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“Nice walk with different things to see”

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Ranked #14 of 419 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 31 May 2018 via mobile

This was a nice stop. We parked on the South side and crossed over the foot bridge. The locks were interesting to see and watch the boats traverse. Unfortunately, the fish ladder was closed but we did see the nearby drawbridge raise.

1  Thank db7477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"salmon ladder"
in 351 reviews
"watch the boats"
in 181 reviews
"water level"
in 88 reviews
"salmon run"
in 75 reviews
"salt water"
in 121 reviews
"panama canal"
in 69 reviews
"salmon swimming"
in 67 reviews
"puget sound"
in 242 reviews
"boat traffic"
in 52 reviews
"salmon season"
in 31 reviews
"life cycle"
in 30 reviews
"underwater viewing area"
in 29 reviews
"botanical gardens"
in 70 reviews
"fun to watch"
in 124 reviews
"visitor center"
in 67 reviews
"ship canal"
in 31 reviews
"lake union"
in 139 reviews
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189 - 193 of 2,997 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 2018

There were lots of boats going through the locks so we got to see the process in action. Very interesting. The gardens are beautiful, the plants are well labeled, and it is a great place to walk. Easy to get through all areas with a stroller. Places to eat close by.

1  Thank dmc52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2018 via mobile

Nice park for a stroll, and fun walking the licks and watching the boats pass through. Fish ladders were closed, but that would be really neat to see.

Thank chrisgY4968XY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2018

Since I live in Seattle, this is a place I'm able to visit as often as I choose. I don't get the time to do so very often, but always fun. It's a great place to spent a couple of hours watching boats going into Lake Washington from Puget Sound, or the reverse. These were built to keep Puget Sound from raising the level of Lake Washington twice a day due to the tidal action. It allowed more lakefront property to be built. Bill Gates lives on the shore of Lake Washington. He bought out several houses to the left and right of his property in order to build his own home there. That property would have been covered with water twice a day had the Locks not been built. There are fish ladders so when the Salmon are running you can watch them heading upstream to spawn. Many times you can also see Sea Lions having some of the Salmon for lunch. This is real life, but not my favorite part of it. It's a nice place to visit again and again.

1  Thank Terry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 May 2018

I had some extra time to kill so I decided to head over to the locks after some center city exploration. It had been touted that one can see fish on the fish ladder and possibly even a seal or two. The only thing I was able to view is a few boats going through the locks. Interesting, but not worth the time if you have something else planned. Apparently I was not there at the right time and it is hit or miss whether or not you see anything more than just boats.

1  Thank MaximumD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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