About YExplore

DeGrazio Family in Yosemite Valley

DeGrazio Family in Yosemite Valley

YExplore is the only Yosemite Tour Company offering custom guided Yosemite experiences (Adventure Hikes, Half Dome Hikes, Multi Day Backpack Trips, Nature Walks, Birding Walks, Wildflower Walks, Snowshoe Hikes and Photography Workshops) 12 months a year. We guarantee smaller group sizes for a more personalized experience with our professional guides who are all local to Yosemite.

Mission Statement:

The mission of YExplore is to provide educational outdoor adventures that inspire all generations to make discoveries in nature that lead to personal growth and achievement.

Vision Statement:

YExplore is committed to being recognized as a travel industry leader in sustainable business practices that inspire visitors and foster stewardship by protecting the natural environment, promoting rich cultural values, and cultivating economic prosperity in every region we operate.

Our Core Values:

  • Establish Excellence in Service
  • Protect the Natural Environment
  • Provide Leadership
  • Educate Visitors
  • Foster Stewardship
  • Encourage Personal Growth
  • Celebrate Success

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 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.

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 Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Tuolumne River Trust, Yosemite Conservancy, Yosemite Gateway Partners, Tuolumne County Arts Alliance, Mariposa County Arts Council, Support Sonora Schools, and the Karma Project.

Our Tours It is our passion to share the outdoors with you.  Every outing is designed to take advantage of the best locations available at the time of your visit. We will try to avoid crowds as best as we can and attempt to convince you to explore different areas of Yosemite National Park during the height of the summer season.  These adventures will provide unique photography experiences for each participant. We will also provide free photography services to capture images of you and your family while enjoying your outing. Certified wilderness guides provide security and safety while exploring the scenic terrain on every tour. Our richly experienced photography instructors focus on offering expert advice to clients while shooting in prime locations within the natural settings. We outfit every tour with communication devices, navigation tools, and first aid equipment. Anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors is encouraged to join us for a day on the trails to share memories of a lifetime. Individuals, Groups, and Families are welcome.

We are a socially responsible company providing educational services that follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize our impact in nature to ensure that the ecology of our environs will not be compromised. Custom Workshops, Adventures, and Family Activities are available to Individuals and Groups of all ages and experience levels in every season. The feedback we receive from our clients on the TripAdvisor and Yelp travel review website have been tremendous, and we strive to continue to provide the ultimate customer care to every visitor on every tour.

YExplore Policies Payments, cancellations, tipping, etc (

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.

Wilderness Guides & Naturalists 

Professional Photography Guides

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, and Alice Chao. 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.

Top 10 Reasons to join us for your next Yosemite Adventure

Our Network:



John P. DeGrazio
Y Explore LLC
P.O. Box 4951
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 532-7014
(800) 886-8009

John P. DeGrazio

Catherine DeGrazio

Book a Tour & General Information

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