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“Awesome! Super cool to see the boats, ships, and salmon!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107
206 783 7059
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Top Rated
$43*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
Ranked #11 of 178 Attractions in Seattle
Type: Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Bodies of Water, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
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Attraction details
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 young children, Activities for older children
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Awesome! Super cool to see the boats, ships, and salmon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

I knew the locks would be cool to see, but the underwater viewing of the salmon going thru the locks was amazing. Got some great pictures and was an overall great experience! And free (except for $2 or $3 parking)!!!

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“one of my favorite places in Seattle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

I like to go here on my own and it's my favorite place to bring family and friends when they visit Seattle! there's never a bad time to arrive, you will always see the Locks working as ships come and go all times of day. don't forget to walk across and visit the Fish Ladder! bring a picnic and pick a spot in the park or on the hill to eat.

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Nice relaxing time watching boats, salmon, and band in the park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2011

The locks were interesting in watching boats come through. Some were commercial vessels and others just leisure sea goers. The boats would enter, tie off, and the gates would close. We would watch the water rise and the boats move out. The back side of the lock had a salmon viewing area with glass windows down below the lock to was the salmon pass through going upstream. Was interesting to watch. There is a park just outside the locks. On the day we visited, a band was playing classic marches and was fun for all. Overall, a nice enjoyable time.

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Good family activity for 1-2 hours”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2011

I took my kids (13, 9, 4) through the lovely botanical gardens, where we ate a quick picnic lunch on a bench. Then the kids were very interested to see the boats going through the locks. We even saw a Coast Guard boat go through, which was an extra thrill. Then we spent some time examining the gushing water over the dam/waterfall, and reading the signs about how the young fish go through the chutes. On to the far side of the water, where the fish ladder and the salmon can be seen both outside and inside, with a wall of glass like an aquarium. There we heard a fascinating and totally appropriate talk by a tourguide that explained the life cycle of the salmon and the why the ladder is helpful. When we had had our fill of all of this information, we continued on the path and found an enormous bumpy hill. It looked like a grassy amphitheatre, kind of. My kids heard the hill calling them to roll down... and again...and again... great spontaneous fun! Then back to our car, exhausted from a full afternoon. I think we spent 2 hours all told. The gardens/locks/ladders/hills are all free, and parking was $1.50/hour. There are nice clean restrooms right where the gardens meet the locks.

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Impressive feat of engineering in a beautiful setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

Free to visit - and the botanical gardens you pass through en route to the actual locks are beautiful. We got to see several boats go through the small lock - it was very interesting to watch. Not many fish going through the fish ladder, but it probably would be worth catching in a month or two.

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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