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Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise

4.7
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 Edition.
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Old Idaho Penitentiary reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
934 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Good Historic Architecture. Also, lots of trails from here heading up to the Hills. Take one of these trails to see inside of old prison walls.  more »
  • We stopped by on a whim . Ended up being the best stop of our trip. Great experience . We loved walking thru the cell blocks , death row, and solitary confinement . The. History here is never...  more »
  • Wow! Very interesting place to visit. Self guided tour. The employees are extremely friendly and helpful. They enjoy talking about the place and about Idaho history. Lots to read and you can go into....  more »
Google
  • Great tour! Such great and interesting stories and things to see here. Our tour guide Leslie was awesome!! Very informative and quick witted. Highly recommend! Just make sure if you small children (or if you’re sensitive) make sure you don’t mind them hearing about murders and executions.
  • Idaho's old Penn is a wonderful place for all those with a curious mind. It boggles the mind to think that it only closed in 1973 because when you step in you feel like you're stepping into something hundreds of years old. There's a lot of walking, and it can get pretty hot out there in the summertime. But those conditions also help you imagine what it was like for the inmates to live there. I highly recommend this for anybody who has an interest in our country's history, the beginnings of Boise, and maybe a little interest in the Paranormal.
  • I’m a history buff, with a bachelors in history, so I may be a little biased here. This was on the top of my list of things to see in Boise. I’ll be honest, I was a little underwhelmed when I pulled up. I thought it would be bigger. I have to say I was completely wrong. This is worth the price of $6 for admission, I’m surprised it’s even that low. It was impressive to get to walk around the whole complex and really get a feel for how the inmates lived. The exhibits on the women and prison tattoos were very informative. The military weapon museum inside the complex was an added surprise.
  • Lots of walking so make sure the weather is good! Did the self-guided tour and walked around the whole facility (which was incredibly well kept) and loved every second of it. Guided tours are available as well. This is a self-guided tour but the "pen" is amazing. The construction was many, many years ago for the most part. Interesting history behind this attraction. We have seen another "pen" in Montana and this one is more interesting and documented.
  • We were on a road trip from California to Idaho and heard about this place and it sounded interesting, so we stopped. We weren’t sure if we wanted to go on the guided tour or go around ourselves but the lovely lady at the cash register strongly suggested taking the tour and we’re very happy we did,.Jack was our guide and he was wonderful, we were able to have a small group so we could all ask questions, And it was very informative and interesting. We highly recommend it

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