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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Open today: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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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: 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 (2,961)
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All reviewssalmon ladderwatch the boatswater levelsalt watersalmon runpanama canalsalmon swimmingpuget soundboat trafficsalmon seasonlife cycleunderwater viewing areabotanical gardensfun to watchvisitor centership canallake union
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1 - 10 of 2,890 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

We went in September so the Salmon were going through the fish ladder and that made it extra interesting. Even if it wasn't the right time of year for the Salmon I think it's still fun to walk across the lock, watch the boats lock...More

Thank Suzi K
Reviewed yesterday

We visited in September when the salmon runs were not heavy and we didn't see any going through the fish ladder. If you have flexibility try to time your visit to coincide with the salmon runs. We'd seen locks in many other places before and...More

Thank Joe H
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

The Ballard Locks is a great place to visit and explore and to learn some history.I had not been here in years and they have done some nice upgrades to the visitor centres and explanatory signage. You will see and experience the engineering of the...More

Thank KweqSmanit
Reviewed yesterday

Truly fascinating watching all the boats go in and out of the locks. You can easily spend a few hours here watching everybody go by. We saw to sea lions trying to find some salmon by the salmon ladder.

Thank eric82clark
Reviewed 2 days ago

We watched several boats go through the locks, then walked over them to see the fish ladders that help the salmon travel back and forth. Outside we saw a few Sea Lions and a Native fisherman checking his nets. Interesting and relaxing way to spend...More

Thank mmv20
Reviewed 2 days ago

Easy to view the working locks, and you can view the fish ladder through glass, only interesting if the fish are running

Thank Joseph D
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

What a cool place! We were lucky enough to be there for the salmon run (end of August) and saw 2 seals fighting over a salmon. Seals everywhere. The fish ladders were cool, very interesting path the salmon follow! Awesome boats and barges in and...More

Thank Micrazy
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

It is awesome place to take your family or friends.kids love the boats levelling while their routes. Beautiful views all around and not much crowd on weekends..

Thank seshug2015
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

The locks are a beautiful place to visit. You can see the salmons swimming underwater in the ladder. Every hour someone from the nearby visitors center comes by and explains more about it. Walking by the locks you can meet fishermen and seals swimming. It's...More

Thank Gemma D
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Ballard Locks is located in Seattle, WA near Magnolia and Ballard neighborhood. A long time ago this was an ideal area to build a Navy shipyard but with delays in the planning and construction of the canal it was later built in Bremerton under...More

Thank Shawnee L
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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