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Old Idaho Penitentiary

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Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712
Phone Number: 208-334-2844
Website
Description: In 1872 the Idaho Territorial Prison opened its doors to some of the most...
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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 306 reviews
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  • 179
    Excellent
  • 114
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
fascinating landmark

When this building was an actual penitentiary with 'inmates' making Idaho license plates, it was very foreboding.. Now it still send out strong vibes so you feel the power of... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 31, 2015
jnjdougan
,
Phoenix, Arizona
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306 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
132 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2015 NEW

When this building was an actual penitentiary with 'inmates' making Idaho license plates, it was very foreboding.. Now it still send out strong vibes so you feel the power of yesterday!

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Billings, Montana
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015 NEW

My husband and I were on vacation in Boise staying with a friend. We found the penitentiary on a list of cool things to do. The whole trip to this place was so interesting and fun. It was historical and really informational. The buildings were set up on an easy map to tour. They did a great job explaining everything... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2015 NEW

Guided tour was excellent! Lots of information and helped understand the layout. Many photos throughout and great stories about the prisoners and guards and their relationships.

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Chula Vista, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015

I wish this prison was still open, just like I wish all old prisons were open. If inmates had to live like this, maybe there would be less people returning

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Tualatin, Oregon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015

Excellent place to visit to learn about some of the notorious parts of Idaho history. Fun excursion with beautifully kept grounds, right near the heart of Boise

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Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

While visiting friends in Boise, we decided to visit the Old Idaho Penitentiary on our last day! I am so happy we made the visit. I can only imagine what it was like for the prisoner imprisoned here. When you visit, you will see how young the prisoners were. It was interesting to learn how the women were treated. The... More 

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Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

First of all, the Penitentiary is only one stop among several. The Idaho Botanical Gardens are on one side, and the beautiful architecture of the Bishop's House on the other. I was in awe thinking about where I was, and the staff/volunteers are extremely knowledgeable. Bad guys were really in here! And though, for some, that may be creepy, it's... More 

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Boise, Idaho
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7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

Great place to check out how the bad people lived. Lots of history and interesting facts about jail life. The tour is worth the cost of entry.

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Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
97 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

I always try to stop by a historical place and this is one of those that you can say it is definitely a must visit once in Boise! It gives you a short history of the place and some of the inmates. Why and when they committed the crime and what happened to them. It is interesting to see how... More 

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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
83 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2015

This was such an interesting place to visit with so much history. So much to see and take in. This is definitely a must see when in Boise.

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Additional Information about Old Idaho Penitentiary

Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712
Phone Number: 208-334-2844
Location: United States  >  Idaho (ID)  >  Boise

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