We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)
206 783 7059
Website
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Top Rated
$43*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
92%
Ranked #14 of 215 Attractions in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Bodies of Water, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
More attraction details
Attraction details
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
Write a Review

1,162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    664
    415
    77
    4
    2
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014 NEW

My commute took me over the locks from January through September a couple of years ago, and seeing the changes through the seasons was marvelous. The gardens, the sculptures, the tourists, the boats, the birds, the seals, the fish: what's not to love? (Well, maybe the tourists, so much sometimes....)

Was this review helpful? Yes
Orlando, Fl
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014 NEW

We visited the locks off-season, and there were a surprising number of people there. In season, one can see fish jumping the fish ladders to spawn, but all we saw was the water. We did get to watch two boats make the transition through the locks, which was very cool. The visitor center has interesting history and information on specific... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
31 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014 NEW

I saw this in November so there wasn't much to see, but I bet during spawning season this is an incredible sight! Look for the seal hoping to catch dinner.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ames, IA
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
17 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014 NEW

We spent an afternoon wandering around Seattle on a day when it was too cloudy to go up in the Space Needle and found this in our AAA guidebook. It's interesting to see the early 20th century technology still functioning smoothly. Make sure you are there for a ranger talk--frequency varies according to season, so check the locks web site... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014 NEW

We visited the Locks in July 2014. They are next to a lovely park with beautiful plants. The locks were fascinating. It was so interesting to watch boats coming in and seeing how the water level was raised and lowered. I am not really a "boat person" and I did not think I would enjoy this visit, but I did.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Traverse City, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014 NEW

Stopping here was part of a city tour I was on and it was great to be able to see the Locks in action. Several sailboats were pulling through when we were there and it was great to see how it worked. The area was pretty because of the fall colors. No luck on seeing the fish running- we were... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Vermont
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

What a great visit to the Locks. We watched the gate open, the water rise, and a gravel barge move through. All within 8 minutes! Got to talk to one of the Locks-Keepers and learned a bit about the process. And watching at sunset was a bonus!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fort Worth, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

It is interesting but I guess it is not that interesting to me. However, the most interesting part being the salmon ladder.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

Find a sunny Sunday, take a picnic, and make a day out of watching the boats go by! Afterwards, head over to Ballard and check out the micro and nano-breweries.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Milwaukee
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
11 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2014

Worth the walk to check this out. Was fascinating to watch how they worked and to cross to the other side and see the Salmon Ladder. It was not very active in the Salmon ladder as it is not the season, but we did see one little fish in there! The locks themselves are pretty neat- was fun to watch... More

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Hiram M. Chittenden Locks also viewed

 

Been to Hiram M. Chittenden Locks? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing