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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 206 attractions in Seattle
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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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861 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014 NEW

Hiram Chittendem Locks; not the Panama Canal but a complex piece of WWI era U.S. Army Corps of Enigeer's magic which finally connected fresh water Lake Washington with Puget Sound via the Ship Canal, Lake Union, that retention dam which is part of the locks, keeping the salt water from entering Lake Union or the much larger Lake Washington. In... More

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Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
14 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

this is a great little place on the ship canal from where you can walk a pleasant garden, watch the boats go through the locks, and at various times in season watch Salmon or salmon-fry go up / down the fish ladder. there is an underwater viewing area for the ladder so great for kids to see these great fish... More

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

So, they are really old, funky and sometimes smelly but the were an engineering feat in their time and they still provide a valuable service to marine traffic, salmon runs and people watching! Don't miss it and spend some time in Ballard on the way in or out...ya sure you betcha!

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

The fish ladder. The locking procedure so well done. The price, FREE. The contrasting neighborhoods on either side: Ballard and Magnolia. The landscaping. The wildlife.

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
29 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

Expect to see fishing trawlers, tug-boats, cabin-cruisers, NOAA ships (well, not so much anymore), kayaks and sailboats. In the fish ladder, you can see Chinook salmon or other salmon, depending on the season. Make no mistake about it, this is both a tourist attraction and a working part of the transportation system. Near to Fisherman's Terminal, there is constant boat... More

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Seattle
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

You can watch the boats passing through on their way to Lake Union inland or going out to the Sound. But there is much more. You can watch the salmon climb their ladders or just enjoy the beautiful surrounding gardens. Good for picnics or lazy afternoons.

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Shoreline
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

A great little park and walking area that lets you get up close to a working lake and see the salmon returning to spawn.

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Bellevue, WA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

The gardens are gorgeous, and understanding how locks work in a real world example will enrich geography for children of all ages. There is noting like actually seeing ships and large yachts being lifted from the salt water into fresh water while changing elevations to enter the lakes surrounding Seattle to explain the Canals they will study in school.

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Seattle
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

Great park for a stroll and picnic but the locks are the main attraction. Great for all ages. And it's FREE!!!!!!!!!!

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Maine
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
31 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW

We were intrigued for hours watching the boats coming and going. There were a lot of kids there who were quite entertained by the proceedings. It can get a little boring for them while waiting for something to happen but you can walk on small bridges over the locks which will keep kids amused. Also, walk over to the fish... More

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