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Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise

4.6
#1 of 9 in Historic Sites in Idaho
Experience what prison life was like for the most notorious criminals of Idaho's "Wild West" and the guards that worked there at Old Idaho Penitentiary. The prison first received inmates in 1872 and remained a functioning prison for 101 years, housing a total of 13,000 inmates. Walk through buildings like the dining hall, women's ward, and the maximum security area--Cell House 5--which served as Death Row. If you are feeling brave, lock yourself into one of the solitary confinement cells to better understand the harsh conditions of the prison's past. You can also take a guided tour. The facility is home to multiple exhibits, notably the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit of Arms and Armaments, which features one of the nation's largest collections of military history from Medieval times, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Old Idaho Penitentiary is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Boise Edition.
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Old Idaho Penitentiary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
724 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • 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 ...  more »
  • 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 ...  more »
  • 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 t...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting historic place to visit!! I hear it's fun to go through around Halloween as well. It would be interesting to do some paranormal searching here, if they allow that. It was fascinating and creepy all in one. 😊😊 The price was super reasonable as well!! It was a spur-of-the-moment stop on our trip and I'm glad we did. 😊
  • "Loving it" is not the right way to rate it. The impact touring the old prison leaves on you is enduring. Sobering is the word. Knowing the consequences of what is was like to land in that prison scares rebellion right out of you. Connect with the cold steel bars. Feel the chill of drab concrete and metal. Imagine trying to escape...
  • Very interesting to see. Great way to kill a few hours. Not too expensive, tons of info posted throughout.
  • It's not a bad hotel They use to have this game in the showers where everyone was naked and threw a bar of soap around. but if you dropped it you'd have to go to a doctor and ask them for preparation H afterwards! It's a shame they shut it down and turned it into a museum.
  • The tour is 6 dollars per adult. We decided to skip the tour and walked the outside grounds instead. I'm betting ghost hunters would love touring the cells. The out cropping buildings are works of art with their masonry giving a glimpse of the highlights inmates could enjoy.
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4 days in Boise BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 10 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM EL SALVADOR April, relaxing, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM SPAIN June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Idaho & Vancouver BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Idaho BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 17 days in United States & Calgary BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
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