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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” (330 reviews)
“watch the boats” (170 reviews)
“water level” (77 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
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541 - 550 of 2,671 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2016

We visited the Locks in between other activities in and around Seattle. It was a nice (and free) break and we really enjoyed it. We walked around the grounds, watched the boats go through the locks, and watched the salmon in the salmon ladder. It...More

3  Thank Sofi C
Reviewed September 4, 2016 via mobile

Stopped here on our tour around Seattle. Nice attraction that divides the lake water from the salt water. A quick visit and be on you're way.

1  Thank BIGMIKE275
Reviewed September 4, 2016 via mobile

From Fla, was great to watch all the large and small vessels pass through the locks. Also saw many salmon and seals. Great short trip. Also had a free concert in the park that all can enjoy. Great experience.

1  Thank I6804JSmaryw
Reviewed September 3, 2016 via mobile

This is a great place to hang out and watch the boats. There is also a salmon ladder to observe. Great place to take children, but fun for anyone. I have been here multiple times, always enjoy it.

1  Thank Katminou
Reviewed September 2, 2016

Well worth the challenge of finding this little known tourist attraction. Good for hours of laughs watching the big and little boats shuffling for position. Lots of good eating options for lunch and dinner. (or just picnic out on the side of adjouning slopes) Don't...More

1  Thank lotus5five .
Reviewed September 2, 2016

There were NPS rangers on duty, which was nice. The bathrooms were somewhat clean. We did get to see the salmon, but other than that, this was nothing special.

Thank CBR0107
Reviewed September 2, 2016

This is worth a visit - known colloquially as the Ballard Locks, it is a lock that was built to allow shipping to come into Union Lake from the main sea bay. There is also a salmon jumping facility built into it. Sounds boring, but...More

1  Thank lordgrump
Reviewed September 2, 2016 via mobile

This was a fun excursion! We enjoyed the tour information and the lovely views. It was exciting to be in the locks and see firsthand how they operate. Worth the cost. The seating was comfortable and the snack bar was good!

1  Thank Julie F
Reviewed September 1, 2016

The Locks and then the Garden made a great afternoon of walking. The Rangers and Corps employees were very helpful and informative. We're happy we self-guided here. Parking was the biggest challenge.

1  Thank OlEdW
Reviewed September 1, 2016

Its amazing to see how these locks work to get boats and barges from one lake to the bay and back. We saw a house on a barge go through just like it was moving day. Quite remarkable. Saw a lot of fish too.

1  Thank MXKing
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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
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
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