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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Phone Number: 206 783 7059
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Top Rated
$41*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
93%
Ranked #13 of 498 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Landmarks & points of interest, Piers & boardwalks, Bodies of water, Nature & Parks, Sights & Landmarks
Fee: No
Owner description: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (locally known as the Ballard Locks) is...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Landmarks & points of interest, Piers & boardwalks, Bodies of water, Nature & Parks, Sights & Landmarks
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 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
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1,228 reviews from our community

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English first
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

Another Seattle gem. A fascinating look at a working lock, worth the drive, in NW Seattle near the Ballard neighborhood. In season, also see the working fish ladder with the jumping salmon heading home to spawn A beautiful rose garden and gift shop! Beautiful grassy grounds perfect for kids to romp and play

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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
11 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015 NEW

Garden, picnic area, free outdoor concerts and dancing on summer weekends as well as the Fish Ladder and Locks never cease to entertain me. I make a point to ride my bike there and take my out of town friends to experience this quintessential Seattle attraction. Low key and pleasant for all ages. Close by is Golden Gardens, Shilshole Bay... More 

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Edmonds, Washington
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2015

Christmas and the boats with lights is great time. But boats go through the locks everyday of the year. Kids are fascinated by the water raising and lowering and How boats cross over "land" that is at a different level. Not much else around and parking is nuts on weekend and pretty days. But understanding hydrology and civil engineering is... More 

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new york
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
44 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

If you've never seen the operation of locks in action, this one is far more accessible than Panama or the Danube. While the mechanics are interesting, to me it was as slow as watching paint dry. But that isn't the fault of the locks. Purely me. In the same regard, fish ladders are an amazing view into man's intervention with... More 

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Iowa City, Iowa, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Nice to watch all the boats and barges go through the locks if the weather is nice. Packed a picnic and had a nice relaxing afternoon.

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

This is great for all ages. Fun to watch the boats go in and out of lake union. The fish ladder is especially fun for the kids. Food for purchase nearby, or great place to picnic.

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Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Seattle's fresh water Lake Union and Lake Washington are separated from the salt water Puget Sound by these locks. Visit for an up close view as sailboats,yachts, tugboats, and barges pass through the locks. Also, there is a visitor viewing area to watch salmon swim upstream past huge viewing windows. The locks are just west of Seattle's Ballard district, which... More 

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
23 attraction reviews
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2015

Beautiful location close to Ballard shops, with peaceful gardens. Interesting to watch the locks in operation and also look at the fish ladder. There is a little information area and glass windows to see the fish going up the ladder when in season. I would allow half to one hour for this if you have time.

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Maine
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2015

If you think life is challenging, imagine spending your whole life getting ready to swim these locks just so you can get upstream, make babies, and die.

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Vancouver British Columbia
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
56 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2015

We enjoyed the walk along the shore and seeing seals in the water. There were some salmon in the river and some more in the fish ladders. We enjoyed seeing the boats moving into the locks and then rising to exit into the higher level of the lake. It was good for my children to see.

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