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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
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US$ 49.69*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
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US$ 70.00*
and up
Private Tour: Seattle Highlights
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US$ 75.00*
and up
Shared Three-Hour Pre-Cruise Seattle City Highlights Tour
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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.
  • Excellent59%
  • Very good34%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“salmon ladder” (285 reviews)
“watch the boats” (155 reviews)
“salt water” (111 reviews)
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Hours Today: 07:00 - 21:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
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Reviews (2,463)
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11 - 20 of 2,403 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

If you and your kids are into this kind of thing the locks are a fun stop. Inside the visitors center they have windows that are underwater so if the salmon are running you can see them!!! Worth a stop if you are touring Seattle!

Thank NjRobin
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Fun to visit and fun to take a boat through the locks. Sometimes it can take an hour to wait your turn--going through the small locks is much easier than the large locks--but always interesting. People are lined up on either side watching and you...More

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Definitely recommend this. Cool from an engineering perspective but even the kids and wife will like the pretty grounds and the fish ladder.

Thank David H
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We went with 4 teens, they liked watching the locks do their things. They also liked seeing the Harbor Seal catch fish! It could only take 1/2 hr if you want to do it quick👍🏼

Thank Kathy S
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Got lucky as there were many yatches/boats that were crossing the locks. The salmon season was yet to start as it was the last couple of days in April, we saw a couple of Salmon fishes that crossed the locks. However, there were many small...More

Thank Avinash671
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Interesting area to watch boats navigating the locks. There is also a fish pass next to the locks to allow salmon through. A small park and public conveniences are nearby if you wanted to spend longer at the locks.

Thank Howell R
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

When we were here, the weather was wonderful. We watched to boats going in and out of the locks for over an hour. The employees and volunteer on site were very informative and congenial, answered any questions we had. We also went to see the...More

Thank 111JCB
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Beautiful grounds, lots of greenery. Would be very interesting to visit when the salmon run. We did see a seal but no fish.

Thank Corusc80
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My wife and I had a fantastic tour of the Ballard Locks. The sun was out. The skies were blue. Nice breeze across South Lake Union and all along the route. It was a near-perfect day. The guide and narrator was excellent. Great day for...More

Thank Bern R
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We viewed the locks twice during our cycles round Seattle. They are an interesting spot and also take you to Union Lake which is quite a feature.

Thank John H
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
ger w
HI I hope to visit from the UK next September and would like to know when the salmon runs take place.Any information would be great. Ger
11 May 2017|
Answer Show 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
Jeff C: Sorry you didn't enjoy your visit. Seeing Salmon can be iffy, even during peak season, they may have been waiting for high tide to move into the viewing room. Maybe you expected a circus act that performs on schedule?
11 September 2016|
Answer Show 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
I am planning a visit to the locks on a Friday. Is there a better/best time of day to see the happenings with boats and fish?
28 August 2016|
Answer Show 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