Nestled in the unspoiled Tehachapi Mountains is a special place filled with history, family tradition, and a lifestyle that does not include groups of strolling people with smart phones in front of their faces. It's the Quarter Circle U Rankin Ranch!
Founded by Walter Rankin Sr. nearly 150 years ago, it was a cattle ranch until Rankin family matriarch Helen opened it up to guests in 1965. Now families pack the place throughout the spring and summer to ride pristine pastures and rugged mountain trails where White Face Hereford cattle still graze.
It is not uncommon to find returning visitors on the registry. During my family’s stay, there were three families enjoying what has become an annual visit. They keep coming back because at this ranch, you are treated like family from the moment you arrive.
AMMENITIES AND ACTIVITIES
Home cooked meals, two rides daily, and a children’s program packed with fun activities such as arts, crafts, archery, and treasure hunts had my family raving. My kids also enjoyed helping to feed the farm animals each evening.
Don’t feel like riding? It’s not a problem, you can choose to recline poolside and soak up that book you’ve been meaning to read instead. There’s also a fishing pond on the property for those who bring their rods with them.
The ranch is known for its evening patio parties enjoyed by adult guests while the kids are off playing under the watchful guise of trained ranch staff and quite often with Rankin grandkids. Both age groups are brought back together just after dinner for a rousing game of bingo or to bet on the stick horse races. The jockeys are the kids in these events, their horses of their making and the prize is Rankin Bucks, a wooden currency accepted in the gift shop.
Weekend stays are capped with a hay ride out to the meadow where all are treated to an old fashioned barbecue picnic before they partake in one last heated competition, a horseshoe tournament.
Guests must be at least 6 years old to ride. No previous riding experience is needed for you to enjoy a true cowboy experience. The Rankins do a fantastic job of teaching beginners how to handle a horse. You can choose to ride with your children or with other grown-ups only. What you experience is up to you.
It’s an experience you will never forget and one you will want to live again and again.
Disclosure: I received complimentary lodging and activities for the purpose of this review. I was not required to state any particular view; all opinions are my own.
I started visiting Rankin Ranch each Summer when I was 10 years old... that was in 1984. I have so many memories of that beautiful Ranch and the Rankin family truly feels like part of MY family. I grew up there in so many ways, and had the joy of bringing my little niece and nephew there a few years ago. They adored it as well and it was so fun to share with the next generation. My daughter is 3 now and I cannot wait to bring her to Rankin Ranch to experience the wonderful children's program, the adventures, the natural beauty of the place, and of course, the horses. The trail and meadow rides are all breathtaking in their own way, and everyone who works there wants to assure you a great vacation away from it all. From the miraculous sunrise in the morning, to the breathtaking number of stars at night... Rankin Ranch is a MUST for horse-lovers young and old!
If you're looking for a vacation spot where the adults can relax and unwind while the kids have fun, fun, fun, then look no further than Rankin Ranch. The Rankins and their extended families are, quite simply, the nicest, most welcoming folks you'll ever meet.
From the delicious, home-cooked meals (thanks, Rudy and staff!) to the breathtaking horseback rides through the beautiful countryside to the fresh air and cozy, clean cabins nestled among the trees, Rankin Ranch is the place you will wish you had discovered sooner and to which you will yearn to return.
Really...no one is paying me to say these things :-) I'm just a guest...but when I'm there, it feels like home. I can't wait to go back.
To borrow a slogan, "Nobody doesn't like Rankin Ranch." Go there...as soon as you can. You'll be glad you did.
If your kids spot some elk, they may be disappointed to learn that no, they can’t ride or even pet them. However, they can pet and ride horses to their hearts’ content at Rankin Ranch, minutes north of Bakersfield in Walker’s Basin. To get there, take Interstate 5 north to the Lamont–Lake Isabelle exit. The ranch is 38 miles from the exit, past the town of Caliente. Members of the Rankin family have b
een ranching at their Quarter Circle U since 1863, and they’ve got the western way of life down pat. This is a working, 31,000-acre, cattle and guest ranch where kids and adults can help out with farm chores
and horseback ride at their leisure.
Accommodations available on the ranch as well.
Members of the Rankin family have been
ranching at their Quarter Circle U since 1863, and
they’ve got the western way of life down pat. This is a
working, 31,000-acre, cattle and guest ranch where
kids and adults can help out with farm chores
and horseback ride at their leisure. Fourteen
cozy cabins with no room phones or TV. Family style
meals, horseback riding, swimming, and
hiking. Seasonal supervised children’s program