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Old Idaho Penitentiary

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Address: 2445 E Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712-8254
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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History

This was a very interesting self guided tour, We took my 81 year old Mother and she added to the experience by telling us what she remembered from a school field trip she had been... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Charlotte L
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510 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 502: English reviews
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This was a very interesting self guided tour, We took my 81 year old Mother and she added to the experience by telling us what she remembered from a school field trip she had been on 70 years before.

Helpful?
Thank Charlotte L
Longview, Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This place gives you a fascinating view into the development of law enforcement and the penal system in Idaho. The place has been reasonably kept up (it's a work in progress since it officially closed in the 1970s). You get a good impression of how prisoners were kept and treated, as well as how the facility expanded as more and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Veronika M
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Small fee for a fun time viewing interesting history of the territorial prison grounds. Awesome weapons exhibit included. Probably not much for kids, but was a great way to wander for a couple of hours. Friendly and helpful staff, too!

Helpful?
Thank Ludsranch
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

What a great place to visit - history, stories and lovely scenery to match. It is well worth the long walk or short drive out here. Next to the gardens it makes for a fun-packed day for families interested in the history of crime and the old west.

Helpful?
Thank Lincoln G
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Interesting part of Idaho history and worth visiting if you have some extra time in Boise. There is a 15 minute film shown, if you ask. Would recommend watching it before you tour the inside of the prison.

Helpful?
Thank Cindy C
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I took our out of town guests here to see the historic site. It was so awesome! It gives you a realistic sense of what life behind bars was like. Beautiful gardens and an intriguing display of guns, uniforms and war memorabilia through the years.

Helpful?
Thank DebbyD747
Boise, Idaho
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Interesting and creepy at the same time. History that spans from Custer to Nixon. Your kids will never want to break the law after seeing this place.

Helpful?
Thank Joanne M
Seattle
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I didn't expect much, and I was pleasantly surprised. Weekends there are docent tours, so we were on our own. But there are plenty of signs with the things you need to know around the jail. I didn't think it would be as fun as it was, but just seeing all the various old jail cells is cool. And it's... More 

Helpful?
Thank DoryGuy
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This old school prison is an incredible way to get a feel for old Idaho and walk through history. The prison has many buildings to tour, each built at a different time in history as the need for new beds grew. Each building opens a window into a new generation of prison life, and the curated displays of weaponry, tools,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Matt C
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

If you are in Boise, go. Old territorial prison with lots of history. Exhibits were well done, learned a lot about the characters that came through. Added bonus of a gun exhibit that some rich guy donated that was really cool (and I am not a gun enthusiast). Good Pokestop too!

Helpful?
Thank rowdyrutter

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Logan, Utah
4 months ago
over a year ago
Watsonville, California, United States
8 months ago
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?