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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)
206 783 7059
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As featured in Seattle for free
Ranked #15 of 212 Attractions in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Bodies of Water
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... more » 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. « less
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
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1,021 reviews from our community

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Clinton, Washington
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
32 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014 NEW

I have visited here for more than 30 years. Great fish ladder to watch the salmon spawn upstream in the fall. Also beautiful gardens and a great place to go for a walk

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Park City, Utah
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
76 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014 NEW

The is a great place to visit for your whole family. See the locks, tons of boats and ships, fish, great walking park and nice but small museum. We will go back again (it was raining last time but still fun).

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Tampa, FL
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014 NEW

We toured the Chittenden Locks when we were in Seattle. It is one of the trolley stops if you take the (Hop On Hop Off) Emerald City Trolley. We got to see a few boats and a few kayaks go through the locks, it is very interesting watching the gates close and the water levels being lowered before they are... More

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Middletown
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014 NEW

We went there by accident and were surprised how interesting the Locks were. We got to see some small boats go through but then came a tug boat with two barges. That was the very interesting part of the the Locks. Highly recommend this and when there don't miss the Salmon ladder.

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Frisco
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

Try and go when the salmon are migrating. The fish ladder is way cool. I cannot write any more words because that is all I have to say.

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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

If you happen to see some other ship lock, this one is quite small. Also do not expect to see too many salmons swimming. The garden is very nice with many different flowers blooming

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Portola Valley, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
24 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

Didn't know we would have to take a 30" bus ride to Lake Washington, but it is well worth it. Lots of floating homes, houseboats and boats in dry docks getting repaired. Then you go through the lock and on into Puget Sound. They have a fish ladder to help the salmon upstream, very interesting.

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

It's a fun outing to see the locks. Not super exciting, but if you never seen how they work, it's very educational.

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Freeland, Michigan
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
45 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

Beautiful garden grounds. Gated with paid parking on Mon - Sat for about 200 cars. Sunday you can park free. There is guided tours you can sign up for at the welcome center, or just walk around yourself. Gardens are well landscaped with seating around. You can watch the boats go through the locks or if you are lucky enough... More

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Manhattan Beach, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 NEW

If you have any interest in rivers, oceans, engineering stuff, fish...stop by the locks. Boats move constantly through the waterway so the locks are busy. The workers are very helpful (you are almost standing right next to them). Easy to see and understand the process. The fish ladders are also amazing. Do not miss this.

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