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Old Idaho Penitentiary

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Address: 2445 E Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712-8254
Phone Number: +1 208-334-2844
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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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Pretty cool way to spend a few hours in Boise

We went there in December (so it was freezing) and we may not have spend as much time if it was warmer...but we did still get a feel for the space, the prisoners stories, and what... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Edelina R
,
Chantilly, United States
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535 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 527: English reviews
Chantilly, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We went there in December (so it was freezing) and we may not have spend as much time if it was warmer...but we did still get a feel for the space, the prisoners stories, and what life may have been like there. It's a cool yet creepy peek into history and if you're a Ghost Adventures fan (a must see... More 

Helpful?
Thank Edelina R
Nampa, Idaho
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We took a tour of the penitentiary in July. They are offered for free or you can do a self guided tour. The tour guide was very informative and gave great insight as to how the prison was when it was open and housing inmates. We saw the gallows and the death row cells. My husband and I both worked... More 

Helpful?
Thank kristinahensley559
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited this in the winter and it gave another dimension to the conditions the prisoners had to endure during the cold and especially in solitary confinement which is called Siberia. You can climb into a cell and the tour guides are knowledgeable and entertaining. Great for local residents as well as out of towners. 2 thumbs up!

Helpful?
1 Thank Gary F
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
85 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Outside of Alcatraz (which I know can get a little ridiculous) this was the best prison tour I've done. It's self guided, but you can go in some of the cells (including solitary confinement), and the signage does really give you a great idea of what life was like for many of these prisoners. The history really does come alive.... More 

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Thank trimess
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I attended a winter guided tour of the penitentiary. It was cold, and that cold was exactly how it would have felt to the inmates who were doing time. You need to be ready to go up and down stairs, and walk outside as well as in. Well worth the time. Plan on a couple of hours to see everything.... More 

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Thank David H
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
142 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

One of the reasons we stopped in Boise on our cross-country trip was to see this penitentiary. Very friendly and informative lady at the counter. Felt like we had the prison to ourselves. You're able to walk through the Women's Ward, the general population and ruins from the prison fires resulting from riots. You really understand what solitary confinement means... More 

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Thank Healey2012
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2016 via mobile

Did a night tour with family. Found our tour guide competent and knowledgeable. Some of the stories and pictures will forever be burned into my memory. But it was worth the tour. I would take friends there again.

Helpful?
Thank Salicia D
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016 via mobile

The old Penitentiary offers a glimpse into the past when touring around these historic buildings. There is a rich history here and picturesque scenery. It is located in the Boise Foothills and near the Botanical Gardens.

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Thank DrJRN
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
281 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2016

Very interesting tour, didn't know what to expect take the tour so you learn a lot about what happened here highly recommend this if you're in the area .

Helpful?
Thank Brent S
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016 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

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