John P. DeGrazio

YExplore Founder
Lead Adventure Hiking Guide

Yosemite Guided Hiking Tours and Backpack Trips
Leave No Trace Trainer

John P. DeGrazio, YExplore Founder

John P. DeGrazio, YExplore Founder

Destiny has led John DeGrazio to become a wilderness guide in Yosemite National Park. After graduating from his state school, Rutgers University, John embarked on a cross-country adventure with longtime friend, Ram Rao that forever opened his eyes to the outdoors. Ironically, John’s initial foray into the national parks with Ram did not include Yosemite; however, a 2003 trip into the park made up for that transgression. He experienced an epiphany while hiking to Half Dome’s summit on that hot July day and vowed to return to the Sierra at the next available opportunity.

John’s love of the natural world grew with each excursion into the backcountry. He and his wife Catherine spent the greater part of the next decade exploring state and national parks throughout the East Coast, the West, Hawaii, and Alaska. Following a 1996 “day hike” to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier, John committed himself to reaching its 14,411′ summit which he accomplished the following year. He began his guiding career on Breakneck Ridge in upstate New York while training for Rainier and has been leading hikes and backcountry expeditions ever since.

The allure of California’s outdoor culture led the DeGrazios out West, and they decided it would be for more than a visit. They moved their family to Tuolumne County in 2005, and YExplore Global Adventures was established soon after. 2006 marked the beginning of John’s career in Yosemite as YExplore’s lead adventure guide, and he has traversed thousands of miles of trails with his groups throughout the park.

As the company’s founder, John leads several Yosemite adventure hiking tours and relishes every opportunity to share this true national treasure with wide eyed clients of all ages from around the globe. He blends enthusiasm with a patient approach to coaching that provides assurances to his groups when they need it most. His biggest thrills come from providing leadership to fellow adventurists and sharing the celebration of lifetime accomplishments on some of Yosemite’s best known peaks including Mt. Hoffman, Clouds Rest, and Half Dome. He has over 100 successful summits of Half Dome, and that experience instills confidence in those who join him on their own summit attempt.

John DeGrazio on the Summit of Cockscomb Peak

John DeGrazio on the Summit of Cockscomb Peak by Gabriel Mange

In his spare time, John has a passion for hiking, rock climbing and backpacking the Sierra with family and friends. For his one hundredth ascent of Half Dome, he climbed the Snake Dike route with his climbing partner and good friend, Gabriel Mange. John has also led successful ascents of Mt. Whitney (14,495′), the highest peak in the lower 48 United States. He also enjoys playing softball, and road cycling. You may spot him hammering through some of the Gold Country Foothills at any time throughout the year. He also volunteers his time at several different schools and local organizations in and around Yosemite. John is currently a Director of the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance and the Yosemite Gateway Partners organizations.

From the Trails of Yosemite:

John’s Photo Gallery

Adventure Blog: Observations from the trails of Yosemite

John is also the author of these social media sites: | | |

Vernal Fall Rainbow from Washburn Point by John P. DeGrazio

Vernal Fall Rainbow from Washburn Point by John P. DeGrazio




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