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“Good area to explore in Boise”

Old Idaho Penitentiary
Ranked #3 of 128 things to do in Boise
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
124 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Good area to explore in Boise”
Reviewed 21 August 2014

I haven't gone inside the prison, but I walk my dog in this area a lot.
This is a really nice area in Boise! The route here passes by a lot of interesting old houses, including a person who built a modern day castle!
When you get to the prison you are right next to the mountain. If you don't want to enter the prison you can 1) access the mountain trains from here, 2) visit the Botanical Gardens, or 3) explore the buildings around the outside of the prison without going inside.

Visited July 2014
Thank MrCustoms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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609 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Downey, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“The prison”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Was very interesting....I liked the fact that there was lots of information on the walls and in cases...I disliked that it was not wheelchair accessible

Visited July 2014
1 Thank 18vivian18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Better Than Alcatraz!”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Informative tour. Our tour guide was extremely knowlegable of the history of the prison. More than worth the $5.00 admission!

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
184 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Worth the drive”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Very eerie places, as you might expect. Cool buildings and very good interpretive displays and panels. You can walk through the various cells and compounds. We visited on a Summer Friday night when there was a concert in the "quad." Lovely. Cheap beer to buy. We brought a picnic/blanket and watched the setting sun on the stone buildings, most of which date to the late-1800s.

Visited August 2014
Thank Jim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandeville, Louisiana
Level Contributor
494 reviews
152 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Tour on bike ride from Boise August 8”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We were pleasanty surprised by Boise overall.

My 18 year old son and I were visiting Boise for a Niece's wedding on Friday August 8 and got into town very early on August 7 and did some sightseeing before the wedding.

We rented bikes at Idaho Mountain Tours for a reasonable price ($20/ each for 4 hours) and rode to the penetentiary and also planned to see the botanical garden ( just outside the prison walls), and rode back along the greenbelt along the Boise River. Overall it was a great day outside in Boise.

The history of the Prison from ~1870 to ~1973 ws very interesting. Walking into the cells, seeing the the hanging room, and the solitary confinement cells was also very interesting.

They also had an exhibit of firearms and weaponry donated by Mr Curtis that had nothing to do with the prison but very extensive including weapons from WWI, WWII, and well before.

There is also a Geologic museum on the grounds with information about mining, meteors, and etc. to see.

Visited August 2014
Thank raybyerley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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