Our Guides

Meet Our Guides 
Jody Young Jody
Jody Young, owner/operator of Jody Young Adventure Travel, is based in the mountains of Utah near Park City – except in the summers when she is in Alaska, or winters, when she might be found in Chicago. She began her working career as a cook in Louisiana, learning and moving her way up to become a chef at a major ski resort. Along the way she opened and ran a successful catering company. That all took her to providing food for traveling groups, which in turn led to her being hired to lead some of those same groups as a guide beginning in 1990. She has worked for a number of adventure travel companies, primarily in Utah, California and Alaska, and eventually became the operations manager for an Alaska firm, along the way acquiring an extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna, and geology of those areas. In 2004, she went out on under her own name, offering her signature trips emphasizing fun both under her name and as contract trips for other adventure travel companies. Currently REI Adventure Travel takes up many of her itineraries, and she was named REI’s Adventure Travel Guide of the Year in 2005. She began leading REI Adventure trips as a guide for another company beginning in 1993.
Karen Youra Key
Key Youra has been an assistant on many REI trips, with Jody as well as with another well-known southwestern guide, Steve Kasper. She has traveled over most of southern Utah and its National Parks and Monuments. In her own words:
“I have been adventuring with Jody for my entire life. Why do we adventure? My opinion is that we adventure to get lost. Once lost we have the opportunity to explore and discover: find ourselves, find one another, and find unthinkable beauty and inspiration on our way.
When I am not adventuring I am home in Portland Oregon living a ritualistic and predictable life centered around a dog & a cat.
I work as a critical care RN in the Neurosciences at Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital and I am in a masters program studying 5 Elements Acupuncture.
Why do you adventure? I hope we find ourselves lost together one day.”
Jim Young Jim
Jim Young – Jody’s eldest brother – lives in Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park at 9000 ft in the mountains. He is a sailing, cross country skiing, and biathlon coach who worked for National Teams in both the USA and Switzerland, and who has worked privately with Olympic athletes from over a dozen countries. He coached at the Olympic level for over 25 years. He has also traveled the Utah deserts for 30+ years, exploring on his own, before joining Jody as an assistant guide in 2004 after the Athens Olympics. His specialty is southern Utah and Colorado, and he is a critical part of any Lake Powell trips with his years on the water paddling and sailing, and his Coast Guard Captains license is what makes the houseboat-supported trip possible. He also holds an Anthropology degree, and adds considerable cultural knowledge to any travels in Indian country.
Otto Clifton Otto
Richard “Otto” Clifton currently resides in Oregon with his wife, Jill (Jody’s older sister). He is a specialist in resort hotel management, and has worked at a number of premier lodges in ski country and in National Parks, either as a manager, an interim manager or as a consultant. He and Jill have both been certified as Sea Kayak instructors, and have skied/hiked/biked much of the American west. Otto is most often seen as Jody’s assistant in Alaska.
Steve White Steve
Steve White, from Durango, Colorado, is Jody’s primary guide in Alaska, leading a number of trips each summer as well as learning new routes as Jody’s assistant. Since he lives in Southern Colorado, he also knows the mountains and deserts of the region. He is an accomplished cellist with a degree in music who is now reinventing his life, back in school pursuing a degree in Biology

We have a few others who travel with us occasionally, toting bags, washing dishes, and making sure that no one is lost at the end of the line on the trail. So you might get to meet Jack Young, a life-long sailing professional from California, or Jeff Guetierrez from Moab, UT, an experienced back country hiker, or Chris Kasper from the California mountains, son of a well-know southwest guide who is following in his father’s footsteps.