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Old Idaho Penitentiary Site, Boise

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web
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 Site. 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. Our Boise vacation route planner makes visiting Old Idaho Penitentiary Site and other Boise attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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  • We visited the gardens next to the prison. Very scenic and well designed. Plenty of walking paths. Halloween is coming so there is a scarecrow walk. A definite must if you love the outdoors and want t...  read more »
  • The staff were quite friendly and informative. I did a self-guided tour of the grounds. There are lots of posters with anecdotes and stories about previous prisoners, tattoos, and death row. It was de...  read more »
  • We hiked Table Rock Mtn then entered the Prison. The lady at the counter was polite, helpful, and knowledgeable about the old Penitentiary. We enjoyed listening to her. We saw a old film clip of the p...  read more »
  • This is one very interesting and historically informative location. My wife and I spent hours exploring the different building and reading all the placards about the inmates, warden, women's prison. The entrance fee is very reasonable. Make sure you check out the massive weapons collection that was donated; it is exceptional! This place is a must see for history buffs.
  • Very nice museum. So much history, so many interesting characters that were incarcerated there. The volunteer guides are nice and are very knowledgeable. Well worth the visit.
  • Now this is the story of how my grandpapys life got turned flip upside Down now I'd like to take a moment just sit right there this is the story of how my grandpa became the prince of the pen Doo doo doo doo
  • Very will preserved and incredibly interesting. There are options for a guided tour or self guided. You get so much more info from the guided tour if your able to walk easily.
  • Very interesting and informative tour, and a fun place to walk around. The weapon exhibit and prison tattoo exhibit were both very engaging too. Definitely do the tour if you can!
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