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“Nice place to visit while in Seattle”

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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$49.69*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
Ranked #10 of 438 things to do in Seattle
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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
Bakersfield, Ca.
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Nice place to visit while in Seattle”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

Great place to visit. We had about 4 hours to spare so made a quick drive to the locks. Great weather and very enjoyable to sit awhile and watch the boats go by.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Tmanjk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,401 reviews from our community

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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
““One hour stop at Ballard Locks””
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

As Seattle residents, my family continues to appreciate the poetic scenes the Ballard Locks (Hiram M. Chittenden Locks) has to offer. We allow our senses to be saturated in the yellow-orange hues of the sunset reflecting off the water and engineering marvels. The Great Northern's Bridge accompanied by the uniqueness the locks shifting their weight in the Salmon Bay teeters on the ledge of amazing. Periodically you will even find us amongst the tourists watching the fish ladder.
At a functional level, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the locks and associated facilities serve three purposes:
• To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20 to 22 feet above sea level.
• To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion).
• To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.
If you are staying in Seattle for more than one day, this site is a one-to-two hour “don’t miss” visit. If you only have one day, well….I’m sure your plate is quite full already.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Berlin01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
aberdeen
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Seattle has a lot to offer”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

We took 2 buses, how cheap it is to travel. The locks were amazing. The salmon ladder was awesome and enjoyed seeing the fish. Only downer was the Indians according to their tribal rights were netting salmon for some tradition and it was upsetting seeing the salmon trapped and gasping for breath. This was only for a couple of days.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank holidaygems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Gatos, CA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Wooden boats and salmon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

What a fun way to see these two things. My engineering family were on Cloud Nine!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank SEdwardsLosGatos_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Very interesting!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

We were lucky enough to watch two boats pass through the locks. The employees were very friendly and the grounds were beautiful.

Helpful?
Thank Taji B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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