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Old Idaho Penitentiary

2445 E Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712-8254
+1 208-334-2844
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Review Highlights
1973 was not that long ago... but these conditions feel pretty ancient

We biked out from campus on the green belt and found the Old Penitentiary easily. The exhibit rooms... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Catriona R
,
Homer, Alaska
via mobile
A view from the inside

Really cool place to visit. The grounds are completely open allowing you to visit at your own pace... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Jammer02
,
Los Angeles, California
Read all 725 reviews
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Overview
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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.
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good35%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“guided tour” (68 reviews)
“death row” (21 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
2445 E Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712-8254
CONTACT
Website
+1 208-334-2844
Write a ReviewReviews (725)
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All reviews
"guided tour"
in 68 reviews
"solitary confinement"
in 36 reviews
"death row"
in 21 reviews
"weapons museum"
in 18 reviews
"prison life"
in 16 reviews
"ghost adventures"
in 14 reviews
"historical place"
in 9 reviews
"great history"
in 27 reviews
"interesting stories"
in 10 reviews
"botanical gardens"
in 29 reviews
"lots of history"
in 16 reviews
"piece of history"
in 11 reviews
"historical society"
in 9 reviews
"self guided"
in 15 reviews
"step back in time"
in 9 reviews
"bring water"
in 8 reviews
"table rock"
in 14 reviews
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1 - 10 of 713 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We biked out from campus on the green belt and found the Old Penitentiary easily. The exhibit rooms next to the admission desk are worth checking out before entering the rest of the prison as the interpretive displays give context for what you’ll be visiting...More

Thank Catriona R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Really cool place to visit. The grounds are completely open allowing you to visit at your own pace. They provide you with a map that has some great descriptions and there are some good information in all of the spaces. Plus you can take a...More

1  Thank Jammer02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This was the territorial prison when Idaho territory included Montana and Wyoming. The oldest cells were brutal, but the 4' x 4' x 4' hole in the ground was worse. The buildings are COLD, unless they are HOT... if a few months here did not...More

Thank Shannon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We had so much fun exploring the Old Idaho Penitentiary. What an amazing place! We took the tour from a very knowledgeable guide. She had lots of great information. I would suggest taking some extra time after the tour to just wander the grounds and...More

1  Thank Katiemaughan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A look at the way prison life used to be. Wonderful gun collection. Great historical perspective of the prisoners. Bring along a pair of good walking shoes.

Thank N108INstevenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This is a Don't Miss spot if you are visiting Boise! Easy to find at the edge of town, and a beautiful location at the foot of Table Rock. Interesting small museum in the old admin building. Great self-guided tour takes about an hour. Tour...More

1  Thank bobc012001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Took my kids to visit this site. Stepping back in time and showing them this location was a highlight of our weekend adventure to Boise.

Thank ScotJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018 via mobile

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is an astonishing piece of architecture, filled with history, and the stories of infamous characters. The Penitentiary, or at least the walls of the Penitentiary are constructed of local sandstone. The architecture is a far cry from the types of buildings...More

1  Thank Pamela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2018

We arrived not far from closing time, so we missed the tour opportunity, but that did not diminish the experience. We still enjoyed exploring the many buildings and spaces. The place was basically taken out of operation decades ago and not "dressed up" much in...More

Thank LarryM295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2018

Visit this penitentiary and you can almost feels the inhabitants! I have visited this place 3 times and it is very interesting.

Thank rwjewett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Steven K
27 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Debra L | Reviewed this property |
The paranormal tour is done only around Halloween. There may have been special access granted to Ghost Hunters for their TV show, but it's not a regular event. The Penitentiary has some places that are quite unsafe and the... More
1
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Steven K
27 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from livetoride07 | Reviewed this property |
I believe there is one around Halloween on Friday's if I remember correctly.
0
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Camille B
15 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Walter S | Reviewed this property |
The Penitentiary is wheel chair accessible in some parts. The entire area is connected with pavement. However, there is a step to view inside one of the cells. There is also a Museum. If you take a look at the website... More
1
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