Cholesterol is an abundant lipid of the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and of certain endosomal membranes where cholesterol-rich microdomains are important in the organization and compartmentalization of vesicular trafficking. Here we describe the development of a rapid method to isolate a cholesterol-rich endomembrane fraction. We show that widely used subcellular fractionation techniques incompletely separate cholesterol-rich membranes, such as the TGN, from organelles, such as late endosomes and lysosomes. To address this issue, we devised a new subcellular fractionation scheme involving two rounds of velocity centrifugation, membrane sonication, and discontinuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation. This strategy resulted in the isolation of a cholesterol and GM1 glycosphingolipid-enriched membrane fraction that was completely cleared of plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria. This buoyant fraction was enriched for the TGN and recycling endosome proteins Rab11 and syntaxin-6, and it was well resolved from cis-Golgi and early and late endosomal membranes. We demonstrate that this technique can give useful insights into the compartmentation of phosphoinositide synthesis, and it facilitates the isolation of cholesterol-rich membranes from a population of TGN-trafficking vesicles.