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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Open today: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
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  • Excellent60%
  • Very good33%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“salmon ladder”(362 reviews)
“watch the boats”(186 reviews)
“water level”(88 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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Ways to Experience Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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Reviews (3,022)
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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 botanical gardens fun to watch viewing area ship canal visitor center lake union sea lions
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1 - 10 of 2,945 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago

I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. It was fun to watch and very interesting as well. I would recommend as something to do while in Seattle.

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank douglasa713
Reviewed 1 week ago

The free tour explained the history and need for the locks. Children and adults alike enjoyed the line of boats, both large and small transiting the locks. Like a mini parade.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Dennis H
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were able to wander through and explore the locks late one January afternoon. While we were there, a fishing vessel came through so we got to see the operation of the locks as well. Well worth a stop to view and experience.

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank JimboCanucks
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We lucked out - the free one hour tours had just resumed (2PM). But even if you miss the tour, it's interesting to wander around and observe the boats going thru the locks.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank matkat7
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This is a great 1-2 hour activity for kids and families. We watched several vessels pass through the locks and explored a bit of the gardens. As we visited on a Tuesday, the visitors center was closed.

Date of experience: March 2019
2  Thank 49laurelg
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Was really fun to see the a boat come through the locks. Glad they were active when we were there. We had a local telling us a lot of the history of the locks so that was extra nice. A good time of year to...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Vacationer673753
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

One of the most see sights in Seattle with the unique opportunity to see fish swim up a ladder, in addition to a boat lock and very interesting, but small, museum.

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank Tallmark1960
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A must visit any time of the year out-of-towners come in, don’t let the seasons dictate when you visit. Even if there are not fish in the ladder, and bright blooms in the garden, there is always something interesting to see at the locks. From...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank designmatters2018
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My wife and I took an Uber ride to the Seattle side of the locks and walked across. The locks are absolutely fascinating and quite busy - we had an opportunity to watch them transport a wide range of boats from the sound level to...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank LightFighter
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Seattle is surrounded by water and the Locks are a great place to watch maritime commercial and recreational vessels come and go, watch salmon migrating up the fish ladders (seasonal), and enjoy one of the loveliest gardens in the City. Stop by the museum to...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Munstead
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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
12 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