Amazing people, John & Catherine DeGrazio! Amazing day! Amazing planning! Amazing photography opportunities! Amazing food! Amazing sights! Do you get the idea? This was an absolutely spectacular visit to Yosemite National Park. We had only the one day to see “everything” Yosemite had to offer and without Y-Explore to guide us there is no way that could have happened. Catherine made all the original plans with us by phone and email. She is warm and gracious and made us feel so comfortable before we even arrived at Yosemite. John took over the day of our excursion. He greeted us with smiles, a strong handshake and we were off on our journey of exploration. Of course there were lots of other people at the iconic areas but John found so many special spots where it was just the four of us that we almost felt as if we were discovering new vistas in the Park. He promised we would see magnificent mountains, waterfalls, deer and a bear. He delivered on everything. The vistas are there but running into the deer and seeing the bear (in the distance) was a special treat. John is an encyclopedia of park information, fact and fiction. His warm personality exudes the excitement of being in the Park. He made you feel the love he has for nature and these surroundings. You could see his eyes light up when sharing his thoughts, introducing newbies to this magical kingdom. Though tired and exhausted from non-stop euphoria all day, we hated to see it end. There is no way we would ever be at Yosemite again without John by our side. We got to see: Sentinal Bridge, Cooks Meadow, Lower Yosemite Falls, El Capital Meadow, Crane Flat, Pot Hole Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Tuolumne River (and walked in the water), Tenaya Lake (also cooling off in the water), Olmsted Point, Crane Flat, Wawona Tunnel, Tunnel View, Glacier Point and Porcupine Creek. Just listing these spots makes us tired … and there was so much more. If you ever get to Yosemite you must check out YExplore. We promise you you will be delighted with anything they plan for you; hiking, climbing, photography, private, groups … you name it and they are THE BEST. They will make your trip one you will always, always remember. To say the least, we were ecstatic with their attention, service and planning. An absolutely perfect day!
Alese, Jay & Roxanne, FL 7.12
John, Again, thanks for the wonderful Saturday in Yosemite. It was great getting to know you a bit, and an exhilarating hike with spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful Sierra. I hope to meet up with you again in the not too distant future.
Ben Anderson, CA 7.12
Dear Catherine and John,
There is a saying, “Your life is measured not by how many breaths you take but how many times your breath is taken away.” My experience with you climbing Half Dome took my breath away many times. I will keep reliving the climb for the rest of my life. Thank you for making my climb wonderful.
Thank you so much.
Marlene Killian 7.12
We loved our hiking trip with John on June 18, 2012. We’ve also liked you on facebook.
P.S. we saw someone today with a “leave no trace” t shirt & the girls got really excited.
The Chong Family
Doug, Leah, Kayla & Emily 7.12
Thanks again for a spectacular tour of Yosemite last Thursday 7/5.
Thanks. Nancy Cheung 7.12
John, Thanks for sharing pictures on facebook from our trip!! Terry and I had a great time and enjoyed your expertise!
Jamie Tweedle 7.12
John, it was so great meeting you and Mark. You both added so much to our hikes and I really enjoyed our conversations. I can never thank you enough for walking me out to Cloud Rest’s summit, but know that it’s something I will always remember. Thank you also for sharing your knowledge of Yosemite, your kindness and for all the photos you took of us. I really wish we lived a little closer.
John, Just wanted to thank you and Catherine for a wonderful Yosemite experience. Paul and the boys and I had such a great time. It’s a trip none of us will ever forget. We made it down to the valley the day after our hike and although the views from there were amazing as well, it made me appreciate our hike all the more. The crowds and congestion were a stark contrast to the peaceful and serene time we had with you and Ashley. Thanks again for an amazing time and for your patience with my fear of heights.
All the best,
Kat Saurbier (and family) 6.12
Hi John, Thank you for the pics. it brought tears to my eyes and a deep gratitude for how it all worked out. The joy on Joy’s face and relaxation and she went home optimistic and inspired. I was too, but it was special for her at her time in her life. Anyways loved! every step of every mile with the freedom it brought to my soul. We will not forget your company and how you made us feel. So safe and so YOU CAN DO IT. Thanks again (everyone at work asked how it went and I have recommended your company to all).
Hi John, We are back home and had a wonderful, wonderful vacation. Of course, Half Dome was the highlight. Wanted to again thank you for your assistance, knowledge and patience:
Climbing Half Dome for my 50th birthday and our 20 year wedding anniversary was a dream for me. The problem was that my husband had a knee replacement 16 months prior as well as a bad back, and I also have a back issue and a few (OK more than a few) extra pounds. So, I thought it made sense to hire a guide to help us to the top.
I picked Y Explore because their ad and website looked good, and Catherine was very nice and helpful by phone and email. They were very helpful in getting us prepared with training and packing. On the morning of the hike, we met John DeGrazio for the first time. I was battling my fears including A) death, B) having to be rescued off the side of the mountain and C) disabling my husband and being blamed forever since I talked him into this.
John gave us a workable plan which broke down the hike into doable pieces. He was supportive, encouraging and honest. It is not an easy hike. Just getting up to the top of the falls is tough. The subdome is scary and the cables–another whole level of fear factor. But John kept us focused and calm. He gave us a plan to make it to the top. And it was one of the best experiences of our lives. And, we hiked every day for the rest of our trip with no major physical issues.
Thank you so much John, Catherine and Y Explore!!!
Mary W 6.12
Hey John, Just wanted to let you know how much I absolutely loved going through Yosemite with you. Definitely top 5 things of my life, really had a good time. Also to give you some feedback for your company, I found your knowledge on everything a huge plus, it was more than just a hike.
I hope you and the family are well mate, take care.
Dan V (Australia) 6.12
John, Thanks so much I had a great time, the photos are great reminders of my wonderful vacation!
Thank you so much for you guidance and inspiration during our Yosemite adventure. We had a marvelous experience.
Hugh and Nan Caison 6.12
We’re back from our trip and we wanted to thank you! The hike was really amazing and we really enjoyed it. It was really nice having James with us, we saw everything we were hoping to see 🙂
All the best,
Thanks again for the awesome hikes last weekend. We had a great time and learned a lot. Andrew and Keleigh have not stopped talking about it!
Jeff Hutchings 3.12
I literally found your services through a Google search. I have to admit that it was one of the best “finds” I’ve experienced from the internet. The care you showed in making sure your photographer addressed my needs, far in advance of actually getting to Yosemite were impressive. After your detailed guidance on driving to Yosemite, where to get chains for my car rental and then where to meet your photographer, my experience was only out done by the GREAT photography instruction provided by Robb Hirsch, your staff photography instructor. Robb not only gave great instructions on composition and various photographic techniques, he made suggestions for inexpensive additions to add to my equipment to dramatically improve my photographs. We’ve got some great photographs from our vacation that we wouldn’t have had without Robb’s instruction! I’d not only highly recommend Yexplore, I hope to use your services when I visit the Yosemite again when I visit in the future.
Bill Connolly 2.12