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Natural Arches of Ahaggar National Park

Index Page 6 - Tin-Missaou Area

From the city of Tamanrasset take the paved road north to In-Salah and Alger (Algier) for 42km. At the small locality of Tit, turn left in the direction of Abalessa and Silet. Drive this paved road 86 km to Silet and the end of the black top. In Silet, you need to go to the military barracks to get your permit checked (acquire the permit in Tamanrasset before you leave) and to record the members of your party for the desert trip for your own security. These formalities can take 1 hour or more to get your permit validated. 

Then take the desert tracks toward Tin-Missaou via the artisian well of Teor for about 4 hours (approximately 170 km) to another military base. Most of the tracks go along the oued (wash) and the desert plain without any difficulties or sand trouble. Once again, before proceeding farther on the desert tracks, you must check your documents at this second military post. If you arrive late in the day, you may be need to bivouac on the side of the military base and wait until next morning for these formalities. In this case, the authorities at the military base may take possession of your photographic equipment and GPS for the night.

From this second military base, it takes about one hour of four-wheel driving to access the top of the little Tassili Tin-Missaou. Allow an extra 45 minutes if you detour by the modern Tin-Missaou well to acquire extra water supply. Tin-Missaou well is located at the entrance of a very sandy canyon where sand traps are common. A trip to Tin-Missaou involves a minimum of two jeeps for safety.

ALG-586, Tin-Missaou Arch, Tin-Missaou Area. 8 meter height (estimated). GPS 31R 498703 2415599. This nice arch is located on the main site of the small Tassili Tin-Missaou (also called Tim-Missaw) on the side of the main jeep tracks. The opening is located 45 minutes of jeep driving from the Tin-Missaou well (referenced on the IGN topographic map 1/200 000 Tin-Missaou/Algeria).
ALG-587, unnamed arch 19, Tin-Missaou Area. 1.5 meter span (estimated). This small arch is located close to ALG-586.
ALG-588, Stargate Arch, Tin-Missaou Area. 8 meter height (estimated). GPS 31R 497679 2422080. This beautiful example of an abandoned arch eroded in a thin fin of rock is located 4 km to the north of Tin-Missaou Arch (ALG-586). To visit the arch, jeep 1 km north from Tin-Missaou Arch until your vehicule is stoped by outcropping rock. From there, hike 3km in the same direction to the opening, located on the lower part of the plateau among scattered rock masses.
ALG-589, Improbable Arch, Tin-Missaou Area. 4 meter span and 3 meter height (both estimated). This arch, another fine example of an abandoned arch, is located 1 km to the northeast of Stargate Arch (ALG-588).
ALG-590, unnamed arch 20, Tin-Missaou Area. 4 meter height (estimated). This arch is located 800 meters to the south of ALG-588 (Stargate Arch).
ALG-591, Secluded Arch, Tin-Missaou Area. 4.5 meters height (estimated). GPS 31R 496429 2418088. This nice arch is located 4 km to the west of ALG-586 (Tin-Missaou Arch). The opening is well-hidden in a corridor separating huge castles of rock on the lower level of the plateau visible from a long distance. However, the arch is not accessible by jeep and requires a lot of time for ground exploration.

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