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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, Boise Edition.
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Old Idaho Penitentiary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
852 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The energy here is really amazing. You can almost feel yourself being dawn back in time. It was quite an eye opener to see how the prisoners were treated back in the day and how young quite a few of t...  more »
  • This was a great tour. Being as cheap as it was, I wasn't sure what it would entail. But the tour guide was great and very knowledgeable. The history of the place was extremely interesting. Definitely...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting place. Good tour with lots of information. Our tour guide was well informed obviously quite interested in the details of it's history. The weapons museum is amazing. From ancient swords to Tommy guns and Gatling guns, they had more than you'd ever imagine. Our niece loved it.
  • This is a really, really neat place to visit. It's sort of a piece of "odd" history, because it shows how the jail system improved, but it's also a last thing you think of when visiting Idaho. The fact that it is there, extremely intact, and well maintained provides a wonderful learning and historic experience I highly recommend waiting for the tour guides though. Our tour guide specializes in learning about all of the escapes and escape attempts and knew all sorts of fascinating stories that truly made this a great tour.

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