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Old Idaho Penitentiary

Old Idaho Penitentiary

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.

Please note:

  • Admission must be pre-purchased online or via a mobile device before arrival.
  • Masks covering noses and mouths are required within our facilities.
  • Individual buildings and exhibits are limited to only 10 visitors at one time. Visitors must practice social distancing from other groups or guests.
  • Open daily with timed entry available to 50 visitors per hour. 
  • Walk-up admission is available only when timed entry is not at capacity.
  • Visitors must arrive within 15 minutes of their timed entry.
  • Visitors 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.
  • These updates are contingent upon the Governor’s “Idaho Rebounds” stages of reopening plan.


Monday-Sunday | 12 pm-5 pm
Last admission 4 pm

Summer Hours

Memorial Day through Labor Day:
10 am-5 pm

Closed most state holidays.


2445 Old Penitentiary Road
Boise, ID 83712

Free Parking Available


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Old Pen Exhibits


Cemetery Tours, Paranormal Investigations, Scavenger Hunts, and more! View a list of annual and upcoming annual events and programs from the Old Idaho Penitentiary. Learn More

Old Idaho Penitentiary

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Idaho State Archives and Research Center staff are happy to help with questions. Researchers are offered 30 minutes of complimentary reference time per request. If your request requires additional research, staff can assist up to two hours of research at $38 per hour.

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