Trip Planner:   USA  /  Washington State  /  Seattle  /  Sightseeing  /  Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle

(2,200+ reviews on the web)
Pier / Boardwalk
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. Make Hiram M. Chittenden Locks a part of your Seattle vacation plans using our Seattle tour planner.
Create a full Seattle itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Seattle

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. 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.

Plans in Seattle by other users

10 days in Seattle, Victoria & Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in San Diego & Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, relaxing, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: August, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 2 days in Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, culture, outdoors, romantic, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Washington State & Pacific Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • On a hot day in the summer this is the best place to be in Seattle. We get take out dinner and go sit at the Locks, it is great.  more »
  • I feel the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks) is a must see for visitors. Many have never seen locks in action and this site has more boat traffic than any other lock in the USA. It is free and...  more »
  • A spot most Seattle residents enjoy. The visitor center has many great exhibits and the locks are fun to watch. When salmon are running, the fish ladder is always crowded. Occasionally a sea lion can ...  more »
Google
  • This is a great place to spend 1-2 hours of your day especially on a sunny day. There is a mini museum on the second floor of the visitors' center which is really fun for everyone. Also, during the weekday, the administration office allows visitors to take a peak inside the building. There is a bit of history in that building. If you time it right, you might even see somesalmon in the fish ladder's viewing area. We have seen Coho salmon late in the summer and early fall. It is fun place to take the family.
  • Excellent place to chill afternoons in the summer. Much overlooked botanical garden and grounds. Often seals, jumping fish, tame crows, interesting people. Note, they are STRICT about bikes not riding here, and closing at exactly the hours they state. No exceptions.
  • Bring lunch! We picked up some baguette sandwiches down at Pike Place and brought them up here to eat. It was awesome - we staked out a sunny spot on the hill across from the locks and ate lunch while watching boats go through, then meandered down across and read about the fish ladder and watched a boat go through up close. Enjoyable but a very limited number of activities, very laid back. There was a lovely park on that side so we wandered a bit and then got a milkshake and some lemonade nearby before we left. Fun way to spend a morning!
  • Beautiful scenic spot. Great fit a picnic or a walk or people walking. Or checking out the salmon as they climb the fish ladder On sunny days, this place gets busy. And there will usually be a problem of people stopping in the middle of the walkways across the locks. So, as long as you can deal with crowds of gawking, gawping tourists (and locals too, let's be honest), it's a great spot to while away a summer day.
  • Love coming to the locks when we are in Seattle. Beautiful gardens. Very interesting watching boats/ships move through the locks. The salmon ladder is amazing when the salmon are running. Nice peaceful place to come and spend a few hours. Wish there were things like this back home.