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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 471 reviews
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  • 263
    Excellent
  • 178
    Very good
  • 20
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Pretty cool and worth the stop

Really cool place and worth the $6 fee.Would of been nicer if they had more displays,it was mostly seeing the buildings.We were told the few buildings that did have displays were... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
ricoman1
,
Chehalis, Washington
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471 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 464: English reviews
Chehalis, Washington
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Really cool place and worth the $6 fee.Would of been nicer if they had more displays,it was mostly seeing the buildings.We were told the few buildings that did have displays were shut down due to some kids not supervised by parents broke many items in one building.We didnt have time to wait for the next guided tour so did it... More 

Helpful?
Thank ricoman1
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Creeepy! The history of the jail is interesting. It's a quick trip, but worth it to go see. If you go in the summer, there's not a lot of shade, so bring water.

Helpful?
Thank Melynda R
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

My kids enjoyed (10 & 12). We went on a free museum day. It was interesting, a little and dark, but it's the Old Pen. I learned that it had been used for a lot longer than I thought. Lots of history and we discussed how people make bad choices. Also women's crimes vs. men's and how things weren't equal.

Helpful?
Thank Susan P
Boise, Idaho
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Old Pen is one of our families favorite places to explore. Not only is it an adventure, it also is a wonderful way to learn about Idaho history. The old pen hold many gatherings through out the year, where you not only learn about the history of the Old Pen, but also other activities like geothermal projects in the... More 

Helpful?
Thank june21772016
Boise, Idaho
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Old Idaho Pen entertained the whole family on a cloudy afternoon. A teen, tween, and both parents had a great time taking the guided tour and then exploring the grounds. It was great to hear the history and see it, too. We're excited to go back for some of the events they have!

Helpful?
Thank idah0m0m
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The prison is built of limestone quarried by the penitentiary's prisoners themselves. The cells where some prisoners were kept in solitary were terrifying, and a little spooky. The Idaho State Historical Society recorded oral history interviews with fifteen former prison guards. These tapes and transcripts cover prison operations and remembrances from the 1950s to the closing of the prison, when... More 

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Thank mary n
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Halloween time is our favorite time to visit with Frighten Felons!! The thriller dance is a blast to watch! Love being there at night!the cemetery tour was cool!can't wait for this year's Frighten felons!

Helpful?
Thank mrscarpenter2011
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Visited the old penitentiary on one of the hottest days of the year. If you visit during the hot summer months bring water. Our tour was hosted by Mr. A. Regan who shared great knowledge of the old prison. The took about an hour and a half and Mr. Regan shared many stories surrounding the penitentiary. This is a good... More 

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Thank Jon R
Lakewood, WA
Level Contributor
127 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is very interesting, although some parts are a little grim. Start out viewing the film, which is just off the gate to the prison, then please take a volunteer docent guided tour - you'll learn a lot. This prison operated for more than one hundred years, saw several escapes (not all successful) and 10 executions (some in the beautiful... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mel H
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Our guide was very knowledgeable and shared some really good stories about the prison. Definitely worth the $6 price of admission and I know I learned much more than if I had simply done a self-guided tour.

Helpful?
1 Thank Jill F

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Logan, Utah
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Watsonville, California, United States
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over a year ago

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