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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
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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.
  • Excellent60%
  • Very good33%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“salmon ladder” (334 reviews)
“watch the boats” (174 reviews)
“water level” (83 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
CONTACT
Website
+1 206-780-2500
Ways to Experience Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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Write a ReviewReviews (2,824)
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All reviews
"salmon ladder"
in 334 reviews
"watch the boats"
in 174 reviews
"water level"
in 83 reviews
"salt water"
in 123 reviews
"salmon run"
in 68 reviews
"panama canal"
in 66 reviews
"salmon swimming"
in 64 reviews
"puget sound"
in 228 reviews
"boat traffic"
in 50 reviews
"salmon season"
in 30 reviews
"life cycle"
in 30 reviews
"botanical gardens"
in 64 reviews
"fun to watch"
in 120 reviews
"viewing area"
in 73 reviews
"ship canal"
in 31 reviews
"visitor center"
in 63 reviews
"lake union"
in 132 reviews
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1 - 10 of 2,756 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

We walked around on a beautiful June afternoon to observe the boats going through the locks. It was very interesting to watch as the locks filled with water and then lowered as the boats went through.

Thank aztravellover007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

We enjoyed a Father's Day stroll through the gardens and locks. It was a hot day but there were plenty of shady spots to cool down. We got milkshakes and french fires across the street at the Totem restaurant.

Thank 3dj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

There is a small museum and a nice walk to the locks. The experience is interesting for children to learn how locks work. It you want to see the salmon ladder check in advance to see if they are running.

Thank pilgrim672015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed 4 days ago

Very enjoyable cruise,as you saw the houseboats including the one from Sleepless in Seattle also saw several of the crab boats featured in Deadlies Catch. The scenery was lovely also

Thank Anneanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

If you are looking for a weekend stroll replete with water, gardens and boats, then you won't be disappointed. Tip: Bring picnic blankets. There are plenty of spots for sky gazing. Kids will be enthralled by the boats in view.

Thank Randomram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago

Between the botanical gardens (the rose garden is a MUST) and the locks, this is a great place to spend a few hours. We watched 4 sets of boats and kayakers go through the locks and it was so cool to see the mechanics that...More

Thank GadMegM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My husband, toddler and myself visited the Locks for the first time. We were very impressed! A nice older lady came to see if we had any questions and she was so informational. I forgot to get her name, but she gave us many answers...More

1  Thank parrishlacey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a wonderful park setting to sit and watch the various kinds and sizes of boats navigate the locks and canal. There is about a 20 foot difference between the salt Walter and fresh water canal. There is also a fish ladder located at...More

Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Must see place to visit. The busiest locks in the USA. Watch working and pleasure boats navigate the 12 foot drop from Lake Union to the bay. Also see salmon ladders viewed from large window under the river.

Thank catawailer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

On a post cruise tour, our guide “Elvis” aka Dave was amazing in his detailed explanation of the locks history, current use and surrounding area. The most amazing part of the trip was his explanation of salmon breeding, growth and migratory return to familiar territory...More

Thank EllenTravels2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
ger w
May 11, 2017|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Brodethedog | Property representative |
Check out the website and social media links at bottom of site for detailed information. There is a Questions tab which will answer most everything. The salmon season is short, from June through Sept. There is a YouTube... More
0
Votes
Brodethedog
September 11, 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from SeaTraveller2015 | Reviewed this property |
What's the question? Jeff C."s response to Pamela M was rather snotty. Whatever the question or comments made by Pamela M., Jeff C. owed her more respect than his comment suggested. Jeff...you don't know everything about... More
0
Votes
Karen W
August 28, 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Brodethedog | Property representative |
Mid day to late for pleasure boat traffic. Salmon at high tide, you'll have to check tide tables. Commercial boats, pretty much pot luck... Recommend tours
2
Votes
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