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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)
Closed Now
All 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
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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1 - 10 of 2,697 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We stopped here on our way up to Everett. Even on a blustery February day, there was a boat looking to come through the locks. I wouldn’t recommend coming here in winter if you want to see the fish ladder in action as there were...More

Thank kirbchr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Seattle locks between Lake Union and Puget Sound are really fun, for tourists as well as locals. You can stand on the viewing platform and watch boats, varying from huge yachts to kayaks, going through the locks. There's also a fish ladder which is...More

Thank maryaileen2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I live in Seattle, so the Locks are a regular destination for me. I go there for walking both sides, for showing my grandkids the fish ladder and the boats going in and out of the locks, for birding and for photography. On the other...More

Thank mission419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Easy access and viewing of ships moving through the locks. Great stop if you have never had a chance to see working locks.

Thank NormLWat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We spent a nice half hours walking across and watching the locks and boats, without even going through the visitor center. Nice relaxing park, and a fish ladder on the far side of the locks, most active with fish in the summer, we were told....More

Thank Larry L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

On our way to dinner we drove to the Ballard Locks or the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, where boats up to 760 feet in length as well as small kayaks can travel to Puget sound. Through a system of swinging walkways, visitors can watch the...More

Thank Kelleygirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

It was an eye-opener for us. We were very lucky to see the boats and barges moving from higher to lower water level and vice versa at the lock. We were told that from April to October you can even see salmon fishes swimming against...More

Thank 2loveN2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I am a Seattle native and this is one of the places I always show to visitors. The locks themselves are fascinating, as is the Visitor’s Center. The park is lovely, and best part- it is all free! Of course, Ballard, where the Locks are...More

1  Thank Shelly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Not many places in the world where you can see a functioning lock system up close. The museum and fish ladder make it even more unique. Note, some parts of the year are better than others for the fish ladder.

Thank Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Hiram M Chittenden Locks (sometimes called the Ballard Locks) are a set of locks on the west end of Salmon Bay in Seattle. The locks were built about 1915 and are located six miles northwest of downtown Seattle in the trendy Ballard neighborhood. There...More

Thank rockyjoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
0
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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
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