126 acres dedicated to help people of all ages and challenges to create meaningful experiences


Welcome to joy ranch of south dakota

For those with disabilities or challenging life circumstances, we are a place to enjoy nature and participate in horse related activities and other experiences. All in a barrier free and stairway free environment that everyone can access.

For the general public, we are a place to horseback ride, jump in a lake, take a riding lesson, visit an 1880’s town, get married, stay in a themed hotel room, hold your next corporate event, camp out, eat something delicious, and much more. 

Learn more about us
aerial view of joy ranch

our mission

Joy Nelson started using horses as instruments of healing in 1989. Since then, she has seen the incredible impact they can have on those who have been significantly impacted by disease or disability. Our core mission is to help challenged individuals get a chance to meaningfully connect with horses.

Each time you purchase a service from us, be it a horseback ride, a night in our hotel, or a meal, you’re making our core mission a success. Thank you! 

Explore all of the fun at joy Ranch!


From horse activities to exploring historic buildings and the great outdoors, Joy Ranch is packed with fun for the whole family.

Browse activities


Joy Ranch is perfect for corporate retreats, church retreats, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, reunions, parties and more!

View group amenities


Our pristine natural surroundings and long list of amenities ensure you and your guests will have an unforgettable experience.

Plan your wedding

What our guests are saying

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This place is amazing! Comfy, friendly staff, beautiful views! We had so much fun at our overnight Christmas party! Recommend to anyone and everyone!
Anne M.
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Beautiful, well maintained, clean and perfect for family get-together! Very kind staff!
Mari M.
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Excellent place to stay, great staff and very good food!
Marilyn C.
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Wonderful place to relax and enjoy God's beautiful scenery!
Juanita P.
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A home away from home. From the staff, to the programming, and the facilities, we always feel so greatly taken care of.
Highly recommend!
Tristan Hargens
Sanford Camp coordinator
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Beautiful setting, wonderful accommodations, amazing hospitality
Elaine E.

Experience joy Ranch today!

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