Old Idaho Penitentiary

2445 Old Penitentiary Road

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is a division of the Idaho State Historical Society. The "Old Pen" opened as a territorial prison in 1872 & closed its doors in 1973. It is now open year-round for self-guided & guided tours. Call 208-334-2844 for more details.

The Old Idaho Penitentiary opened its doors in 1872 to some of the West’s most desperate criminals.  Today, visitors can experience over 100 years of Idaho’s unique prison history with a visit to Solitary Confinement, cell blocks, and the Gallows.  The Friends of the Historical Museum and Old Idaho Penitentiary is an organization dedicated to support the Idaho State Historical Museum and the Old Idaho Penitentiary.

The Old Idaho Penitentiary features thirty historic buildings and special exhibitions including the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit of Arms and Armaments.  Events and programs provide families, school groups, and visitors an opportunity to relive the Old Pen's exciting past of daring escapes, scandals, and executions. The Old Idaho Penitentiary is located in the Old Penitentiary Historic District and is open year round.


Bernadette Wesolowski

Monday, July 17, 2017

This place was just incredible! It was super cheap and so much fun to see all the history behind everything. We did the tour and glad we did. There was a lot of interesting information you wouldn't of found out otherwise. My 12yr old daughter thought she was going to hate it and be totally bored but within 5 minutes of being there her eyes were lit up with wonder and interest. There is so much to see that it's hard to write about everything. You see what it was like for inmates back in the older days and how prison's have changed so much. You get to see death row and where they sent the inmates to die. It's a historical MUST DO in Boise. We want to go back because it was just so much fun. With it being so cheap, you can't pass this up!!!!

Jenny Shoecraft

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

We come here every summer for field trips. The kids are always amazed about the history this place holds! It never gets old!

Sheri Fisher

Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017

It was very interesting to see the penitentiary. The conditions must have been terrible... an incentive to not break the law. The weapon collection was amazing.

Jenni Davis

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Great experience! A must see if in Boise. Fantastic photo ops, interesting history, inexpensive, and more fun than I ever imagined!

Cinthya Rhoades

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Great place to visit if you are into history. Lots of interesting things to see. Got there 2 hours before closing and saw most of it. Could of easily spent 3 hrs there.