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Old Idaho Penitentiary

2445 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712
208-334-2844
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Ranked #5 of 86 Attractions in Boise
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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203 reviews from our community

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English first
Savannah, Georgia
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
51 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

I like to visit reportedly haunted places on my travels, just to see if I catch a glimpse of anything unusual. Ghost Adventures stopped by here, so that was good enough for me. The staff was very helpful in telling us where all of the paranormal hotspots were on a map, and off we went. We didn't encounter anything out... More

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Rigby, Idaho
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

We did not plan on going here it was a we saw a flyer at our hotel and went type thing. So glad we did! That place is fantastic if into the historical things. Amazing for photos too. This information they give there is awesome. You can go into the cells, even the solitary confinement ones! Staff is great!

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Boise, Idaho
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

I haven't gone inside the prison, but I walk my dog in this area a lot. This is a really nice area in Boise! The route here passes by a lot of interesting old houses, including a person who built a modern day castle! When you get to the prison you are right next to the mountain. If you don't... More

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Downey, California
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14 reviews 14 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

Was very interesting....I liked the fact that there was lots of information on the walls and in cases...I disliked that it was not wheelchair accessible

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Bradenton
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Informative tour. Our tour guide was extremely knowlegable of the history of the prison. More than worth the $5.00 admission!

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Chicago
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
66 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Very eerie places, as you might expect. Cool buildings and very good interpretive displays and panels. You can walk through the various cells and compounds. We visited on a Summer Friday night when there was a concert in the "quad." Lovely. Cheap beer to buy. We brought a picnic/blanket and watched the setting sun on the stone buildings, most of... More

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Mandeville, Louisiana
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
24 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

We were pleasanty surprised by Boise overall. My 18 year old son and I were visiting Boise for a Niece's wedding on Friday August 8 and got into town very early on August 7 and did some sightseeing before the wedding. We rented bikes at Idaho Mountain Tours for a reasonable price ($20/ each for 4 hours) and rode to... More

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East Wenatchee, Washington
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
40 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

Lots of interesting history. Actually walking through the cell blocks. Kind of creepy. Wouldn't want to get stuck there.

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Madison, WI
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
3 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

Idaho Historical Society does a nice job presenting this site, located on the outskirts of Boise. It may be smaller than you might imagine if you've seen a modern correctional facility, and particularly considering the size of the inmate population it once held. The tour is self-guided and the orientation film is a must to get your bearings and background.... More

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Odessa, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

I don't think it was so much the place that was depressing but the temperature was in the high 90's. As a Texan that has to suffer through those temperatures on a daily basis, I expected cool weather being so far north.

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