Old Idaho Penitentiary

Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise: Hours, Address, Old Idaho Penitentiary Reviews: 4.5/5

Old Idaho Penitentiary
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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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Popular mentions

4.5
972 reviews
Excellent
573
Very good
344
Average
49
Poor
4
Terrible
1

JAS
Berlin, PA34 contributions
Idaho Vacation
Sep 2021
Very interesting location to visit and look at the cells. Learned many facts about the Penitentiary.
Written September 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Olga P
Anchorage, AK8 contributions
nice
Oct 2020
interesting, Nice place to visit. good piece of history
One time was probably good for me. it is in good area in the town next to the Botanical Garden.
Written September 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

harryatkck
Kansas City, KS772 contributions
Very interesting
Aug 2021
This old penitentiary is well preserved. The exhibits give you an excellent idea of what life was like for the prisoners. There is also a weapons museum here that has a wide variety of weapons from around the world. I paid the senior admission rate of $4 & it was well worth it.
Written August 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Loveographer
Boise, ID27 contributions
Neat experience
Aug 2021 • Family
Our kids are 8, 13, and 18 and they all enjoyed this more then i expected! Go during the day that it won’t be so hot... it’s more enjoyable when you can take your time. Tons to read... very interesting stories and information! We loved visiting!!
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shirley S
Boise, ID117 contributions
Stay out of Jail!
Jul 2021
We took our grandchildren (teenagers) and they loved it. I was surprised at how interested they were in the "histories" given in posters on the walls. Besides seeing cells, there was a room full of weapons (from old to modern times), a life size trench (war time) and many other things. It was a very hot day and only the weapons room is air-conditioned. My advice: go in the morning on hot days!! The gift shop has really cool items and there is a film showing the history of the penitentiary. It was an educational and fun adventure!! (I was unable to upload pictures)
Written August 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carolyn R
Edmonds, WA117 contributions
Worth the time to explore this historic attraction
Aug 2021
You would not think touring an old prison would be very exciting, especially on a very hot day in August. But yet it really was! This tour is very cool (even my two teens thought so). Great exhibit info and the setting was just interesting. You go inside and outside to see the prison buildings, and learn a lot about the justice system especially from way back. There is a lot of history to be learned through visiting this site. Staff were friendly and super knowledgeable. Great stories! Masks required inside for a couple of the buildings. OIP is at the end of what I'd call a cultural row. There is a gem museum, botanical garden and a couple of other sites you could tour near this place. There are also live talks given every hour or so about the history of the OIP. From the parking lot, is the trailhead for a great hike. Worth your time to explore this while visiting Boise. I would say not for very young kids. Admission fee is reasonable. We really enjoyed our visit here.
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike C
Lincoln, NE186 contributions
An interesting, but sad place
Jul 2021
I recently visited the Old Idaho Penitentiary while visiting Boise. It was interesting. They have done a great job of preserving the history of the place and all of the displays were very informative. I did learn a lot about prisons during the era that it was opened. However, while I found the place to be interesting, I also felt sad walking through there thinking about humans being in such a place (the solitary confinement wing in particular). I am glad that I went and would recommend a visit.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beth K
Shawnee, KS1,587 contributions
Great way to spend the afternoon
Jul 2021
We wanted to tour this penitentiary after seeing it several times on ghost-related shows and was excited to see it in person and learn more. The price was very reasonable - I believe it was $6 for adults - and included a self-tour and a presentation about the history put on by a local high school history teacher.

I was surprised to hear that this penitentiary was built at the time of the Civil War and it closed in 1973 when prisoners burned two of the buildings. The displays talking about death row inmates was interesting as well. We spent about two hours looking at all of the displays, including a weapons display from the Civil War thru WW II in one of the buildings.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kevin B
Boise, ID388 contributions
Interesting and cheap
Jul 2021
Awesome presentation which I would recommend hearing first. Probably like 20 minutes and was a nice history of the place. Plenty of different buildings to check out with some placards for reading. The weapons exhibit that also exists here was pretty cool. Definitely worth the $6.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Icarus4335
Colorado Springs, CO514 contributions
Cool Place to Visit
Jul 2021
Pretty cool old prison to check out. I wish there was a few more placards and stuff to read around the grounds, but overall still interesting. They also have a history presentation they give in the shirt factory that was very informative.
Written July 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Old Idaho Penitentiary

Old Idaho Penitentiary is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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