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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” (329 reviews)
“watch the boats” (170 reviews)
“water level” (80 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 07:00 - 21:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
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1 - 10 of 2,671 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Whether you get here by trolley tour and walk around the gardens or on boat going through the locks (I did both) you will have a great time. Very interesting.

Thank silviaponce778
Reviewed 2 days ago

The locks are one of the most interesting and entertaining places in Seattle. The museum is a must, then walk out to the locks and watch the activity. Cross over and observe the fish ladder on the far side. Depending on the time of year...More

Thank jamestU2190RC
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Watching large and small ships go through the locks was fascinating. Great stop not far from the city center and SO worth the short ride north.

Thank garlicmike
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Nice organic visitor spot. Enjoyed the gardens, sea birds and seals. We were lucky to see both a large ship and 2 small boats go through the locks.

Thank mariasA4184VV
Reviewed 1 week ago

Watching vessels, both private and commercial, go through the locks is always fascinating. I love showing it to visitors who are not familiar with locks. Don't miss the salmon ladder on the Magnolia side!

Thank Ann K
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We live near by and go here often and also pass through walking my bike across. Not only are the locks a fascinating engineering interest don't forget there is a museum , the fish ladder always cool and also beautiful park areas and music in...More

Thank Richard B
Reviewed 1 week ago

We enjoyed our trip through this and found it fairly easy to access. It was a fun experience to see this and navigate through.

Thank Rehsinup19
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

While the salmon ladders were empty-given the time of year, that wasn’t a surprise, this was a great stop on our Seattle adventure. We had the pleasure of watching a barge come up through the locks as well as a couple of smaller boats. The...More

Thank Carrie C
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I’ve only been here as a boater and like many locks, it’s quite stressful starting with the very long wait to get in. The toughest part is trying to hold a position in line, second guessing which lock will open (large or small), and keeping...More

Thank HotelSnobAustin
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The Chittenden Locks is one of my favorite Seattle attractions. I could watch the boats pass through the locks for hours. And the grounds include nice park-like areas and gardens. We visited during a periodic cleaning of the large lock and got to see it...More

Thank Joe D
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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
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