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“Visitors Love to See the Locks”

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
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US$49.69*
and up
Seattle Locks Cruise
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US$70.00*
and up
Seattle Shore Excursion: Private City Tour
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US$70.00*
and up
Private Tour: Seattle Highlights
Ranked #9 of 461 things to do in Seattle
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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 young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Of all the places we take out of town visitors, this seems to be everyone's favorite. Watch the boats go through the locks but several times of the year, you can see the salmon traveling up the ladders from the Sound into Lake Washington.

Thank mgalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,885 - 1,889 of 2,735 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2013

Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) is a MUST when visiting Seattle!!! It is fascinating to watch the boats come in and lower (or raise) so they can move to the next level. Setting is in a park so it is an ideal place to go for a picnic, or to stay a bit and watch several passings of boats going both directions. You can get UP CLOSE and really walk on the bridge to be closer to the boats. LOVE it!! Plus it is FREE!!

Thank Seattle375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

If you are in Seattle when the salmon are returning to spawn then visiting the fish ladders at the Locks should be one of your must-do outings. Through underground glass walls next to the Locks, you watch as thousands of salmon make their way from the salt water of Puget Sound into the fresh water of Lake Union, Lake Washington and beyond. It's cool to watch the big boats go through the locks, too. But for me the salmon is what makes it a worthwhile trip.

Thank Wiley_in_Seattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

The Locks are one of my favorite places in Seattle. There is always something happening there. Watching the boats enter or leave can be comical - especially on busy summer weekends. I love to see the fish ladder...this time it had lots of Kings.

Thank Cathy7m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

...these are fun to watch. I've never been there when there was nothing happening. The gardens surrounding are also very nice.

Thank freqtrav17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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