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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107
206 783 7059
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Top Rated
$43*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
92%
Ranked #11 of 178 Attractions in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Bodies of Water, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
Fee: No
Owner description: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Bodies of Water, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is a waterway system that connects the saltwater of the Puget Sound to the fresh water of the Ship Canal, which sits about 20 feet above sea level.  Boats enter the locks, the gates close and the water rises or falls to the level of the destination waterway.  Watching boats pass through the locks, exploring the 7 acres of botanical gardens and looking for fish on the fish ladder is fun and free entertainment that draws locals and tourists alike.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
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1,193 reviews from our community

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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014 NEW

One of my favorite places to take out of towners this is a great stop. You can see the boats coming in or out of the lock system, which is very cool. And in the right time of year, you can see the salmon in the ladder which is quite an experience. The park tour is also fun, there are... More 

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Florida
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2014 NEW

What an amazing experience to see a commercial fishing boat go through the locks. it went into the lock where the water was at a higher level and needed to drop about 10 feet . We watched as the lock closed and the water rushed out dropping the boat to the level it needed to be at to begin their... More 

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Vancouver
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014

My grandkids (toddlers) live in Ballard and love to come here to watch the boats go thru the locks. I never tire of watching the spectacle--plus the area around them has fun shops and some great restaurants.

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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a freebie attraction in Seattle. Shortly after our arrival, a fishing boat from Alaska approached the locks. Our grandchildren, ages 6 and 8 enjoyed watching the water levels change & the boat crew maneuvering through the locks.

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Auburn, Washington, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2014

During the summer months they have chamber orchestras and music groups performing in the adjacent park. Nicely landscaped grounds. Interesting little museum. Watching the

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Seattle, Washington, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014

Educational, outdoor, lively and best of all, it is free to learn about how Hiram's Locks were built and how the salmon swim up the ladder. Fun to see boats lined up to get in and out of lake Union and Puget Sound.

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Seattle, Washington
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2014

the tired traveler might really like to stop here. Always busy, with boats of all sizes and shapes coming through the locks, and salmon ladders where you can really get up close to the fish. But often unnoticed l is their collection of rare and unusal plants, all over the grounds. Check in at the gift shop as well. Stop... More 

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Camano Island, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

This is a great place to see the boats going through the Ballard Locks. All kinds of boats need to go through this area to get from one area to Puget Sound. It not only is beautiful, but very interesting to see the levels of the water change to accommodate the difference of altitude to get the boats from here... More 

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Sacramento, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

We have gone to the Locks many times and every time we both enjoy ourselves and learn something new.

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Carrollton, Virginia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

I spent a Saturday exploring Ballard and spent quite a bit of time at the Locks. It's fascinating to me to watch them line the boats up and then either raise or lower them via the water level to get them to where they want to go. Also, the Salmon Ladder, which is just on the other side of the... More 

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