About Us

A distinctive quality to Yosemite Guide Service is our extensive knowledge and understanding of the natural history and human events that have shaped Yosemite and the surrounding Sierra Nevada. Our extensive insight of the region provides you a very personal experience, accessing the less crowded destinations to create very special trips & outings. By sharing a life-long connection, expertise, and continual discovery of the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite, our goal is to provide you with an increased awareness and appreciation of one of the world’s most beautiful and inspiring places.

Our Story

Yosemite Guide Service was established to provide high quality nature-based outings to the more common and remote wilderness settings utilizing our unmatched knowledge of the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite. Our focus is on the ecosystem and natural environment that makes Yosemite very unique and extraordinary, developed from an unmatched awareness working for many years as biologists and naturalists in the Sierra Nevada. Combined with an extensive knowledge of the fascinating history of Yosemite and surrounding region, a trip with YGS is intended to create a more personal connection to this amazing environment, and to make each guest feel at home in this spectacular landscape, not just an occasional visitor.

John | Owner, Guide

Owner John Kleinfelter has spent over 30 years living, working, and exploring in the Sierra Nevada. Simply stated, few others can equal the experience and depth of knowledge John has gained as a biologist and naturalist in the Sierra Nevada.

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Vivian | Manager, Guide

Born and raised in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, Vivian is a local self taught wildlife and landscape artist and massage therapist who loves to "host". Vivian partners with John in operating Yosemite Guide Service and the lodgings they offer.

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Meet Our Guides

Working for decades as biologists, naturalists, and wilderness instructors in the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite, our guides combine extensive professional knowledge with a friendly, easy going attitude to create extraordinary outings. With inspiring day hikes and distinctive backpacking outings, each trip is individually designed to provide you with an experience you will treasure for years.

Kirsten | Guide / Manager

Kirsten enjoys hiking and backpacking during the summer, and snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in the winter. In the summer she spends a considerable amount of time in Yosemite hiking, backpacking, and sharing her extensive knowledge about the natural history, geology, and unique flora and fauna with her guests. An extremely talented and experienced guide and outings leader, Kirsten is an EMT and also active with the Lake Tahoe Search & Rescue. She is a certified California Naturalist and licensed U.S. Forest Service Interpreter. She is great with people of all ages and has great intuition and is super friendly with an easy going nature and warm personality. Our longest tenured guide who is highly trusted and valued, Kirsten also guides for our other guide service in Lake Tahoe (www.TahoeGuideService.com)

Tommy | Guide / Manager

Tommy is constantly seeking new ways to challenge himself and those around him. He enjoys spending his time hiking, mountain biking, camping, summer kayaking, and winter snowshoeing and skiing. Tommy is most comfortable and content, when engaged in outdoor adventures, and shares his considerable skills and abilities in a very kind and considerate way. With a easy going but very professional attitude, Tommy shares his considerable knowledge of the Sierra Nevada in a very engaging and inclusive way that makes everyone feel like friends and family. Trained and certified in Wilderness First Aid and member of the Tahoe Search & Rescue Team, his attention to safety and the wellbeing of his guests makes everyone feel confident and comfortable. Tommy also manages and guides Tahoe Guide Service (www.TahoeGuideService.com)

Meet Cedar

This is Cedar, our friendly and proud service dog and companion of Yosemite Guide Service, who loves to assist with our guided hiking trips and adventures.

Our Mission

Each YGS outing is private and specialized; provided only for the individuals requesting their trip. This is a very unusual style for most guide services. We realize profit can be maximized by adding multiple people to each outing, yet we sacrifice some revenue to make sure you have a very personalized experience. We feel providing you with an exclusive trip is part of our reward, and allows us to focus on sharing our passion and enjoyment for this wonderful place on a very personal level. In a matter of terms, our commitment to you is quality over quantity, and we hope our guests think so, too.

All of our trips are planned and organized upon your request, trying our best to match the dates you want and working with you to create a trip that fits your specific needs and desires. Our goal is to provide the highest quality trip during your visit to Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, maximizing your vacation time, providing you the best value and unforgettable experience on your trip to Yosemite or exploring the High Sierra wilderness.

By providing individually customized and personalized trips, our focus is centered on delivering exclusive, high quality outings. With great attention to detail and personal service, it is our intent to deliver the most satisfying and personally rewarding outings – just for you and your family, friends, or companions. Just let us know when you’re visiting and what your needs are, and we’ll try our best to make it happen.