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Old Idaho Penitentiary

2445 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712
208-334-2844
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Ranked #3 of 85 attractions in Boise
Type: Historic Sites
Owner description: In 1872 the Idaho Territorial Prison opened its doors to some of the most desperate and mean criminals the West could offer. In 1973 the Idaho State... more » Owner description: In 1872 the Idaho Territorial Prison opened its doors to some of the most desperate and mean criminals the West could offer. In 1973 the Idaho State Penitentiary closed to inmates. Now our doors are open for visitors to explore over 100 years of Idaho's unique prison history. Open year-round, visitors of the Old Idaho Penitentiary can walk through solitary confinement, cell blocks, and the gallows. Visit today and relive the Old Pen's exciting past of daring escapes, scandals, and executions. Call for more details about special events, educational programs and guided tours. « less
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171 reviews from our community

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English first
Arizona
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

Must have been a sad place to be incarcerated. Interesting to visit once. The most interesting part of the place is the huge room with all of the collection of guns that one man collected for many years. Pretty impressive place.

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pocatello
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
65 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

So after we went to the Zoo, my wife and I went to the old Idaho penitentiary. It was pretty amazing driving by its giant walls and see the old remaining buildings. As we walked through its entrance with a tour group, my mind went back trying to imagine the numberless prisoners that lived there at one point of their... More

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

Visited the Penitentiary, although we didn't enter the area itself, we had fun visiting the surrounding area, including the women's ward and also the houses in display. Also took a trek up the hill where you can get a great view of Boise and also overlooking the Penitentiary.

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Boise, Idaho
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Take the tour for sure! I have taken the tour a couple of times and everytime it is different since there are different people telling you the stories. Very informative and interesting.

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Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

A fascinating tour of life in a territorial prison on the 1800' up to 1972. View the rose garden, ( execution area) Siberia (the hole). It's worth your time to take the tour.

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Boise, Idaho
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
25 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

It's almost eerie to walk the cells thinking like a prisoner and having someone "shut" the cell door with a big "clunk!" Oops, there's no Key!!! Not really, but it certainly feels that way. It's a must stop when you have an afternoon to spare for some local history.

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

I was in town on business and had a little extra time to kill between appointments. I am very glad I stopped here. This is a very cool place. I really wish we still had facilities like this as I think it would really deter crime. If I had spent time here I guarantee I would not have repeat offended.

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Odessa WA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Fun Halloween adventure alternative, had a great time with friends, lots of food and drink oppurtunities, all the areas are open, and the history is amazing!

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Springfield, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is a very interesting place to visit. Lots of history about the prison with lots of things to see. Was amazing to go inside the actual buildings and cells that once held real life prisoners and see 1st hand how they spent there time in prison. You can see the laundry area where the inmates did... More

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McCall, Idaho
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
28 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

why visit a prison? why not!? the tours are very informative and were fascinating to me. the women's prison, though morose, was enlightening. it may not be atop the list of places to go in boise, but it is worth the visit!

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