From Ouarzazate the N9 plunges southeast into the Drâa Valley, formed by a narrow ribbon of water from the High Atlas that occasionally emerges triumphantly in lush oases, particularly between Agdz and Zagora, a stretch of about 95km. The drive from Agdz to Zagora takes three to four hours, though the more scenic Circuits Touristiques route follows the piste through the oasis. Beyond that, a road takes you 96km further south to M’Hamid, a town 40km short of the Algerian border that marks the end of the road and the start of the desert proper.
If you don't want to retrace your steps back to Ouarzazate along the N9, it's possible to continue west of M'Hamid through the desert to Foum Zguid, from where you can pick up the N10 north via Tazenakht. For those with more time, it's possible to complete an enormous circuit east on the N12 from Tansikht (29km southeast of Agdz) to the Erg Chebbi dune field near Merzouga and return to Ouarzazate via the Todra and Dades Gorges.