We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
Book In Advance
More Info
US$ 49.69*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
More Info
US$ 70.00*
and up
Private Tour: Seattle Highlights
More Info
US$ 75.00*
and up
Shared Three-Hour Pre-Cruise Seattle City Highlights Tour
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
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)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 07:00 - 21:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213
+1 206-780-2500
Write a Review
Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (2,465)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

531 - 540 of 2,405 reviews

Reviewed 1 June 2016 via mobile

There is a nice garden and information Center before you arrive to the locks there explanations also about the Salmons. It's very nice to see how this locks work, few minutes and the boat is at the other level.

Thank Shushush
Reviewed 31 May 2016

I highly recommend a visit to the locks - it is not only amazing to watch the process to bring the ships to the right level to pass, it is very calming and enlightening to get in the minds of those that planned this passageway.

Thank DebbieD12345
Reviewed 31 May 2016 via mobile

Good insight can be gained here on the operation of locks, which are used here to raise and lower small craft (including kayaks) to go between waterways of different levels. These were built to model and test the much larger locks built in the Panama...More

Thank GuatadeLapis
Reviewed 30 May 2016 via mobile

See the locks in operation and how fishing trawlers, ferry boats are transported through. My kids had a real life learning experience and I finally got to see a working model after having read about it in school decades ago.

Thank Pervez_w
Reviewed 29 May 2016

What a fun place to visit. Here you can watch water craft of all sizes being moved from Lake Union tot Puget sound and back again. The Army Corp of Engineers man these locks that are a smaller version of the Panama Canal. You can...More

Thank Anna H
Reviewed 29 May 2016

This tour was one of the highlights of our visit to Seattle. The boat tour provided interesting insights into the neighborhoods that make up Seattle and going through the locks made us recall our experiences at the Panama Canal. The same engineer designed both of...More

Thank bayles_houston
Reviewed 29 May 2016

This was the first time we were at the locks and it was so interesting. We initially wandered through the beautiful gardens and then watched quite a few boats go up and down the locks. We joined a group that was getting a tour and...More

Thank Libbi S
Reviewed 28 May 2016

I have been to the lock countless times. I enjoy it so much that I have to visit at least once every summer with my kids just watching the salmon swimming thru viewing window. Walking on the meadow is very relaxing but do watch out...More

Thank angrybird2011
Reviewed 28 May 2016 via mobile

We joined the free one hour tour and found it interesting to learn about the history and how everything was built almost 100 years ago. Although there were no salmon in the salmon ladder yet, it was still worth the visit because we saw boats...More

1  Thank truffles808
Reviewed 26 May 2016

nothing really to special but if you've never seen it its ok i guess it wont take you very long thats the good part

Thank Alex H
Nearby Restaurants
8 Oz Burger & Co
47 reviews
.76 km away
Pestle Rock Isan Thai Cuisine
63 reviews
.87 km away
La Isla
109 reviews
.85 km away
Red Mill Totem House
44 reviews
.26 km away
Nearby Attractions
Ballard Farmer's Market
71 reviews
1.04 km away
Ballard Tourism Office at Anima Mundi
109 reviews
.97 km away
The Lake Washington Ship Canal Fish Ladder
49 reviews
.09 km away
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