A road with dramatic views to Cirque de Jaffar in the High Atlas

Cirque de Jaffar is a natural cirque located in Midelt Province, Drâa-Tafilalet region of Morocco. The road to the natural amphitheatre is simply stunning. It’s said to be one of the most dangerous roads of the country.

Cirque de Jaffar

Where is Cirque de Jaffar?

Set high in the Eastern High Atlas, a mountain range in the central part of the country, the road to the cirque is totally unpaved and challenging. It’s called Piste de Jaffar. It’s passable (slowly) by any normal sized 4x4. The road is long and rocky, and the cliffs are steep, but it's worth it. The views of the High Atlas mountains are truly dramatic and the rugged road ensures an element of adventure. The cirque in places has a slope of maybe 20 degrees. And there's loads of places where debris comes over the track and increases the angle of slope to maybe 45-50 degrees.

How long is Cirque de Jaffar?

Tucked away at the foothills of Jebel Ayachi, the road to Cirque de Jaffar is 67.2 km (42 miles) long, running from Tounfit to Midelt. It’s extremely rugged and has a high risk of death and serious injury. To drive the road from Midelt without stopping will take most people between 3 and 4 hours. It’s one of the classic pistes in the Eastern High Atlas. The road and the cirque are named after the tomb and village of Sidi Jaffar.

Is Cirque de Jaffar open?

The road tops out at 2.257m (7,404ft) above the sea level. The higher parts of the High Atlas mountains receive snow during winter; however, it is relatively rare for roads to be blocked. Valleys may be susceptible to flash flooding from rain and in spring (from snowmelt). Preferably in summer.