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 site features thirty historic buildings and special exhibits including the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit, a collection of historic weaponry. 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.
Updates for Reopening
The Old Idaho Penitentiary is open daily with timed entry available to 50 visitors per hour. Guests are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase admission online before visiting.
– Walk-up admission is available only when timed entry is not at capacity.
– Online or card payments are recommended for a safe and smooth admission process.
– Guests must arrive within 15 minutes of their timed entry. Guests arriving early will be asked to wait. Visitors arriving late are not guaranteed admission and may need to wait until the next available hour.
– Admission is currently self-guided only. Staff will be available to answer questions and encourage safe practices, including social distancing.
– In an effort to be compliant with local laws, all Idaho State Historical Society properties, museums and buildings within Boise City limits now require use of masks at all times in indoor areas. Masks are encouraged in outdoor areas, and required when social distancing cannot occur. Please politely notify staff if you have a medical exemption.
– Guests are advised to space themselves out and avoid forming large groups in confined spaces.
– These updates are contingent upon the Governor’s “Idaho Rebounds” stages of reopening plan.