Top50 Ranches

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Lowdown

  • Established

    1863. Guest ranch since 1965
  • Owner

    Bill and Glenda Rankin
  • Tel

    661-867-2511
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $165 - $215
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $80 - $180
  • Minimum Stay

    No minimum stay
  • Maximum Guests

    55
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet

We know you will enjoy our HISTORY…HORSES… and WESTERN HOSPITALITY. Ranch headquarters are located in the beautiful little valley of Walker’s Basin…deep in the heart of the Tehachapi Mountains.

We’ve been a working cattle ranch for over a century, and have operated our guest ranch since 1965. Rankin Ranch is one of the oldest and largest family owned ranches in California. Six generations of Rankins have lived and worked on our 31,000 acre cattle ranch. We truly enjoy the opportunity to share our lifestyle with our guests. We hope you enjoy the following history of our ranch and local area.

The Rankin family is happy to welcome you for a great ranch vacation. Bill and Glenda, the 4th generation, are pleased to have their children and grandchildren working along side them to continue the family tradition started in 1863. Being a family run business, it is not uncommon to meet most of the Rankins during your stay. From Glenda’s welcoming spirit and love of sharing the family history to Bill’s vast knowledge of the farming and cattle industry to the grandkids’ welcoming smiles, the entire Rankin family is delighted to meet every guest and loves to share our way of life with you.

Good time to go

We are open to guests during the spring, summer, and fall. While each season brings it's own unique beauty, the spring and fall are the ideal times for adults to visit the ranch, while the summer months are very family oriented.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 4 and over

Our wonderful supervised children’s program was featured in Sunset Magazine and Better Homes & Gardens Vacation Guide.

Parents and grandparents especially appreciate the children’s program. Our staff is on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and join the children again in the evening with planned activities for ages 4-11. They enjoy arts and crafts, hikes, and visits to the animal farm. The children's program is available only during our "Regular Season", over Spring Break and during the summer months.

Arts & Crafts

play-doh, coloring, sketching, We offer a variety of arts and crafts from building boats to race in the creek to our Create a Barnyard contest. The activities are tailored to fit the interests of a wide range of ages.

Activities

hiking, outdoor play area, petting zoo, supervised swimming, Cowboy Day, Talent Shows, Swim Meets, and more!

Games

scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, horseshoes, volleyball, badminton, ping pong, pool table, Fooseball, Shuffle Board, Ping Pong, and more!

Riding based activities

animal care, horse care, trail riding, Riding offered for children 6 and over.

Baby Sitting

From age 0 to 4. Hourly cost $10-15.

Baby Sitting Provided By

We are happy to arrange to have a babysitter available for children who are under age four. Those under age four are welcome to participate in any of the children's activities as long as they are accompanied by a parent or babysitter. Our supervised children's program is for ages 4-11 years.

Environmental & Social Practices

Environment

We at Rankin take our role as stewards of the land very seriously. We do our best to care for the land and our natural resourses to preserve our land for the generations to come.

Ranch History

Our cattle ranch was founded by my great-great grandparents, Walker and Lavinia Rankin, in 1863. Walker was the first person to bring white faced Hereford cattle into the area and we have continued raising this breed of cattle through the generations. The ranch was passed down through the generations.

My grandmother, Helen Rankin, was a very strong woman and matriarch to our family. She was very couragous and dedicated. My grandfather, Leroy Rankin, third generation cattle rancher, passed away at a young age in 1954. Helen was left to raise three young children. The question of whether to keep or sell the ranch arose. She decided to keep the ranch and continue with her late husbands work.

Not only did she continue the family cattle ranch, but in 1965 she opened our guest ranch. At this time my father, Bill, was in college and returned home on weekends and school vacations to help with the cattle, farming, and guest operations. Helen was so immensely proud of her family and our dedication to the ranch. She instilled in her children and grandchildren a pride for our way of life. Today, my parents both still work on the ranch and myself and my three siblings have all come home to help continue the family tradition.

Thanks to my grandmother's commitment to the ranch, we have all had the opportunity to grow up in this wonderful way of life. I would not trade my childhood experiences for anything. We worked hard, but there was always sense of belonging and being a part something greater than yourself. The greatest things that I feel ranch life has taught me are family values, a strong work ethic, honesty, and respect. I look forward to raising my children, the sixth generation, on the ranch.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, buffet style, everyone eats together, children dine separately, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

    BYOB
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegetarians, other

Everybody enjoys our home cooked meals complete with top quality hand chosen meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade breads and desserts.

Guests are welcome to bring wine or their alcoholic beverage of choice to accompany the meals and enjoying during our evening patio party.

Guest Favourites

  • Tri-tip and Chicken BBQ with all the Trimings at the Meadow BBQ
  • Rudy's Authentic Mexican Food
  • Steak Fry at the Original Rankin Home

Your Chef, Rudy

Rudy has been preparing delicious meals at Rankin Ranch for over 30 years.

Helen Rankin shared our treasured family recipes with Rudy and they have become favorites at the guest ranch.

Each day he serves three ranch style meals for our guests and everyone loves his cooking. We recently published a ranch cookbook featuring our guest ranch recipes and had over 150 books pre-ordered from throughout the United States, the UK, Hong Kong, and Holland. This was a testament to the fabulous meals that Rudy prepares.

Lowdown

  • Address

    P.O. Box 36
    Caliente
    California
    93518
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    3500 ft
  • Private Land

    20,000-40,000 acres

Nearest Town - Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella has a population of 2,500 (approx), and is situated 20 miles / 30 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Lake Isabella include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Lake Isabella offers: small hometown necessity shops.

Nearest Airports

Bakersfield Airport, Bakersfield

Distance

45 miles / 1 hour

Airlines

United, US Airways, Continental


Los Angeles International Airport

Distance

135 miles / 2 hours 45 mins

Airlines

Delta, United, Skywest, Northwest, Alaska, United Express

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Beginner
  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride
  • Max riders per ride

    10
  • Wranglers per ride

    2
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

    20
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Geldings
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 1 hour
    Afternoon - 1 hour

The Setting

Private Land (20,000-40,000 acres)

Rankin Ranch is located in beautiful Walker Basin, California. Our family has been ranching in this valley since 1863 and the original ranch home and barns are still being used today. The ranch headquarters sets at 3,500 foot elevation with the surrounding mountains reaching elevations of 7,000 feet. The valley floor provides meadows for our cattle and horses to graze as well as farmland where we grow hay and carrots. The mountains are covered with oaks and pines and wildlife is plentiful in the area. We enjoy all four seasons with some snow in the winter, green hillsides with wildflowers during the spring months, golden hillsides with warm days and cool nights in the summer, and a lovely "Indian Summer" throughout the fall.


Our Riding

Guided rides

You’ll experience a variety of terrains on the trail rides which will take you down the creek, out in the meadow, and up and over our chaparral covered mountains on your two horseback rides each day. Rides begin after breakfast, however, the “early birds” enjoy the weekly sunrise ride leaving the corral at 5:30 a.m. Each ride is about an hour long.

Good to know

There are times when guests will have an opportunity to trot or gallop, but their safety is always our number one priority.

Weight limit for riding

225-250 lbs

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed


Why our riding stands out

  • The daily trail rides vary from flat meadow cattle country to mountainous trails
  • We have horses for all levels of rider
  • Enjoy two rides a day

Cattle work - pasture gathers

The guests are welcome to watch any cattle work that is going on at the ranch and we encourage them to ask questions, however they cannot help move the cattle.

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $165 - $215
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $80 - $180
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $80 - $95
  • Minimum Stay

    No minimum stay
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Any day is fine

Rankin Ranch can cater for up to 55 guests. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | Regular Cabins

Rates (Per Person)

$185 - $280

Minimum Stay

No minimum

Description

We have 6 Regular Cabins with a total of 12 Rooms. These duplex cabins can be reserved as a single room, or the two connecting rooms for larger families or parties. You'll enjoy daily maid service in your clean, air conditioned cabin which is wood paneled and carpeted. Each room has large picture windows which provide beautiful views of the outdoors. There are comfortable chairs for reading and relaxing after those fun filled days of horseback riding, swimming and hiking.

Rooms

12

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

seating area, air conditioning

Cabin | Deluxe Cabin

Rates (Per Person)

$185 - $280

Minimum Stay

No minimum

Description

The "Chimo" is our deluxe cabin. It is a duplex unit, with two connecting rooms; each with private bath. Its larger floor plan can accommodate a family of eight. Each "Chimo" room has two queen beds and two queen sofa sleepers; larger bathrooms each with separate shower and tub. There is an extra 15% charge to the daily rate during Regular Season and Off Season for the deluxe rooms. All cabins are situated in private locations and are surrounded by beautiful oaks and pines. Comfortable outdoor chairs provide the perfect setting for guests to r

Rooms

2

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

fridge, microwave, seating area, air conditioning, Handicapped Accessible


Booking Policy

Advanced reservations are strongly suggested. Reservations are taken up to one year in advance and secured with a $150 deposit per person.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, Riding

Extras

Gratuity

Gratuities are seen as an added "Thank You" and are not required.

Lowdown

  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, telephone.

Onsite

Shopping

Our gift shop offers a variety of souvenir items from t-shirts to western decor. There are also a selection of sweets in the gift shop and a soda machine available.

Outdoor Activities

wagon rides, bird watching, shuffleboard, ping pong, vollyball, swing sets, archery, soccer, bocce ball

Water based Activities

outdoor pool


Fishing & Wildlife

Another activity enjoyed by all is fishing at little Lake Julia. Our "stocked" pond is ready and waiting for fishermen of all ages. Parents love taking their children down to the lake to enjoy family time together. The lake is surrounded by plenty of room to run and explore Walker Basin Creek. Bring your poles and bait (or ask for American cheese from the kitchen...it works great) and head to the pond and try your luck.

Most everybody is successful at catching a rainbow trout. Clean your catch...then give it to our kitchen staff and they'll cook it for you at any meal during your stay. Catch and release is acceptable, so long as the fish is unharmed. We ask that you only catch what you plan to eat during your stay (one fish per person per day limit). There's nothing quite like a freshly caught trout baked with lemon and served at the meal of your choice.

Fishing on offer

stocked pond, unguided, BYO equipment

Wildlife

Deer, rabbit, squirrel, and coyotes are often seen, and our guest birdwatchers have spotted over 200 varieties of birds including the California Quail, meadow larks, and golden eagles in our valley. The ranch is also home to wild pigs, mountain lions, and bears - these animals tend to stay in our cattle country away from the ranch headquarters and are rarely seen.


Additional Services

Corporate Retreats

For groups of up to 30. Looking for a little peace and quiet in a secluded location, Rankin Ranch is the perfect location for small meetings and gatherings.

Weddings

We can cater for groups of 40-50. Rankin Ranch is the ideal location for a destination wedding. Your wedding will be an event to rembmer!


Local Attractions

Whitewater Rafting

The Kern River is only 45 minutes from the ranch. Many guests enjoy taking a rafting trip to extend their vacation. A variety of trips are available from 1 hour to multiple days.

Distance

30 miles / 45 mins

Top50 says

Highs

  • There’s a wonderful supervised children’s program
  • Rankin Ranch has a very loyal following with guests coming back generation after generation
  • You can ride the stunning Sunrise Trail ride that winds up on the ridgeline on the western side of Walker Basin in time to see the sun rising over the Piute Mountains to the east. Seeing the sunrise from the back of a horse is amazing
  • Their comfortable mountain cabins are surrounded by beautiful nature scenes

Lows

  • Rides only last approximately one hour, however the trail rides are very scenic, passing through mountain and meadow cattle country, and down Walker Basin Creek

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

Amazing family vacation!

Rankin Ranch was everything we hoped for in a family vacation and more. We wanted a place where there were things to do (that didn't include electronics) but where we could also relax. Well, we rode every day, played pool, played horseshoes (not very well), made friends with other families, hiked and read in the sunshine. Something amazing happened at the Ranch, my daughter didn't miss electronics at all. And neither did I (or my husband). The wranglers were all very nice and helpful. The ranch staff was all so very friendly. Best of all, the children's counselors were fabulous with all of the children, getting to know each child individually. I could gush about Rankin Ranch all day (and have to my friends and family) but I will spare you.

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Rankin Ranch on TripAdvisor