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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” (334 reviews)
“watch the boats” (174 reviews)
“water level” (83 reviews)
Closes in 21 min
Hours
Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
CONTACT
Website
+1 206-780-2500
Ways to Experience Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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Write a ReviewReviews (2,825)
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All reviews
"salmon ladder"
in 334 reviews
"watch the boats"
in 174 reviews
"water level"
in 83 reviews
"salt water"
in 123 reviews
"salmon run"
in 68 reviews
"panama canal"
in 66 reviews
"salmon swimming"
in 64 reviews
"puget sound"
in 228 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 63 reviews
"lake union"
in 132 reviews
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541 - 550 of 2,757 reviews

Reviewed 16 October 2016

An interesting place to visit, offering salmon views and history of the locks. Entrance through the park with nice views.

Thank TravelhappyEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2016 via mobile

Gorgeous views of the Locks and we saw the salmon running. There is an adjacent garden that is nice to walk around in as well.

Thank Brian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2016 via mobile

Don't miss this if you have as little as a half hour! Really, take a break and check it out. The Locks are an Engineering marvel. The Rangers have it set-up so you learn a lot in a small amount of time. You will walk...More

Thank Sojournarita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 October 2016

We arrived on a sunny day with our tour operator, and saw a boat going through the locks, and then down below in the Viewing Room we saw the Salmon trying to climb the ladder to spawn that was very interesting to

Thank betsy0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2016 via mobile

Got to see the Salmon in the viewing areas. So cool. And we saw tugboats go through the locks. Beautiful day.

Thank PamLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2016

I used to take visitors here, but now I'm the visitor. It never fails to enchant... beautiful gardens, a mix of interesting people for people-watching, and the rhythm of the locks (and the lock workers) moving ships tiny and large in and out of the...More

Thank davidbillstrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2016

An interesting location to visit and observe locks in action. On this trip, I watched a large barge with a crane go upstream through the lock on a journey to the floating bridge construction site. The whole amazing process took about 30 minutes with a...More

Thank CaptainSPI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

If you have never been to the Panama Canal this is a good experience. It of course this is on a much smaller scale, but the principle is the same. We experienced a barge going through the locks. Very cool. What I really enjoyed is...More

Thank Jamaicamon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2016

We visited the Locks recently interested in seeing the salmon migrating to spawn. There were many at the Locks this beautiful fall day, however, the fish didn't get the memo and there were very few to view in their viewing area. That could have been...More

Thank Mary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2016

The locks were part of our 3-hours tour of Seattle. One of the best parts. Warm, sunny afternoon and we were able to learn how the locks work, for many different sized boats. I was quite envious I was not one of the lucky boaters...More

1  Thank helenskiMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
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
0
Votes
Brodethedog
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
0
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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
2
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