Ras proteins have become paradigms for isoform- and compartment-specific signaling. Recent work has shown that Ras isoforms are differentially distributed within cell surface signaling nanoclusters and on endomembranous compartments. The critical feature regulating Ras protein localization and isoform-specific functions is the C-terminal hypervariable region (HVR). In this review we discuss the differential post-translational modifications and reversible targeting functions of Ras isoform HVR motifs. We describe how compartmentalized Ras signaling has specific functional consequences and how cell surface signaling nanoclusters generate precise signaling outputs.