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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” (324 reviews)
“watch the boats” (164 reviews)
“water level” (80 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
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Reviews (2,702)
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11 - 20 of 2,639 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This cruise was more interesting than I expected. I had never known how the locks worked before; but there was so much more! Going through the canal there were all kinds of things to look at, like where the 1989 film When Harry met Sally...More

1  Thank Linda L
Reviewed 1 week ago

A bit out of the way (took bus for 35 min from Downtown Seattle), but well worth it to see big and small boats (including a sailboat) traverse the locks. Also there's a fish ladder with viewing windows and though it was late in the...More

Thank AKA8787
Reviewed 1 week ago

After many visits “the locks” still provide great interest. They are part of a larger complex that includes a collection of exotic and local flora,a fish ladder and a summer concert venue. Whether you come to watch the boats,the sea lions or the birds it...More

1  Thank 708patrick
Reviewed 1 week ago

Probably a lot more exciting for kids than adults – things happen very slowly. But it’s a great place to relax and watch the boats/people watch. Its worth a walk across to enjoy the outdoors. Pay attention to the water, we were able to see...More

Thank Alison R
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The "locks" are always a recommended visit when we have out of town guests. It's a self guided outing to a unique park and maritime experience. Watching the operation of the 100 year old locks is fascinating and there's always a park ranger around to...More

Thank RodneyRanger
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The site is very scenic, there are nice gardens and often live music in the park. The big attraction is of course the locks and seeing how they operate to enable boats, ships and yachts to traverse from the higher level lake to the lower...More

1  Thank glfseattle
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Chittenden Locks are something unique. It adjusts the water levels between puget sound and lake union for the ships. If you are in the area, you may want to visit. But I’m not sure if this is a destination or must see place.

Thank K T
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The tour guide who walked our group through the salmon ladder was passionate and expressive and an absolute joy to be around. He made the trip worthwhile and educational -- whimsical even.

1  Thank Jesse E
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The locks are fascinating to watch in action, and as one of the busiest locks, you won't have long to wait. Be sure to watch the video at the visitor center first... Fun to learn the history of how it all started with one man...More

Thank jane92123
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Seeing the locks and learning more about the history was fun. If you go during the right time, you get an added benefit if seei my the salm on swim up the ladders. The parking can be tight during peak times, but there are pay...More

Thank thurstonbow
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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
28 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