Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Washington, United States

4.5 (3.236 reviews) Thursday: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM Spent 1-2 hours Ranking #9 in Seattle Bodies of Water • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Piers & Boardwalks

Fun and Free

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.
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3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107-4213


+1 206-780-2500




[email protected]

Working hours

Monday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday : 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Current local date and time now

Thursday, December 07, 2023, 21:39

User Ratings

4.5 based on (3.236 reviews)



  • 5Melody O 5:00 PM Jun 29, 2021
    Very, very cool but don't forget to pay for parking!
    We loved it! The problem is that we had a family member that really needed to get to the bathroom quickly and we didn't see that it was a place you had to pay for parking. As a result, when we got back to the car, we had a ticket that cost $66, or $88 if not paid for within 7 days. I called the number on the ticket and explained what happened. Nothing. They couldn't change it but they did give us a discount if we paid that day, so it ended up costing $56. Really expensive mistake. The fish ladder was closed, it is on the south side of the locks. You could look down at the ladder but we didn't see any fish. There is a restroom, thank goodness. We watched quite a few smaller boats and a few large tugboats go through the locks. It was fun seeing the water raise and lower the boats to move them on their way. For larger sailboats coming into the locks they have to raise the railroad bridge so that was a fun extra. You will also see seaplanes flying over. A great stop that we would go to again.

  • 4wireless_in_CA 5:00 PM Oct 22, 2022
    Open Again
    We took a walk over to the Locks after a filling breakfast. It was good to see that the previous construction was completed and we could walk across the locks and over to the salmon ladder without any issues. We did manage to catch the lock getting filled to lift some kayakers up and then a bunch of boats were dropped down when it was their turn in the opposite direction. Watching the lock fill or drain took some time…. The path above the lock was good for single file and no one was supposed to stop. We did get to see a couple seals frolicking in the water next to the locks. The salmon ladder was quiet except for one lone sockeye salmon that the ranger said had been there for a couple weeks waiting for a male (?) before continuing into the lake. She was a late arrival while most had already passed into the lake. The visitor museum nearer to the parking lot was also open this time. A 15 minute movie about the locks was playing and on the second floor were most of the exhibits. It was rather small.
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