An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Old Idaho Penitentiary

Visit the Old Idaho Penitentiary

Old Idaho Penitentiary

Photo Credit: Clay Almquist


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.

Photography guidelines: camera only. No camera bags, tripods, or additional equipment. If you have additional questions about our photogrpahy policy (both personal and professional) please call 208-334-2844.

  • Do you want to volunteer for our Halloween event? Click here for the Volunteer Form and e-mail your completed form.  
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  • Need to contact someone at the Old Idaho Penitentiary?  Check our staff list.