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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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Dallas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014 NEW

We have never seen sea locks before, so this was fun to see for us. You have to pay to park in a parking lot that is about a 1/4 mile from the locks, but the locks are free to stand around and watch the boats coming from the ocean and going into bay area. Boats of all sizes come... More

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Montgomery, Alabama
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
24 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014 NEW

We went to the locks to view the salmon going through the fish ladder. It was most interesting to watch them from the top AND you can go downstairs to a view room where you can actually see the salmon as they go either up and over or through a square hole at the bottom into the next "step" of... More

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Ascot
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
71 attraction reviews
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014 NEW

Beautiful location for a Sunday afternoon stroll watching the boats go to and fro through the impressive locks. The salmon ladder and the lovely gardens all part of the attraction.

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Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
26 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

We went to he locks to see the fish ladder. Although there was only one fish making the trek hat day.... I learned a lot about early maritime Seattle as well as seeing the operation of the locks... Quite interesting. I would recommend this attraction..

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Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
15 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

We were able to watch several boats go through the locks. It is an interesting process that we had not seen before. The men working the locks were happy to answer questions and were well informed. We went to the fish ladders to see the salmon spawning. The park ranger gave a talk about the salmon and the spawning that... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

I probably would have given this 5 stars but unfortunately the spillway was closed so we were unable to go to the locks. They were repairing the spillway.

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Arkansas
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
32 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

This was included in our tour of the city and we found it very interesting. The area is very well kept, clean and beautiful. We only saw the locks for the boats and the salmon, not the museum. However, we did get to see the underwater view of the salmon swimming up river, which was great.

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
23 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

The locks tour is very unique and educational. We took the Emerald trolley over to the gardens and locks after going through the locks in a ship the day before. The museum offers a film that is an excellent way to learn why the locks exist and how they were built. Watching the boats and barges come through is a... More

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Lexington, SC
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014 NEW

We were taken here as part of a city tour. It was a little rainy so it was a quick trip for me to walk around without getting too wet. I found the ship canal interesting but wasn't that interested in the fish ladder as I had seen something similar before. If you've never seen or experienced this before, then... More

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Houston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014 NEW

What I especially liked was the docent 's explanation of the locks. I found the way they work VERY interesting and the way she presented to us as to how they work I could understand! I have always been interested in how machines and industrial matters work and I really enjoyed her talk....and also the happy smiles on the pilots... More

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