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“All Things Boat”

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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Seattle Locks Cruise
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Private Tour: Seattle Highlights
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Pre-Cruise Seattle Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #10 of 448 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 older children, Activities for young children
Houston, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“All Things Boat”
Reviewed May 7, 2014

We watched a huge floating dock come through the lock escorted by tugs as well as pleasure boats coming through on the smaller side. The area is surrounded by a very nice botanical garden with all kinds of flowers and trees.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,533 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Wilson, Arkansas
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“This is the kind of adventure I enjoy!”
Reviewed May 6, 2014

This is a unique lock; it has given ocean-going vessels access to the lake for generations now.
What a perfect harbor!!
The salmon ladder was cool; way ahead of its time.
I loved seeing a sea-lion (I think that's what it was).
I suspect he was taking advantage of the salmon ladder
as a dinner table! LOL
The beauty of the vessels using the lock was amazing.
We sat for a long time in the park setting.
Was CLEAN and SAFE this past August 2013.

Visited August 2013
Thank todolist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Interesting place - Fish Ladder”
Reviewed May 1, 2014

You see the locks in action and actually walk across the top of the lock doors to get to the Salmon Ladder where you can see the salmon swin upstream past the locks and into the bay. Area is a little sketchy and there was a lot of broken auto glass in the parking lot so I would not leave anything to important in the car when you check it out.

Visited April 2014
Thank MuglugNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
375 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Interesting and OK”
Reviewed April 26, 2014

A pleasant small park which is nicely landscaped and the locks are good to visit. Saw a massive barge using the lock. Probably best to go on a drier day at a time when you can see the salmon.

Would have felt a bit of a trek to go to Ballard just for this, but luckily we happened upon Dave's Bop Street record shop which must be one of the best I've ever been to - massive and well organised with friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff. Then there was Ballard Coffee Works for a good coffee and cake just along from Bop Street.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Squid397
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Fun place to come see the locks”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

It's a slow process and probably sounds cooler than it actually looks as the whole process takes about 30 minutes for the water to fill and then drain but when the boats finally rise/lower, it's pretty quick. Nice to marvel at technology. We went in April so did not see any salmon.

Visited April 2014
Thank jasmyne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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