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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Open today: 07:00 - 21:00
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent60%
  • Very good33%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“salmon ladder”(348 reviews)
“watch the boats”(178 reviews)
“water level”(87 reviews)
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...more
Open Now
Hours Today: 07:00 - 21:00
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Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
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Reviews (2 982)
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All reviews salmon ladder watch the boats water level salt water salmon run panama canal salmon swimming puget sound boat traffic salmon season life cycle underwater viewing area botanical gardens fun to watch visitor center ship canal lake union
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1 - 10 of 2 909 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

The locks are very interesting and we were able to see both the small and large locks used. The gardens are also beautiful. We went on a Sunday which was great as we were able to park on the street for free and there is...More

1  Thank ROTNewYork
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Always wanted to see locks up close and personal. This was a great way to spend a nice afternoon. There is a beautiful park where you can spend some time and it has free admission and guided tours. I found the fish ladder we are...More

Thank Joanne Y
Reviewed 4 days ago

This is a nice place to visit in good weather but there are only salmon on the salmon ladder at certain times. We saw quite a few seals with one actually catching and eating a fish. Unfortunately,the locks didn't open or close while we were...More

Thank Georgica14
Reviewed 4 days ago

On a previous trip to Seattle, we participated in a cruise that took us through the locks. This time we were "landlubbers," and it was no less impressive! The locks are a well-maintained federal facility. There is no cost. We arrived right after a boat...More

Thank austintomtraveler
Reviewed 1 week ago

We took an Argosy Cruise from the harbor near the Great Wheel into Puget Sound, around Discovery Point, through the Locks and docked in Lake Union. The Locks were interesting and include a salmon ladder. Very enjoyable. The locks are also accessible on land (...More

Thank janetd4572016
Reviewed 1 week ago

It was so fun to watch the boats come in and go through the lock. The drawbridge is amazing, sometimes with a train going across and sometimes raised to let ships through. We didn’t see any fish using the fish ladder as it was mid-October...More

Thank Kathy M
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The bucolic gardens and park are a lovely place to stroll and enjoy summer concerts. Watching the locks in action as boats of all shapes and sizes move between the freshwater Lakes Washington and Union to and from the Puget Sound is fascination for young...More

1  Thank activechica
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We only had a short time in the afternoon so decided to visit this. Did not have time to walk around the botanical garden. This was a worthwhile experience if you have not seen a Locks operate before. Definitely would recommend visiting.

Thank SFBayAreaSportsFan
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Interesting and educational rolled up into one. Best when salmon are running. A relaxing experience and fun on a beautiful day!

Thank A396CR
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

No fish swimming, and WOW cold. Fun to see the boats but I have seen locks before. Nice gardens. Info center only open th thru mon

Thank YourCardShark
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Questions & Answers
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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