I was lucky enough to score and exclusive tour with some friend that work for the State of Idaho. The journey started in Downtown Boise but we quickly dipped UNDER downtown Boise to explore. I had heard rumors but didn't know tunnels existed under downtown. But they do and they are like an impressive maze.

The main tunnel connects many of the state buildings in downtown. Then there are what seemed like hundreds off doors and hallways that shot off in different directions. Thank goodness they knew the way around because I would have been lost in about 3 turns. There were guards and checkpoints and locked doors and cameras and security  present. Even though I tried to not get any people in the photos, know that they were there.

Boise Underground Tunnel, photo by Nikki West

Another super cool thing hiding down under Boise streets is art and murals on the walls dating back to the early 80s up through the newest date I saw was 2012. There were TONS of these murals and art, unfortunately I didn't get pictures of all of them because it would have taken the whole day and we were on a tight schedule and had lots to see. Here are a few of my favorites though...

Boise Underground Tunnel Art, Photo by Nikki West
Boise Underground Tunnel Art, Photo by Nikki West
Boise Underground Tunnel Art
Boise Underground Tunnel Art
Boise Underground Tunnel Art
Boise Underground Tunnel Art, Photo by Nikki West
Boise Underground Tunnel Art Idaho Eagle
Boise Underground Tunnel Art

The history and stories behind the tunnels were fascinating. You may have heard rumors or read stories about the old Chinese tunnels that also are underground Boise. According to the Idaho Statesman, The Chinese first came to Idaho in the 1850's, shortly after they began to build secret tunnels to hide from the police. The tunnels were used to move illegal merchandise from building to building, gambling, and to create places to smoke opium. The tunnels under Boise that I went through were vast and well maintained, certainly nothing like these are described.

Aside from the art and things that I am not allowed to talk about, I also saw the hub of the geothermal pump and processing area that uses geothermal energy to power many downtown buildings.

Underground Tunnel Geothermal, photo by Nikki West
Underground Tunnel Geothermal, Photo by Nikki West
Underground Tunnel Geothermal Map, photo by Nikki West

One of the other fun secrets hiding under the streets is a café that is only used by granted state employees who have access to the tunnels. This is all underground below city streets

Underground Tunnel Cafe, Photo by Nikki West
Underground Tunnel Cafe, photo by Nikki West

For more exclusive Boise secret tour and insider photos check out my trip to the very top of the Idaho Capitol Building. 

Also get peek at the massive and impressive restoration project underway inside the Idaho Capitol Building here.

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