About YExplore

About YExplore

YExplore Yosemite Adventures is the leading Yosemite Tour Company offering custom guided Yosemite experiences 12 months a year. We offer Adventure Hikes, Half Dome Hikes, Nature Walks, Snowshoe Hikes, and Photography Workshops. Every YExplore Yosemite Tour includes a vehicle reservation permit into Yosemite National Park during any reservation period. We also guarantee smaller group sizes for a more personalized experience with our professional guides who are all local to Yosemite. YExplore is a mission driven outdoor guide service whose standards of ethics and client care are unmatched. Learn more About YExplore below.

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Our Founders

YExplore was established by John P. DeGrazio in January 2006 after arriving in the Sierra Foothills with his family and a plan to develop a sustainable eco-tourism business in Yosemite National Park. Catherine DeGrazio is the co-owner and Director of Operations and Client Relations.  Both have dedicated their lives to molding a mission driven tour company that offers the highest level of customer service and ensure this is possible through continuous involvement in its daily operations.

“Our journeys throughout the years have led us from East Coast to California; from the Na Pali Coast of Hawaii to the Alaska Range. We hiked Zion & the Grand Canyon, explored the Rockies, trekked the Appalachians, and ascended Half Dome together. John has reached the summit of Mts. Shasta, St. Helens, and Rainier in the Cascades, as well as Whitney and Lyell here in the Sierra. We are proud to lead a company that brings outdoor experiences to adventure travelers who wish to enjoy the countless wonders of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada Range.”

Our Guides

Each proven leader possesses fundamental outdoor survival skills and a wealth of experience hiking, backpacking, and guiding throughout Yosemite’s wilderness. All guides are required to obtain first aid training and complete Leave No Trace outdoor ethics courses. Our accomplished photo guides specialize in nature photography and have attained several publishing credits. Every guide also owns a vast knowledge of Yosemite’s terrain which allows us to offer many unique specialty outings throughout the park in all seasons. Learn more About YExplore.

Our Causes

We are a family run small business whose dedication to our mission is matched by our commitment to the causes we support. We are proud that we do not measure our success by record profits. In fact, our price structure is designed to retain enough to pay our guides fair market wages, maintain a level of sustainability, and then donate a significant amount of our profits to causes close to our hearts. We do not highlight our causes to ask you to utilize our services so we may capture more profits. Instead, we use our business as a vehicle to raise funds for charities we strongly believe are making a difference in this world.

Although we are a for profit business, we support many local and international organizations that protect the environment and encourage the arts. YExplore is proud to support the Yosemite National Park Bear Management Team. Yosemite Conservancy, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Tuolumne River Trust, Bay Nature, Yosemite Gateway Partners, Tuolumne County Arts Alliance, Mariposa County Arts Council, Support Sonora School, Sierra Waldorf School, and the Karma Project as well as other contributions to various organizations.

In 2017 we designed a Yosemite Tunnel View Bear logo to help support the Yosemite Bear Management Team. We created hats and shirts available for purchase in our Yosemite Gift Shop. Each sale benefits bears in Yosemite National Park. Please help support this project by purchasing some attractive Yosemite Gear. We decided to donate all of the profits of this 2017 campaign as well as additional funds to the bear team. Please help us continue to protect Yosemite bears in 2018.

YExplore has continually supported the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Northern California Chapter with in kind support for their Xtreme Hike event since 2012 with discounted guiding services in Yosemite National Park. In 2015 the Sacramento Chapter merged with the group for a hike in the Lake Tahoe Region. 2016 marked a return to Yosemite and a deeper commitment to this organization from YExplore. We now offer all guiding services for this event with only a charge for guide wages so more of the fundraising contributions will go toward finding a cure.

Our Mission & Values

Our mission at YExplore is to lead exploration of the natural world to discover beauty, achieve personal growth, and share rewards.

We take our responsibilities to Yosemite and its visitors very seriously. Please read our vision statement and core values to learn more About YExplore on a separate page.

Our Members/ Advisors

In July, 2003, five like-minded entrepreneurs shared ideas to create an adventure company that would lead Yosemite visitors in search of unique photo opportunities. Joining John and Catherine that day on the Half Dome Trail were Ram Rao, Ed Chao, Alice Chao, and Cindy Chin. Together they have joined Catherine and John as the members of YExplore Yosemite Adventures and serve as advisors on key decisions that move the company forward each year.

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