Old Idaho Penitentiary FAQ

Updates for Reopening

June 5-8: Join us for Make Hunger History! Experience the Old Idaho Penitentiary as you drive through our historic 1931 Sally Port gate, with donations benefiting Idahoans in need through St. Vincent de Paul and the Idaho Foodbank. More information here.

Beginning June 12:
Site admission begins June 12, with timed entry available to 50 visitors per hour.

Guests are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase admission online before visiting.

Please note:
– 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.
– Visitors are highly encouraged to wear a face covering and practice social distancing when exploring the site.
– Guests are advised to space themselves out and avoid forming large groups in confined spaces.
– Some exhibits and buildings may be closed for the health and safety of staff and visitors.

These updates are contingent upon the Governor’s “Idaho Rebounds” stages of reopening plan.

Curious about the history of the Old Idaho Penitentiary or planning a visit? Check here for the answers to the site’s most frequently asked questions.

When is the Old Idaho Penitentiary open?

What are the Old Idaho Penitentiary's admission fees?

Does the Old Idaho Penitentiary offer guided tours?

Is Idaho's Merci Train on public display?

Can I rent a facility at the Old Idaho Penitentiary for my event?

How do I schedule a field trip to the Old Idaho Penitentiary?

How can I purchase Old Idaho Penitentiary souvenirs or merchandise?

Is the Old Idaho Penitentiary haunted?

Where can I learn more about individual inmates or the history of the site (buildings, guards, wardens, photos)?

Where can I access the catalog of Idaho State Penitentiary inmates?

What years did the Idaho State Penitentiary operate?

Who built the penitentiary?

Were there any famous inmates housed at the Idaho State Penitentiary?

How many executions occurred at the Idaho State Penitentiary?

Where were women held?

Why did the Idaho State Penitentiary close?

Were there any escapes?

How many people died here?

Where is the prison cemetery?