Lead Adventure Hiking Guide & Naturalist
Yosemite Centennial Ambassador
Our greatest discoveries are made in nature. With every day, hour, and moment spent outdoors, we find a peace that brings balance to our lives. – John P. DeGrazio
John P. DeGrazio believes destiny led him to become a wilderness guide. It was his dedication to community service and stewardship in Yosemite National Park that earned him recognition as a Yosemite Centennial Ambassador in 2016. It is his esteemed honor to represent Yosemite during the National Park Service Centennial Anniversary and beyond.
John has shared many successes with visitors along the trails of Yosemite since YExplore was established in 2006, but it was at his most vulnerable moment during a federal shutdown of the national parks when he realized his professional purpose.
Reaching a summit with a team brings a satisfaction that lifts our spirits and strengthens our resolve. However, one does not need to climb a mountain to feel that ultimate sense of victory. Success is achieved with every outdoor adventure that helps us choose an extraordinary new path in life.
DeGrazio has spent the last decade cultivating his professional career as motivator, coach, naturalist, and wilderness guide. He has shared stories of the geological, natural, and human histories of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada with visitors from across the globe. Along the way, he has assisted in authoring new narratives while helping others accomplish their goals. John has guided over 125 successful ascents of the Half Dome cables. He also takes great pride in leading visitors to Yosemite wilderness where they may hike in snow for the very first time, wander through meadows filled with wildflowers in bloom, peacefully witness a mother bear and her cubs in their natural habitat, or listen to a melodious chorus of native birds. It is his belief that these unique experiences in nature lead to a process of self discovery that empowers people to take control of their own lives.
As a Certified Wilderness First Responder, John has received extensive training to provide added safety on every trip. He is also a Leave No Trace Trainer who relishes his role as a steward in Yosemite and enjoys teaching principles of minimum impact recreation while accessing the world’s most pristine places. He blends enthusiasm with a patient approach to coaching that provides assurances to his groups when they need it most.
In his spare time, John has a passion for hiking, photography, backpacking, and rock climbing in the Sierra with family and friends. He also enjoys visiting other national parks with his family. He has shared ascents of Half Dome and Angels Landing in Zion with his daughter before her tenth birthday. For his one hundredth summit of Half Dome, he climbed the Snake Dike route with his 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. Other interests include playing competitive softball and road cycling. You may spot him hammering through some of the Gold Country foothills at any time throughout the year.
John P. DeGrazio strongly believes in community service and volunteers his time at several different schools and local organizations in and around Yosemite. He is currently President of the board of directors for the Yosemite Gateway Partners and Vice President of the board of directors for the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance.
John P. DeGrazio From the Trails of Yosemite:
John is also the author of these social media sites: