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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Open today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent60%
  • Very good33%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers 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
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Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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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 (2,978)
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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 2,905 reviews
Reviewed 2 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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

Thank activechica
Reviewed 1 week 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 1 week 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
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went to have a look and were unimpressed. It's interesting to see, but nothing dramatic. There's a lot of other stuff to see in Seattle

Thank Michael M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

These locks connecting lake to ocean, were built 100 years ago. Fascinating history in the museum. There is also a Salmon ladder on the side where you can watch the salmon swim up stream to lay eggs. There is a viewing place under the water!...More

Thank shell93013
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went hoping to see Coho salmon swimming upstream from the ocean via the salmon ladder, sadly we only saw a single fish, but it was still worth the trip. The gardens are pretty and well kept, and we saw a boat go through the...More

Thank BridgetM147
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Crossed the locks as part of a long cycling tour of Seattle and was really happy with the facilities. Great up close view of the operation of locks and cool fish ladder for the kids. Got lucky and visited on a beautiful day but otherwise...More

Thank Nicholas C
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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
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