Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle

4.7
#1 of 6 in Nature in Seattle
Pier / Boardwalk · Hidden Gem · Water Body
Create an itinerary including Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Watch boats and fish travel the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, a waterway system that provides safe passage between salt water and fresh water. The locks connect the Puget Sound to the Ship Canal, which links to Lake Union and Lake Washington. See barges, yachts, sailboats, and more pass through as water levels adjust to allow their journey. Don’t miss the fish ladder, which allows the migration of anadromous fish, such as salmon, between the two types of water. Glass panels give you a clear view of the fish making their journey. Pop into the visitor center to learn more about the history of the locks and how they work. To visit Hiram M. Chittenden Locks on your holiday in Seattle, and find out what else Seattle has to offer, use our Seattle.
Improve this listing »
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Tours to Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,230 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The Ballard Locks is a lock system on Lake Washington in Ballard, Seattle. There is a beautiful, tranquil, and small garden next to the Locks on the Ballard side. If you are fortunate, visitors can.....  more
    The Ballard Locks is a lock system on Lake Washington in Ballard, Seattle. There is a beautiful, tranquil, and small garden next to the Locks on the Ballard side. If you are fortunate, visitors can.....  more »
  • What a fun place. Visitor to Seattle. Did not realize that the lakes are disconnected from the sea, except by this locking system. Fresh water one side, salt water the other (with a 22 foot... 
    What a fun place. Visitor to Seattle. Did not realize that the lakes are disconnected from the sea, except by this locking system. Fresh water one side, salt water the other (with a 22 foot...  more »
  • We ended up spending most of our afternoon going through the visitors' centre, checking out the fish ladder, and then finding a spot to sit and watch the wildlife and boats. We ended up seeing more... 
    We ended up spending most of our afternoon going through the visitors' centre, checking out the fish ladder, and then finding a spot to sit and watch the wildlife and boats. We ended up seeing more...  more »
Google
  • The Ballard Locks are a fun and totally cool place to take the kids to. Constructed from 1911-1917, the Ballard Locks are one of only two publicly accessible locks in the US and carry more vessel traffic than any other locks in the country. In addition, they were also one of the first to include a fish ladder in their design. It's very cool to watch boats, big and small, to be raises and lowered between the Sound and Lake Washington. Visitors also have the option of enjoying a botanical garden at the Locks. It's a great place to take the family and admission is free with the exception of paying for parking. I highly recommend this place for families with children.
  • A working facility with excellent visitor accomodations. Really fun to see the salmon jumping in the locks and the fish ladder. Other wildlife teems in the Locks and surrounds -- on a recent visit, we saw kingfishers, harbor seals, great blue herons and their chicks, bald eagles, and the usual gulls, Canada geese, loons, and several varieties of ducks. Always fun to watch the boats transit the Locks, especially when there are large boats and barges. On a hot August day, it was a pleasant visit with a cooling breeze off the Sound. A troupe of Morris dancers spontaneously showed up and provided a fun well choreographed performance with a fish in costume.
  • I adore going here. I went here with my parents on Father's Day/My Mother's Birthday. I loved walking by people that speak several languages and watching the enginuity that goes behind this. I like where you can observe the various types of salmon with a display that shows variances in their characteristics. There's a beautiful nature walk and Rose garden as well. This place is really special with an assortment of vastly interesting and different views.
  • Just go here. It's a bit out of the way if you are visiting downtown Seattle but well worth the trip. These locks are a unique local treasure and fun to watch operate. Continue on past the locks to Golden Gardens saltwater beach park for a fun time. On your way back take a slight detour to Fisherman's terminal, turn off just south of the Ballard bridge, for some fish and chips by the water. You can see the working fishing boats docked here, many of the Alaskan fishing boats are based here (some from Deadliest Catch).
  • To think that this was built over a hundred years ago, and is still performing is quite a testament to American engineering. You should visit the locks if you live in, or around Seattle. It is so entertaining. If you love boats, or just people watching you shouldn't miss the chance to see both. Not to forget to mention the Salmon ladder for fish spawning into the lake. Get on down here. Weekends are much busier, so maybe visit during the week if possible.

Plan your trip to Seattle

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.