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“Quite interesting and informative”

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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$46.79*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
Ranked #18 of 470 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

The guided your with Deborah was great. We were able to see both the large snd small locks in action. The talk at the fish ladder about the life cycle of the salmon was very educational.

1  Thank Roseburger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"salmon ladder"
in 334 reviews
"watch the boats"
in 173 reviews
"water level"
in 83 reviews
"salt water"
in 123 reviews
"salmon run"
in 68 reviews
"panama canal"
in 65 reviews
"salmon swimming"
in 64 reviews
"puget sound"
in 227 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 62 reviews
"lake union"
in 132 reviews
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2,206 - 2,210 of 2,800 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2013

It is really cool to watch those big ships pass through the locks. The salmon ladder is also great if you are there during salmon run.

Thank Michelle880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

This was part of a tour that we took. I thought it was interesting to look at, however because of the time of year there was no Salmon that were coming back to spawn. It was still interesting to see boats come through the locks and dams.

Thank Bob P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

We really enjoyed the locks, the fish ladder, the view. The fish ladder was amazing. The steelhead salmon were running when we were there. There was also a sea lion hanging out nearby catching his lunch! It was very interesting watching the beautiful boats moving through the lockss. Gardens were beautiful too. Facilities were very clean. Great time and I highly recommend

Thank Traveler M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 2, 2013

We really enjoyed out time here. There is a fish ladder for the spawning salmon, although we didn't get a chance to see them running. There is also a large park with some flowers in it, but definitely not worth touring. However, the lock system is really nice and you can get very close to the action.

The locks are free to boat traffic from Washington lake to the ocean, so they stay pretty active. Tourists are allowed to get very close to the action (literally 10 feet from the boats). If you've neer seen locks in person, this is a great stop. Even if you have seen them, this is a nice area for a stroll.

There is a short movie available to watch, and a small display area upstairs.

Paid parking is on the street. There is a sign for you to turn left to pay $5 for parking, but if you turn right it is even better. On this side, you use a credit card to pay $1.50/hour for parking. Very convenient, and for $2 you can't beat it.

Thank Vol_World_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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