A Ranch Getaway from Bakersfield, California

A Ranch Getaway from Bakersfield, California

April 12th, 2021

A young woman raises her arms in jubilation as she enjoys her ranch getaway in Kern County California.

Rankin Ranch in Caliente, California, is a tranquil and scenic enclave for families in Bakersfield. In a short one-hour drive, you can escape into the fresh mountain air, quiet surroundings, and wide-open spaces. After over 55 years, our family dude ranch still attracts guests far and wide looking for a taste of the rustic American West. Still, we pride ourselves on providing an affordable ranch getaway experience for those who live right here in Kern County. The ranch is nestled in the little mountain valley of Walker Basin amid the rugged Tehachapi Mountains; away from the hustle and bustle of city life, we find it hard to believe that no family would benefit from a well-deserved retreat. To give you an idea of what to expect at Rankin Ranch and why it makes the perfect getaway from Bakersfield, we put together an overview of sorts that will show you everything you need to know about our beloved property and how to spend your time here.

A Rich History

Before we jump into some of our most prominent outdoor activities, we’d like to share a quick history lesson. The Quarter Circle U Rankin Ranch was founded in 1863 by Walker Rankin after his success in the goldfields of Northern California. For more than 155 years and six generations, the Rankins have lived and worked on this 31,000-acre cattle ranch, and we love nothing more than sharing our western heritage with anyone looking for a unique experience. Ranch getaways are not only a way to escape the city but also an excellent time to appreciate those who came before us in the place we’re visiting.

Leave the City Behind | A Quintessential Ranch Getaway

As you can imagine, there are many things to experience during a ranch getaway that you couldn’t even contemplate doing in the city or even in Bakersfield. What’s more, you’ll enjoy delicious ranch-style meals. Our staff-served buffet allows you to choose your favorite items, and we know you will love our Rankin Ranch Beef! After all, you’ll need plenty of fuel for all the fun and exciting activities you’ll find during your stay. From horseback riding to fishing, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors at Rankin Ranch. 

Cycling and Mountain Biking

Our quiet rural roads are safe for cycling, and our horse trails provide the perfect corridors for mountain biking. Avid urban bike enthusiasts will often train nearby because of our abundance of fresh air and challenging terrain. The “Lion’s Trail,” the 13 mile stretch of Caliente Bodfish Road between Caliente and Walker Basin, climbs in elevation by nearly 3,000 feet. But, you don’t have to be an avid cyclist to enjoy biking. Many families will ride together to the Rankin Cemetery just one mile from our headquarters.


Lounging and taking a dip in the pool are the perfect ways to relax or cool off on a warm summer day. Heated from May to September, you won’t have to worry about getting chilly during the cooler months when jumping into our pool. Furthermore, you’ll observe beautiful vistas of the valley as you relax near the water. During the spring, you’ll hear a chorus of songbirds chirping away as you delve into that book you’ve been waiting to open.


Lake Julia, our “stocked” pond, is often the epicenter of excitement as anglers of all ages test their skills while attempting to land “the big one.” Fishing with the family is a timeless bonding experience and an excellent opportunity to instill the importance of patience in children. Adding to the excitement of a Rankin fishing outing is the prospect of eating your catch!

Horseback Riding

A first person view of horseback riding at Rankin during a ranch getaway.

Photo by Theresa Long.

Widely considered the most prominent activity at our family dude ranch, horseback riding is something all urban-dwellers should experience in their lifetime. Available for ages six and older, our horseback riding adventures are suitable for all skill levels. Our seasoned and friendly Wranglers will gladly help introduce guests to horseback riding at the ranch and choose the perfect steed for your experience level. If you love the idea of replacing car and airplane sounds with hooves clicking amid laughter, then you’re in the right place!

All-Inclusive Family Dude Ranch Vacations

When you’re with the Rankins, it doesn’t take long to realize the power of a true ranch getaway. An escape from the city will do wonders for your psyche in addition to the many physical health benefits—not to mention a whole gamut of activities, some of which you may have never experienced before! To learn more, make reservations, or request a brochure, please visit us online or call 661-867-2511.