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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle

(4.6/5 based on 2,200+ reviews on the web)
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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Been there many times over the years. Never tire of watching the process for vessels large and small. However the most fascinating part for me is the fish ladder. The fish circling at the bottom then ...  more »
  • Visited the Locks on a tour and had the opportunity for a lot of great photos. Many boats coming an going in and out of the locks most of the time and interesting to watch how they work. Would definit...  more »
  • The gardens,locks and salmon ladder are all interesting to see. It is on our tour we give for out of town friends. In the summer there are weekend concerts. Chairs are provided. 
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.