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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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$41*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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  • 3
    Terrible
Beautiful Maintained Grounds and Views of Water, Boats, and Wildlife -- And It's FREE!

The "Ballard Locks," as it's called by locals, is a great place to take in slowly and with pleasure. The grounds are beautiful and just strolling looking at the magnificent trees... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 23, 2015
AreWeHavingFunYet
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Olympia, Washington
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1,303 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Olympia, Washington
Top Contributor
325 reviews 325 reviews
58 attraction reviews
164 helpful votes 164 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

The "Ballard Locks," as it's called by locals, is a great place to take in slowly and with pleasure. The grounds are beautiful and just strolling looking at the magnificent trees and plantings is good enough. However, keep walking and watch the boats go through the locks. During salmon season you can watch the salmon through the underwater windows. You... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
10 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

Whenever we have visitors to Seattle, we take them to the Locks. Here you can watch ships travel from fresh to salt water and vice versa. The actual lowering and raising of the water in the locks and the team work of the workers is a wonderful sight to see. However, the best part of the visit is to see... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Old Saybrook, CT
Top Contributor
279 reviews 279 reviews
108 attraction reviews
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

Something that doesn't cost anything is good in my view. You enter through the gardens which are beautiful. There is an information office that also sells souvenirs. The locks are interesting because you can walk across them as the boats line up. There is also a fish ladder with underwater windows so you can watch the salmon return to fresh... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Diego, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

Unfortunately we didn't get to see the salmon. The ladders were closed. However, the locks are always fun. Boats coming and going, waters rising and lowering.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

What more do you want? You can wander around the gardens and smell the roses. You can stand or sit and watch the boats come in and out of the locks. The last time we were here a huge fishing vessel came through on their way out. I will be happy when they get the fish viewing area sorted which... More 

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

I like seeing all the different kinds of boats. Sometimes it can be rather windy and cool. Also there is a fish ladder. Very kool when the Salmon are running .

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Vancouver, Washington
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 NEW

Official name is Hiram Chittenden, but ask anyone where the Ballard Locks are located and you'll get a smile and easy to follow directions. Small boats traverse from Lake Union to Puget Sound daily. But on the week end the Lock area is full of families and tourists watching ships go through constantly. Botanical Gardens are on site so if... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

Fun to watch ships and boats go thru the locks from fresh to salt or salt to fresh. Interesting to see how they raise and lower water levels by gravity. When the fish are running you can watch them underwater thru windows. Also on the south side of the locks there is a Great Blue Heron colony nest in the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015 NEW

Do NOT miss a trip to the locks! Absolutely fascinating and it is definitely tourist friendly with excellent signage and walking paths. One of my favorite things in Seattle and I will be back to watch the "happenings" here again😀

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seattle
Top Contributor
1,072 reviews 1,072 reviews
377 attraction reviews
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2015

It's a Seattle tradition to come and watch the boats going through the locks. It's even better during salmon season when you can watch the salmon ladder. Good for a lazy Sunday.

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