deciding which way to approach your hike at the Monkey Fingers.

Hiking The Monkey Fingers (Cliff of Talmat) Canyon

Apart from the whispering sound of the wind, the Monkey Fingers Canyon trekking experience is tranquil. The trail begins on the right side of the river after walking through some birch trees. Since the river is seasonal, a dried-up riverbed often makes hikers lose track of the hiking trail. Luckily, a Berber sign firmly rooted on the canyon floor is the best way to put hikers back on track.

The canyon is difficult to navigate, often demanding some experience and fitness while traversing up and down the rocks. Checking the weather before hiking is also advisable as the canyon can be dangerous during rainy weather.

Hiking Along the Slopes Of The Monkey Fingers

This is the most popular activity in the Dades Gorge, so expect more tourists than in the Monkey Fingers Canyon. Once on the ridge, which is a 20-minute walk away from Auberge, go left and continue the hike along the slopes of the fingers. The view of the Dades Valley is breathtaking and is the best choice for any traveler whose main purpose is to enjoy the unique landscape. Hiking along the slopes of the fingers is much safer, and backpackers can walk as much as they wish on the seemingly endless path.

Related: Hiking In The USA: Bucket-List Trails To Add To Your List

Dades Gorge And The Zigzag Road

The view of the unique formations becomes increasingly spectacular towards the end of the valley. The ride over the meandering road is exciting, especially when done in the morning. Although most tourists prefer walking as the best way to conquer this zigzag road, driving all the way up also guarantees a worthwhile experience. Except for several hairpin bends, the zigzag road is the safest part of the Dades Gorge.

Enjoying a cup of sumptuous mint tea is the best way to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Dades Valley.

Safety Tips For Hiking The Monkey Fingers

  • Sunscreens and other sun-protection gear are highly recommended during the hike, as the entire area has no shade
  • Hiking The Monkey Fingers can take more than a day or two. Most places to spend the night in the Dades Gorge are traditional kasbahs. Consider Riad Dades, Dar Essyaha, and Auberge Kasbah for a great place to stay
  • Attempting a hike alone comes with a lot of responsibility. Hikers without a guide should ensure a certain level of etiquette and resourcefulness; therefore, it is important to communicate with the guesthouse owners in case
  • The best season to visit the Dades Gorge is during the dry season
  • Most locals don't appreciate being photographed. It is advisable to focus on the spectacular view of the oases and rock formations

The Dades Gorge is home to travelers who want to be less touristic while being more adventurous. Spending a night is not enough with beautiful green oases and warm locals in the Berber settlements. Hiking along the slopes of the monkey fingers, when done successfully, can be one of the unique experiences in Morocco. Additionally, buying a souvenir from a few shops is one of the best ways to cement a memorable experience in this destination.