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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” (289 reviews)
“watch the boats” (156 reviews)
“salt water” (111 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 (2,522)
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1 - 10 of 2,462 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Visiting the locks on a summer day is a great way to spend an afternoon and it's free. (except parking) There are beautiful flowers to see. The locks themselves are amazing to watch in operation. Don't forget to visit the hatchery. This is

Thank 670marcellaf
Reviewed yesterday

Locks were amazing. Even more amazing was the heron rookery in Commodore Park near the Locks. There were at least 20 nests in the trees. We saw a Great Blue Heron sitting in one of them. Don't miss it!

Thank Diane D
Reviewed yesterday

This place is awesome. Hadn't really heard too much about it except from friends who said...go to the locks and see the fish ladder! Ok..we did! We took an Uber ride and we not disappointed. Beautiful gardens, The fun of watching sail and motor boats...More

Thank ladybug96
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Nice park and great to walk along the canal and watch boats going through the locks. A very pretty park and garden are on one side with an interesting story of the USS Roosevelt and model of the ship in the building. The salmon watching...More

Thank extraordinarylife
Reviewed 2 days ago

Our Hop on Hop off Tour was a journey in time taking us to several out of the way places that we might never have seen. The locks have beautiful gardens, a fish ladder and free passage through the locks. The locks are nesessary and...More

Thank Kathy T
Reviewed 2 days ago

The fish were jumping in the fish ladder when we visited and it was mesmerizing! The experience of watching the locks fill full of boats and walking through the gardens was a good morning out. The visitor center is excellent with free tours if you...More

Thank taylor52
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

We took a harbor tour of Seattle that went through the locks. Very informative and an all around great tour! I highly recommend it. We sure liked it!

Thank bayrumguy
Reviewed 2 days ago

Watching boats of all sizes navigate the ship canal between Puget Sound and Lake Washington through the two locks built by the Army Corps of Engineers a hundred years ago.

Thank Jonathan M
Reviewed 3 days ago

Went on a sunny weekend afternoon with plenty of pleasure boaters using the locks. Found access on the Commodore Park side much easier to locate, Pleasant walk along the water to the locks. Interesting to watch the lock workers pack all matter of boats and...More

Thank L0ve_the_0utd00rs
Reviewed 3 days ago

We enjoyed this as part of a city tour. I wouldn't have necessarily thought of going there, but found it more interesting than I had anticipated. We were able to see the locks in action while boats passed. It gave us a better understanding how...More

Thank TGlobalFresno
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
ger w
11 May 2017|
Answer Show 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|
Answer Show 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|
Answer Show 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