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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 496 reviews
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  • 277
    Excellent
  • 186
    Very good
  • 22
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Interesting Historical Place

Went as a side trip as we were passing through Boise and wanted to give 2 teenage boys a reprieve from sitting in the car and we're glad we did, it was very interesting and yes, a... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Carol M
,
Tacoma, Washington
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496 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 488: English reviews
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Went as a side trip as we were passing through Boise and wanted to give 2 teenage boys a reprieve from sitting in the car and we're glad we did, it was very interesting and yes, a bit scary! Our tour guide did a great job of telling stories about the place and made it, "Come Alive".

Helpful?
1 Thank Carol M
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Level Contributor
94 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

They have guided and self guided tours. We hopped on a guided tour which was very interesting. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and it was fun learning some of Idaho's history,

Helpful?
Thank Holly I
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
64 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I visited the old penitentiary with my friends. A lot of history behind bars. A must see historical place if your visiting Boise.

Helpful?
Thank Prasangakananke
Kitsap Peninsula
Level Contributor
103 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I didn't cotton to go into this place, but the rest of my family loved it! Has stories about people who died from the Electric Chair...while you got to go into the Electric Chair room...ewwwwwww

Helpful?
1 Thank fortunate2bhere
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Went to the old Idaho penitentiary and it was very interesting! Took the guided tour which I would recommend. The guide was knowledgeable and kept things moving! The Earl weapons display is a must! A great time and educational too!

Helpful?
Thank S147G
Franklin, Tennessee
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My wife and I watch the show ghost adventures and had to come visit this while in Boise! Lots of history with this old jail! Pretty interesting facts with what went on. The guide-Kenny, was very knowledgeable but kind of dull in presentation. Definitely a must see.

Helpful?
Thank rjh3n
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

very interesting seeing the old prison. My wife and I enjoyed it more than the kids. I got the feeling that prison life would have been a horrible experience. Seeing the small solitary cells for prisoners that didn't behave was eye opening. I could understand how people go crazy in confinement like that.

Helpful?
Thank Andy R
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A great -- if gruesome -- piece of history. Wee ones can safely run wild wild while older ones explore the solitary confinement rooms, the laundry, the death chamber, etc. We spent a few hours here. BUT BRING WATER AND SNACKS WITH YOU. There is a gun museum on site. I would never have fathomed that it would hold my... More 

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Thank HaveKidsCantTravel
Phoenix
Level Contributor
57 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I had the chance to go here with my grandchildren and was very impressed with the whole place. It was very interactive and had something for everyone to be involved. Everyone of my grandchildren found something that they like about the place. They loved having their picture taken at the beginning in the cage and reading some of the life... More 

Helpful?
Thank rdwlcw
Whittlesey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was a visit we had planned on our trip, and we were not disappointed. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared many interesting anecdotes with us. Well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Helpful?
Thank blackpoolfan52

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Questions & Answers

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

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  • 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?