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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%
Travellers talk about
“salmon ladder” (296 reviews)
“watch the boats” (159 reviews)
“salt water” (116 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 07:00 - 21:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
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Reviews (2,592)
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1 - 10 of 2,532 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Splendid place for a little stroll. If you want educational, there is plenty - there are guided tours of the grounds and fish ladders and locks. A lovely way to spend an hour or two.

Thank Chris D
Reviewed yesterday

The Locks and the gardens are wonderful tourist places. Much is going on there. There is a special live salmon going upstream underground viewing area, the locks are totally accessible, you can stand next to the locks and watch the ships come in, rise or...More

Thank mark b
Reviewed yesterday

We lucked out and got there just as a tour was beginning. The tour guide was full of interesting information. It was neat to see how the boat locks work and see the salmon swimming. The tour took about an hour which was free. Great...More

Thank taraoneil
Reviewed yesterday

Visiting the Ballard Locks has always been a fascination to me. Even after watching the boats go through the locks, it's hard to fathom that it really works. But it's a great learning experience as well as a lot of fun.

Thank Joann W
Reviewed yesterday

We stopped at The Locks on our way to dinner. Got to see a massive cargo boat being pushed by a tugboat and some personal boats maneuvering through the locks. Then we observed salmon jumping up the salmon ladder. Well worth the stop.

Thank Westtripster
Reviewed 2 days ago

Nice place to go when you're tired of city life. Good place to watch the parade of boats go through the locks or watch the salmon swim through the ladder. Many people are unaware there are 7 acres of botanical gardens which makes this place...More

Thank fun2travel68
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We had been here many years ago and were delighted to find it just as absorbing. Watched some boats pass through the locks and salmon in the fish ladder. Also saw an osprey and a sea lion so with the botanic gardens on top of...More

Thank Kewranger
Reviewed 3 days ago

We visited the locks on a city tour and benefited from the guide's explanations of the workings and history of the locks.

Thank LouiseLouisiana
Reviewed 3 days ago

A real education about its use and purpose during the wars and as a place for our fishing fleets to rest between trips to Alaska. But the real treat is the fish ladder on the south side of the locks with glass viewing windows to...More

Thank BobFj
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

The Chittenden Locks is a lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon. The gardens are beautiful. Pack a picnic, watch the boats load into the locks or rent a kayak and ride thru the locks! Parking is about $10.00, very convenient & close.

Thank TKinSeattle
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Questions & Answers
ger w
11 May 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
11 September 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
29 August 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