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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

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Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Phone Number: 206 783 7059
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is a...
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.
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Most recent review
A great place to visit without major crowds

If you've never seen a lock in action, the Chittenden locks should be on your must stop locations when visiting Seattle. Not only is it great to watch the fishing boats come in... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 26, 2015
Bubuflu
,
Los Angeles, California
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1,245 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

If you've never seen a lock in action, the Chittenden locks should be on your must stop locations when visiting Seattle. Not only is it great to watch the fishing boats come in and out of the locks, but the salmon ladder is a really incredible way to see the fish swimming upstream.

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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

This is an example of the good use of government dollars. And best of all, it's free! I come here often, and I always enjoy my visits. On weekends, it tends to get crowded with locals and tourists; however, it doesn't have that "tourist trap" feel. It's always fun to watch the show, especially the boats as they enter the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015 NEW

It is a lot of fun to see the Locks work, especially with really large ships going in and out. During summer, there is also a salmon watching area which is a lot of fun. Can regularly see salmon jumping in the water. Have FREE summer sunday concerts which are fun for the family (lawn only).

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Sherwood Park, Alberta
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015 NEW

The day we visited the locks turned out to be one of the rainiest days on record in Seattle, so we didn't see them at their best. The video presentation relating the history of the locks was very interesting. And it was interesting to see the locks, although when we were there only the larger one was in operation but... More 

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Arlington, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2015

The two locks are amazing to visit - one is larger than the other to accommodate really large boats. It's free (altho' if you go into the gift shop there's a box for donations), & run by the Parks Service. You can walk thru' the beautiful grounds (the Botanical Gardens), see boats going up & down in the locks (the... More 

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Elizabeth
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

Many things to do at the Locks, watch the boats come into the channel area and when it's full of boats they block off one end and raise the water or lower the water to match the water level on the other side,you can then walk across the bridges that separate the channels and visit the fish ladder. There you... More 

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Seattle, WA
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
15 attraction reviews
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

...as the recreational boaters, some discovering that the boat they bought did not automatically come with the skill and knowledge to operate it, and some who've had a few too many beverages out there, try to maneuver back through, under the direction of the mostly patient but somewhat fed-up lock attendants.

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

If you haven't seen locks in operation, you should go! I have visited the area several times over the years - previous year, I got to see the Wizard (from the World's Most Dangerous Catch) come through the locks on her way back out to the Bering Sea - I'd only heard of the show but got to talk with... More 

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Seattle, Washington, United States
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

We find ourselves wandering over to the Locks several times throughout the year, it's a lovely spot to stroll and relax. The sunny, hot & warm days are obviously the most crowded. And, indeed, it's quite gorgeous in the Summer, especially taking a lazy stroll and taking in the scenery - all the people perched on the grassy hills, catching... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

The locks are great fun! Watching how the boats are let in as the water rises or lowers. BUT one of the coolest things often overlooked is that there is a HERON Roockery! Giant prehistoric birds flying around, they sit up in the trees just North West on the walkway...SO AMAZING. A great place for just sitting and reflecting too.... More 

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