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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 #14 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 young children, Activities for older children
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1,028 reviews from our community

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English first
Robesonia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
28 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

We enjoyed taking the bus to the Ballard. Got off in town center and walked 1/2 mile to locks. Stopped off to have a delightful lunch at theKiss Cafe. We enjoyed this quirky cafe. Having great food. The locks and salmon ladder were a huge suprise! We enjoyed learning about the process. Seeing the boats move through the locks was... More

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lancashire
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014 NEW

Lots of information about salmon spawning. Able to view the various types of salmon going up the fish ladder. Watch the boats and barges going through the canal. Various musical entertainment at the weekend. Children enjoyed it.

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
16 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014 NEW

I like to bike there along the Burke Gillman and then cross over to the other side. Then you can ride back along the other side of the canal and cross back via the Freemont bridge.

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The Woodlands, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014 NEW

It was cool to watch the boats rise and drop between the river and the bay and go through the locks. If you like mechanical marvels etc. and are a little nerdy this is cool.

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Tucson, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 NEW

We first saw the locks during an Argosy Cruise and then were able to stop at the locks during a Shutter Tour. During the summer you always are able to see salmon in the salmon ladder and lots of boats cuing up for passage through the locks.

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Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
45 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 NEW

Let us say that I was underwhelmed by Seattle in general but the locks tour was one of 2 exceptions (the other was Bainbridge Island). Our tour guide told us the history of the homes as well as the development of the area. We saw the houseboat from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle" as well as boats from the fishing... More

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Ocala, Florida
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014 NEW

We always went numerous times every visit. Somewhat crowded at times but always a great experience. Kids loved it.

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Clinton, Washington
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
32 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 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
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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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