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Old Idaho Penitentiary

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Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712
Phone Number:
+1 208-334-2844
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

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  • 316
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 27
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    Terrible
A hidden treasure

This surprised me at how much I enjoyed this stop. My advice is go to the website and see when they have the guided tours and plan your time around that. The guide doesn't cost... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Vickiward
via mobile
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557 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 549: English reviews
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

This surprised me at how much I enjoyed this stop. My advice is go to the website and see when they have the guided tours and plan your time around that. The guide doesn't cost any more and was very informative. It's amazing that this Penitentiary was up and running into the 70's. If all jails were like this maybe... More 

Helpful?
Thank Vickiward
Level Contributor
150 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

First and foremost in my mind is that people should tip the tour guide. the guy we had did 90 minutes of the most entertaining, informative and interesting discussion of this prison. no one tipped him. we gave him 20$ and he was worth way more than that. The prison itself as a self guided tour would probably have been... More 

Helpful?
Thank abearfellow
Nampa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The old penitentiary is made of sandstone cut from a nearby quarry way back in the 1800's. So many stories abound that you can spend as much or as little time as you and or your family wants. We went in the month of February just driving by the structures and tell the stories that we already knew. We recommend... More 

Helpful?
Thank Walter S
Boise Idaho
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The old penitentiary is a historical wonder with its sandstone walls and turrets at the corners it takes you back a hundred years in a real western prison where the prisoners quarried sandstone blocks which can be seen in the construction of many of Boise's grand old homes. Now on the property also is the botanical gardens. We were there... More 

Helpful?
Thank akkathya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Touring the Old Idaho State Penitentiary is a great history walk with the family or just on a date. Lots of history inside those walls to stretch the imagination. In summer time take a walk thru the rose garden or up the trail to Table Rock.

Helpful?
Thank IDElkGuide
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a great place to visit if you want to see a piece of Idaho's history. I would recommend visiting when its warm outside.

Helpful?
Thank James R
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I took my Girl Scout troop of 25 girls for the afternoon. The older girls enjoyed the guided tour. The younger girls wished they could have participated. There is lots of history & interesting facts to read and learn about. We only wished we could see more of some buildings.

Helpful?
Thank MomTo3amazingkids
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Visiting here definitely exceeded expectations! We got there at noon and stuck around for the 12:30 guided tour, which is the same price as the self-guided tour. You will learn endless amounts more on the guided tour. Our tour guide was especially passionate about telling stories about inmates, and different things that happened in different areas of the jail, helping... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Morgan G
Taos, New Mexico, United States
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a very interesting historical sight with Botanical Gardens and an old, restored Victorian House available to rent for special occasions. Price is very affordable and you can have everything in one lovely place. You get the whole house, including kitchen facilities and also have use of the beautiful gardens.

Helpful?
Thank bobbihaque
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2017 via mobile

It was a great learning experience. Could feel the tortured souls still wandering the cells. It was chilling to see the cell and execution site of "idahos jack the ripper". Wish I could've went on Friday the 13th. Will definitely do it again.

Helpful?
Thank Gwshell819

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Logan, Utah
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Typical questions asked:
  • 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?