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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” (332 reviews)
“watch the boats” (171 reviews)
“water level” (81 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
CONTACT
Website
+1 206-780-2500
Write a ReviewReviews (2,762)
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All reviews
"salmon ladder"
in 332 reviews
"watch the boats"
in 171 reviews
"water level"
in 81 reviews
"salt water"
in 98 reviews
"salmon run"
in 68 reviews
"panama canal"
in 65 reviews
"salmon swimming"
in 63 reviews
"puget sound"
in 228 reviews
"salmon season"
in 30 reviews
"life cycle"
in 30 reviews
"pleasure boats"
in 27 reviews
"beautiful gardens"
in 76 reviews
"small boats"
in 34 reviews
"fun to watch"
in 120 reviews
"viewing area"
in 72 reviews
"ship canal"
in 32 reviews
"visitor center"
in 60 reviews
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541 - 550 of 2,697 reviews

Reviewed 14 September 2016 via mobile

This is a beautifully landscaped and manicured park along one of Seattle's busiest maritime straits. Fun to watch the boats and ships go through the locks off and even a fun treat to watch the fish go through the ladders. A real winner for kids...More

1  Thank jim b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2016

Not a bad stop off if you're driving north of Seattle and just want something to do. Seems geared toward the older generation. Cross the dam and go down inside to watch each salmon try to fight his way against the current, one at a...More

Thank timmtimm72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2016

My wife and I took an express bus from downtown then another bus the locks. The engineering of the locks is fascinating. We were excited and very impressed with the salmon tanks and instructional displays.

1  Thank wher2next
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 September 2016 via mobile

We saw playful sea lions and the salmon climbing The ladders to get to the fresh water. The aquarium view is really great and educational for the kids! Had a great time. Parking is tight, and the lock viewing is FREE!

2  Thank Ted S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016

Not very far by car to travel to the Dam and observe it in action by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Not very crowded, free to the public. Looks to be on the tour bus shuttle as we saw a number of mini buses...More

1  Thank Jane H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016 via mobile

This place is simple and lovely. A great walk, if in season, a view of salmon. We take all our out of town visitors here and come regularly ourselves.

1  Thank LSBPHD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016

Your kids will squeal with delight as they watch the salmon swim by through the underground viewing glass on their journey to the lake above. Not to be missed if even for its educational value alone.

1  Thank 409rexm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016

The other reviewers are right - this place is interesting, the park is beautiful, and it is free. I'd like to go again when the salmon are running.

1  Thank TravelinJabbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016

Watching the fish move up the fish ladder was amazing. We arrived shortly after spawning season, but we saw anywhere between 20 and 50 fish try to progress through the ladder. If you're in Ballard for any reason, I'd recommend stopping here. The botanical gardens...More

1  Thank lyssacle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2016 via mobile

The Locks themselves were neat to see, but the fish ladder was really cool! It was fascinating to see the salmon swimming through the ladder. There were four large viewing windows, making it easy for all to see the fish. You will need to take...More

1  Thank Scott U
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
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
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