The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, more popularly known as the "Ballard Locks", are worth visiting for a number of reasons. Children particularly enjoy watching the Lake Washington Ship Canal locks in operation as they assist boats passing between Lake Union and the Puget Sound. Another highlight is the fish ladder, used by salmon to travel upstream to the waters of Lake Washington and beyond. Visitors find themselves glued to the windows in the fish viewing room. The visitor center provides the opportunity to learn more about the history and operation of the locks.
The grounds around the Ballard Locks and the visitor center are home to the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Garden, providing visitors with a lovely place to stroll and picnic. Special events, including live music and garden shows, take place on the grounds throughout the summer.
The Lake Washington Ship Canal visitor center operates under two seasonal schedules, winter and summer. Winter hours (October 1 through April 30) of operation are from 10 am to 4 pm, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Summer hours (daily, May 1 through September 30) are from 10 am to 6 pm. Free guided tours are provided from March 1 through November 30. Call the Visitor Center at (206) 783-7059 for tour times and additional information. The grounds are open daily, year-round, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Lake Washington Ship Canal
3015 NW 54th St.
Seattle, WA, 98107